(You can view the rest of our presidential Best Book lists by going to our Best US President Books page, or for more in-depth look at how we found and ranked the books you can visit our Best Book About Every United States President article.)
Richard Nixon Quick Facts
|Terms In Office||1 & 20/48ths (resigned)|
|Vice President||Spiro Agnew (resigned)/ Vacant / Gerald Ford|
|Presidential Pet||Dogs (Vicki, Pasha, King Timahoe, Checkers)|
|Campaign Slogan||“This time, vote like your whole world depended on it” & “Nixon Now”|
|Articles Used in Ranking||14|
|Number of Unique Books||36|
Watergate is a story of high drama and low skulduggery, of lies and bribes, of greed and lust for power. With access to the central characters, the public papers, and the trials transcripts, Ambrose explains how Nixon destroyed himself through a combination of arrogance and indecision, allowing a “third-rate burglary” to escalate into a scandal that overwhelmed his presidency. Within a decade and a half however, Nixon had become one of America’s elder statesmen, respected internationally and at home even by those who had earlier clamoured loudest for his head. This is the story of Nixon’s final fall from grace and astonishing recovery.
Evan Thomas delivers the best single-volume biography of Richard Nixon to date, a radical, unique portrait of a complicated figure who was both determinedly optimistic and tragically flawed. The New York Times bestselling author of Ike’s Bluff andSea of Thunder, Thomas brings new life to one of American history’s most infamous, paradoxical, and enigmatic politicians, dispensing with myths to achieve an intimate and nuanced look at the actual man.
From acclaimed biographer Stephen E. Ambrose comes the life of one of the most elusive and intriguing American political figures, Richard M. Nixon. From his difficult boyhood and earnest youth to bis ruthless political campaigns for Congress and Senate to his defeats in ’60 and ’62,
Between 1965 and 1972, America experienced no less than a second civil war. Out of its ashes, the political world we know now was born. It was the era not only of Nixon, Johnson, Spiro Agnew, Hubert H. Humphrey, George McGovern, Richard J. Daley, and George Wallace but Abbie Hoffman, Ronald Reagan, Angela Davis, Ted Kennedy, Charles Manson, John Lindsay, and Jane Fonda. There are tantalizing glimpses of Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Jesse Jackson, John Kerry, and even of two ambitious young men named Karl Rove and William Clinton — and a not so ambitious young man named George W. Bush.
Even as he dreamed of presidential greatness, Nixon could trust no one. His closest aides spied on him as he spied on them, while cabinet members, generals, and admirals spied on all of them — rifling briefcases and desks, tapping each other’s phones in a house where no one knew what was true anymore. Reeves shows a presidency doomed from the start by paranoia and corruption, beginning with Nixon and Kissinger using the CIA to cover up a murder by American soldiers in Vietnam that led to the theft and publication of the Pentagon Papers, then to secret counterintelligence units within the White House itself, and finally to the burglaries and cover-up that came to be known as Watergate. President Nixon is the astonishing story of a complex political animal who was as praised as he was reviled and who remains a subject of controversy to this day.
From the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, Richard Nixon was a polarizing figure in American politics, admired for his intelligence, savvy, and strategic skill, and reviled for his shady manner and cutthroat tactics. Conrad Black, whose epic biography of FDR was widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, now separates the good in Nixon—his foreign initiatives, some of his domestic policies, and his firm political hand—from the sinister, in a book likely to generate enormous attention and controversy.
John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon each dreamed of becoming the great young leader of their age. First as friends, then as bitter enemies, they were linked by a historic rivalry that changed both them and their country. Fresh, entertaining, and revealing, Kennedy and Nixon reveals that the early fondness between the two men—Kennedy, for example, told a trusted friend that if he didn’t receive the Democratic nomination in 1960, he would vote for Nixon—degenerated into distrust and bitterness. Using White House tapes, this book exposes Richard Nixon’s dread of a Kennedy “restoration” in 1972 drove the dark deeds of Watergate.
From his seemingly “poor boy makes good” childhood to his college years, this piercing, perceptive examination of the people, places, and events that shaped the character of Richard Nixon gives the reader a rare and a fair glimpse of the forces that shaped him.
In this provocative and revelatory assessment of the only president ever forced out of office, the legendary Washington journalist Elizabeth Drew explains how Richard M. Nixon’s troubled inner life offers the key to understanding his presidency. She shows how Nixon was surprisingly indecisive on domestic issues and often wasn’t interested in them. Turning to international affairs, she reveals the inner workings of Nixon’s complex relationship with Henry Kissinger, and their mutual rivalry and distrust. The Watergate scandal that ended his presidency was at once an overreach of executive power and the inevitable result of his paranoia and passion for vengeance.
With a new introduction by the authors for the fortieth anniversary of its publication, the most devastating political detective story of the century, two Washington Post reporters, whose brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation smashed the Watergate scandal wide open, tell the behind-the-scenes drama the way it really happened.
While Nixon publicly promised to keep American troops in Vietnam only until the South Vietnamese could take their place, he privately agreed with his top military, diplomatic, and intelligence advisers that Saigon could never survive without American boots on the ground. Afraid that a preelection fall of Saigon would scuttle his chances for a second term, Nixon put his reelection above the lives of American soldiers. Postponing the inevitable, he kept America in the war into the fourth year of his presidency. At the same time, Nixon negotiated a “decent interval” deal with the Communists to put a face-saving year or two between his final withdrawal and Saigon’s collapse. If they waited that long, Nixon secretly assured North Vietnam’s chief sponsors in Moscow and Beijing, the North could conquer the South without any fear that the United States would intervene to save it. The humiliating defeat that haunts Americans to this day was built into Nixon’s exit strategy. Worse, the myth that Nixon was winning the war before Congress “tied his hands” has led policy makers to adapt tactics from America’s final years in Vietnam to the twenty-first-century conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, prolonging both wars without winning either.
Published to satisfy the massive renewed interest in Sir David Frost’s astounding feat of journalism following the huge success of the eponymous West End and Broadway play, “Frost/Nixon” tells the extraordinary story of how Frost pursued and landed the biggest fish of his career. When he first conceived the idea of interviewing Richard Nixon and trying to bring the ex-President to confront his past, he was told on all sides that the project would never get off the ground. Nobody believed that Nixon would agree to Frost’s editorial control, or even to talk about Watergate at all. Yet in the end the project succeeded, and the series drew larger audiences than any news programme ever had in the United States, before being shown all over the world.Including hilarious tales of the people he encountered along the way and fascinating insights into the making of the television series itself, this is Sir David’s own story of his pursuit of disgraced ex-President Richard Nixon one that is no less revealing of his own toughness and pertinacity than of the ex-President’s elusiveness. Frost provides an account of the only public trial that Nixon will ever have, and a revelation of the man’s character as it appeared in the stress of eleven gruelling sessions before the cameras. Fully revised and updated with historical perspective, and including transcripts of the edited interviews, “Frost/Nixon” describes Sir David Frost’s quest to produce one of the most dramatic pieces of television ever broadcast.
It all started with some businessmen bankrolling Richard Nixon to become a “salesman against socialization.” But in this precursor to current campaign finance scandals, Nixon had some explaining to do to keep his place on Dwight Eisenhower’s Republican ticket, so he took to the airwaves. The “Checkers” speech saved and bolstered Nixon’s political career and set the tone for the 1952 campaign. Just Plain Dick is political history and more. It’s the story of a young man nearing a nervous breakdown and staging a political comeback. While the narrative focuses tightly, almost cinematically, on the 1952 election cycle-from the spring primary season to the summer conventions, then to the allegations against Nixon through to the speech in September, and finally the election in November-Mattson also provides a broad-stroke depiction of American politics and culture during the Cold War.
This book examines Richard Nixon’s place in history, from his many achievements to his notable shortcomings to the Watergate scandal which has often defined his presidency. In his lifetime Nixon attempted to change perspectives to remodel his shattered image and portray himself as a great leader brought down by one mistake. Since his death in 1994, historians have been reassessing his achievements and in this latest addition to the Reputations series the Nixon presidency is reexamined to discern how Nixon’s reputation has evolved and how far it corresponds to his actions and their effects. Can we give credence to his self-promotion as ‘world statesman’? Should we re-evaluate the domestic record of a president whose policies had more in common with those of his liberal predecessors than his conservative successors? These and other issues that contribute to a fresh understanding of the ways in which Richard Nixon’s historical image has been fashioned are at the heart of this incisive new study.
From one of America’s most distinguished historians comes this classic analysis of Richard Nixon. By considering some of the president’s opinions, Wills comes to the controversial conclusion that Nixon was actually a liberal. Both entertaining and essential, Nixon Agonistes captures a troubled leader and a struggling nation mired in a foolish Asian war, forfeiting the loyalty of its youth, puzzled by its own power, and looking to its cautious president for confidence. In the end, Nixon Agonistes reaches far beyond its assessment of the thirty-seventh president to become an incisive and provocative analysis of the American political machine
Working side by side in the White House, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger were two of the most compelling, contradictory, and powerful figures in America in the second half of the twentieth century. While their personalities could hardly have seemed more different, both were largely self-made men, brimming with ambition, driven by their own inner demons, and often ruthless in pursuit of their goals.
An eye-opening look at the man whose notoriety over Watergate and whose accomplishments in foreign policy have made us foget that he was one of our most innovative modern presidents on matters of domestic policy. Hoff shows that Nixon’s reforms in welfare, civil rights, economic and environmental policy, and reorganization of the federal bureaucracy all greatly outweigh those things for which we tend to remember him.
The rise, fall, and rebirth of Richard Nixon is perhaps the most fascinating story in American politics—and perhaps the most misunderstood. Nixon: A Life is the first entirely objective biography of Richard Nixon. Former British Defense Minister Jonathan Aitken conducted over sixty hours of interviews with the impeached former president and was granted unprecedented access to thousands of pages of Nixon’s previously sealed private documents. Nixon reveals to Aitken why he didn’t burn the Watergate tapes, how he felt when he resigned the presidency, his driving spiritual beliefs, and more.Nixon: A Life breaks important new ground as a major work of political biography, inspiring historians to recognize the outstanding diplomatic achievements of a man whose journey from tainted politician to respected foreign policy expert and elder statesman was nothing short of remarkable.
Based largely on documents declassified only in the last few years, One Man Against the World paints a devastating portrait of a tortured yet brilliant man who led the country largely according to a deep-seated insecurity and distrust of not only his cabinet and congress, but the American population at large. In riveting, tick-tock prose, Weiner illuminates how the Vietnam War and the Watergate controversy that brought about Nixon’s demise were inextricably linked. From the hail of garbage and curses that awaited Nixon upon his arrival at the White House, when he became the president of a nation as deeply divided as it had been since the end of the Civil War, to the unprecedented action Nixon took against American citizens, who he considered as traitorous as the army of North Vietnam, to the infamous break-in and the tapes that bear remarkable record of the most intimate and damning conversations between the president and his confidantes, Weiner narrates the history of Nixon’s anguished presidency in fascinating and fresh detail.
When Americans remember the controversial Nixons, they usually focus on the political triumphs, the turbulent White House years, and the humiliating public downfall. But a very different image of the polarizing president emerges in this fascinating portrait of the relationship between Richard and Pat Nixon. Now, the couple’s recently released love letters and other private documents reveal that as surely as unremitting adversity can fray the fabric of a marriage, devotion can propel it to surmount disgrace and defeat.
“Richard Nixon and His America” is an informed portrait of a commanding political figure of our day. The first view to utilize the newly opened files from the White House, and with the advantage of exclusive cooperation from the former President and interviews with important political figures of the time (friends and enemies), this work offers a comprehensive coverage of events and personalities that explains both the country and the man. Exploring such important issues as Communism and America’s place in global politics, it exposes the mind and personality of Richard Nixon and discovers what he represents in American history and culture. Parmet neither builds up nor attacks Nixon’s reputation but studies the ways he reflected long-standing strains and strong sentiments in American life. The book aims to provide both an understanding of what led to the Watergate scandal and a knowledge of the America of the past 20 years.
The former president recounts his life and political rises and falls, concentrating on the events, domestic and international, of his presidency and those leading up to his unprecedented resignation.
“Twenty-five years ago, after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Gerald Ford promised a return to normalcy. “”My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over,”” President Ford declared.
But it was not.”
Six Crises is the first book written by Richard M. Nixon, the 37th President of the United States. This book was published in 1962. It recounts Nixon’s recollections of six major political situations that required crisis management on his part. Why did Nixon write this book? Nixon was motivated to write this book in order to enhance his faltering public image which sorely needed enhancement. In 1962 Nixon was at a low point in his life, yet he was planning a political comeback. His efforts were successful because of the intensity of his will and his dogged determination. In just six years he became President of the United States and leader of the free world. Tragically in another six years his character flaws caused him to lose everything. His career started in 1946 when he was elected to the U.S. Congress and to the Senate four years later. President Eisenhower selected him to be Vice President in 1952. In 1960 he was doing well. Then in 1960, he lost the presidential election to John F. Kennedy. This blow seemed to end his public life. The next January, after his Vice Presidential term ended, he returned home to California. He intended to retire from politics and practice law.
The Watergate scandal began with a break-in at the office of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel on June 17, 1971, and ended when President Gerald Ford granted Richard M. Nixon a pardon on September 8, 1974, one month after Nixon resigned from office in disgrace. Effectively removed from the reach of prosecutors, Nixon returned to California, uncontrite and unconvicted, convinced that time would exonerate him of any wrongdoing and certain that history would remember his great accomplishments—the opening of China and the winding down of the Vietnam War—and forget his “mistake,” the “pipsqueak thing” called Watergate.
THE FINAL DAYS is the classic, behind-the-scenes account of Richard Nixon’s dramatic last months as president. Moment by moment, Bernstein and Woodward portray the taut, post-Watergate White House as Nixon, his family, his staff, and many members of Congress strained desperately to prevent his inevitable resignation. This brilliant book reveals the ordeal of Nixon’s fall from office — one of the gravest crises in American presidential history. Both devastating character study and essential insight into the workings of a corrupted White House, THE FINAL DAYS is an essential companion volume to the authors’ classic ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN.
Although much material concerning the Nixon presidency remains unavailable to scholars, Michael A. Genovese has successfully pieced together the many puzzles that make up Richard Nixon and his presidency. A study of the Nixon presidency, it is also a study of the nature of the presidency broadly defined that is informed by the concerns of both traditional political biography and of contemporary presidential scholarship. As such, the volume raises many vital issues and questions relating to the office of president. Focusing on Nixon as a political leader and on his style of decision-making and management, The Nixon Presidency is the first book to bring together all the key elements of Nixon’s presidency into an integrated and interrelated whole, tracing Nixon’s rise and fall and the how and why of Watergate.
Twenty-five years after Richard Nixon resigned from office, his legacy remains shrouded in controversy. His was a complex, inconsistent, and even contradictory presidency, shaped by the man’s personality and political practices and played out during one of America’s most turbulent eras. Melvin Small now draws on the latest archival releases to take a fresh look at Nixon and place his administration in proper historical perspective.
The mysterious source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scandal in 1972 remained hidden for thirty-three years. In The Secret Man, Woodward tells the story of his long, complex relationship with W. Mark Felt, the enigmatic former No. 2 man in the FBI who helped end the presidency of Richard Nixon. The Secret Man brings to a close one of the last chapters of Watergate.
The Selling of the President is the enduring story of the 1968 campaign that wrote the script for modern Presidential politicking—and how that script came to be.
|All The Presidents Books||One Through Forty-Two or Forty-Three|
|At Times Dull||Janet’s Presidential Biography Project & Blog|
|Best Presidential Bios||The Best Presidential Biographies|
|Huffington Post||Presidents’ Day History: The Must-Reads Of Presidential Biographies|
|Library of Congress||Selected Bibliography|
|Mandi Lindner||44 Presidents and Their Definitive Biographies|
|Mashable||Why I’m spending year reading about every U.S. president|
|NY Times||Good Books About Bad Presidents|
|Presidential History||Presidential Resources|
|Presidential History (Again)||Pulitzer Prize Winning Books About Presidents|
|Presidents USA||FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT RICHARD NIXON|
|Signature||By Hook or by Crook: The 5 Best Richard Nixon Biographies|
|The Tailored Man||The 44 Best Presidential Biographies|
|The Washington Post||The Fix’s list of best presidential biographies|
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