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Title : RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, with a New Introduction (Richard Nixon Library Editions)
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ISBN : 9780671707415
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Number of Pages : 1122 Pages
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RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, with a New Introduction (Richard Nixon Library Editions) Reviews

  • John Harder
    2019-03-30 02:22

    I love stories about very intelligent people with a fatal flaw. Nixon fits this to a T. I am fascinated by Nixon’s trip to China. Though it resulted in a foreign relations coup and ultimately opening China provided a huge benefit for the average Chinese citizen, how could Nixon shake hands with one of the worst monsters in world history -- Mao Zedong? He did not seem phased by this, proving he was an adherent of realpolitik.RN offers an indispensible perspective of a troubled and potentially triumphant presidency. He admits to some errors, such as his dabbling in price and wage controls, but does not acknowledge culpability to the Watergate situation. He makes a good case, but regardless of the ultimate blame, even Nixon admits to making poor judgment calls in responding to the crisis.Don’t be intimidated by the size of this autobiography (1,000+ pages). It reads easily and our 37th president has a clear unadorned writing style.

  • Kat
    2019-04-18 23:02

    I'm always drawn to the flawed and misunderstood hero. Nixon fascinates me as one of the greatest foreign diplomats in US history. An extremely talented and intelligent man plagued by paranoia and and a misguided sense of loyalty.

  • محمد وفيق زين العابدين
    2019-04-05 23:12

    مذكرات الرئيس الأمريكي (ريتشارد نيكسون) تعتبر من أهم مذكرات الساسة في القرن العشرين، وأهميتها تكمن في أنها تُعد مصدرًا أساسيًا لمعرفة الأبعاد السياسية للحرب الباردة بين الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد السوفيتي، وكذلك علاقة الولايات المتحدة بالدول العربية، وأهميتها الكبرى ليست في قدر ما توفره من معلومات بقدر ما هي في صدورها عن شخص مؤلفها الذي كان رئيسًا لأمريكا في الفترة من 1969م وحتى 1974م ونائبًا لرئيسها في الفترة من 1953م وحتى 1961م.وأكثر ما جذب انتباهي من نصوص هذه المذكرات ما تعلق منها بتحديد علاقة الولايات المتحدة بالعالم العربي لاسيما منطقة الخليج، والتي أصبحت فيما بعد بمثابة الدستور الأساسي للنظام الأمريكي الذي يحكم هذه العلاقة، إذ كيف يُمكن أن تستيقظ الولايات المتحدة – على حد تعبير الكاتب - لتجد أن منطقة كانت ذات يوم تنعم - إلى حد كبير - بخيال رومانتيكي أصبحت الآن تمسك مصير العالم بذراعيها - أو برمالها بتعبير أدق.لقد أصبحت مسألة من يُسيطر على ما في الخليج العربي والشرق الأوسط من كنوز تشكل مفتاحًا بيد من يُسيطر على ما في العالم من وجهة نظر الرئيس الأمريكي، الذي يرى أن مفتاح إنجاح العلاقة بين الولايات المتحدة ومنظقة الخليج هو التأكيد بشكل أساسي وواضح لا غموض فيه لزعماء المملكة السعودية والكويت والدول الرئيسية الأخرى في المنطقة بأنه في حال تهديدها بالقوات الثورية - سواءً كان تهديدًا من الداخل أو الخارج - فإن الولايات المتحدة ستقف إلى جانبهم بكل حزم.وهذا الواجب السياسي الذي يقع عى عاتق رؤساء الولايات المتحدة يجب ألا ينحصر في مجرد الوعود، بل يجب أن يظهر في أفعال تُظهر مدى جدية هذه الوعود، وأيًا كان المخاطر التي قد تتعرض لها الولايات المتحدة، وعلى حد تعبير الكاتب ؛ ( فلا يتوجب علينا أن تكون لدينا الإرادة لاستخدام القوة إذا اقتضت الضرورة فحسب، بل علينا أن نُبدي تلك الإرادة ونُظهرها، وعلينا أيضًا أن تكون لدينا القوات التي يُمكننا أن نستخدمها، فقد نركب المخاطر في سبيل الدفاع عن مصالحنا في الخليج العربي، لكن سنُعرِّض أنفسنا لركوب مخاطر أكثر جسامةً إذا ما أخفقنا في الدفاع عن تلك المصالح ).الكتاب ترجمه الدكتور سهيل زكار للغة العربية ونشرته دار حسان بدمشق عام 1983م.

  • Mark
    2019-03-27 23:01

    This was a great book. It gave me a sense of the scale of RN's historical achievements and his personality. The last 350 pages were almost painful to read as he goes into intense detail on Watergate and the reader sees how an Administration accomplishes historic goals (opening with China, end of Vetnam, return of POW's, arms agreements with USSR, stabilizing Mid East, opening relations with Sadat's Egypt while helping Golda Meir keep Israel alive in two wars) against a looming scandal which gradually subsumes the administration. His description of his pre Presidential years are also interesting. He describes such giants as Ike and Churchill and also the bit players like Alger Hiss. The book covers and describes with interesting detail several historical personalities - Brezhnev, Khrushev, Sadat, Golda Meir, DeGaulle, Gandhi, and others all make their appearance.The book is really a history text from a man who made that history.

  • Aaron Million
    2019-03-20 17:55

    The vast bulk of Nixon's book focuses on his presidency. While this is certainly understandable, he had so many experiences prior to that time that it would have been interesting to have read more about his time in Congress and as Vice President. He hits on the main incidents of both, with particular focus on the Hiss case in 1948 and the fund crisis/Checkers Speech in 1952.But he does not say hardly a word about his relationships with other legislators, or what it was like to preside over the Senate as Vice President. Perhaps one Nixon's reasons to move past the Vice Presidency is due to his strained and awkward relationship with Dwight Eisenhower. Nixon goes out of his way not to directly criticize Ike – he has too much respect for the man to do that. But he does indirectly indicate his unhappiness with Eisenhower repeatedly keeping him at arm's length. He especially seems irked when Eisenhower tries to convince him to not run for Vice President in 1956 and instead take a Cabinet position. Nixon, the more experienced politician of the two, wisely turned this offer aside. But clearly the incident remained with him and bothered him. He had been loyal to Eisenhower and his administration, often going along with policies that he himself did not fully support personally. Eisenhower also used him to do dirty political work – things that nobody else wanted to touch, such as dealing with the obnoxious drunken Senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy. Eisenhower refused to touch McCarthy lest his hands get dirty and he be accused of being political, so Nixon was the emissary from the White House. Another example is when Eisenhower's Chief of Staff, Sherman Adams, no fan of Nixon's, became embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal. Eisenhower refused to tell Adams to his face that he must resign, so he repeatedly dumped this unsavory task on Nixon. Even though Nixon does not explicitly say that he resented this, when he mentions that Eisenhower interrupted him just after he began a long-delayed family vacation and summoned him back to Washington to talk to Adams, it is quite obvious how he felt about it. Nixon, always an astute observer, notes that Eisenhower was very much in charge while he was President, but did not want that aspect of his leadership to be seen by the public. This impression, written in 1978, is spot-on with what historians now widely call the hidden-hand presidency of Eisenhower. In his section on the 1968 presidential election, Nixon, while repeatedly saying that Lyndon Johnson did not appear to order a bombing halt in North Vietnam only days before the election only for political gain, says exactly that by coming back to the subject again and again. By writing it multiple times, one gets the sense that Nixon definitely thought Johnson was trying to swing the election towards Hubert Humphrey, even though on the surface Nixon says that he believed Johnson's assertions to the contrary. What Nixon fails to breathe a word is the fact that he meddled in Johnson's attempt to stop the war. Historians, as the years have passed, have gradually moved toward the conclusion that Nixon did indeed torpedo Johnson's peace initiative, correctly surmising that a successful bombing halt would give Humphrey the boost he needed in what was a razor-thin win for Nixon. According to interviews with John A. Farrell, he has been able to definitively conclude this in his recent biography of Nixon.As one might expect, most of the last quarter of the book deals with Watergate and the subsequent unraveling of Nixon's presidency. Nixon is surprisingly candid here, admitting that he wanted the CIA to pressure the FBI into stopping its investigation of the break-in. Nixon also admits to giving consideration to paying for Howard Hunt's silence, essentially submitting to blackmail. Perhaps when one realizes that Nixon's career has already been ruined, his legacy forever tarnished, and with the tape recordings ultimately being made available for people to listen to, that admitting to some unsavory things is not as forthright of an action as it first appears. What Nixon does not do is say that he is sorry for presiding over the paranoiac and destructive atmosphere that led to something like Watergate occurring in the first place. Nixon has no moral qualms at all about wiretapping people or making life difficult for them – justifying these things by saying that Democrats had caused him similar discomfort. If your best justification for doing something is to say that someone else did the same type of thing to you, then you are out on a very slim reed indeed. Interspersed periodically in the book are copies of hand-written letters that Nixon wrote to people such as Jackie Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. They serve as reminders that Nixon, despite all of his many faults and insecurities, was human and did care about other people. And perhaps that is exactly why Nixon includes them in his book. Nonetheless, they provide a different perspective from what a reader would see in other books about him. Nixon, like all of us, is a mix of strengths and flaws, good and bad. He is a man whose intelligence and tenacity brought him to the pinnacle of power, but yet allowed his never-ending set of insecurities to ruin his career. The final part of the book is quite sad. Nixon writes of his emotions as he grapples with whether or not to resign prior to being impeached by the House, and probably also by the Senate. You see a man whose life's work is being forever tarnished due to his mishandling of, as he puts it, a “third rate burglary.” It is difficult to think of another President whose career ended in such an ignominious way. Woodrow Wilson comes to mind, but there are not many. Nixon, in the end, was done in by one person: himself.

  • Joe
    2019-04-10 00:19

    More than anything, I enjoyed Nixon's account of how hard he worked to get through college and law school. It inspired me coming out of high school when I found myself in similar circumstances; and it has helped me appreciate Nixon with a bit more humanity than most - faults and all - ever since.

  • Nolan
    2019-03-27 19:18

    First, it really doesn’t matter where you stand politically. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, what you’ll find here is a book where the main character is not much given to that kind of sorrow that results in true repentance. Instead, there seems to be a lot of victimhood in here—someone else’s fault, always someone else out to impede or derail the author.So why would anyone want to read a book by a whiner about the tragedies of his life largely imposed on him by others? Because despite the prism through which world events are presented here, this is a riveting, well-written, fascinating account of some 30 of the most tumultuous years of the nation’s history. This is worth reading just because the writing style is more compelling than you would think it would be for a guy who apparently looked and often sounded pretty wooden. There are times when the writing is just a syllable or two away from being downright animated in a couple of spots.Another reason you want to read this is for the wonderful fascinating facts and bits of trivia that are here. When President Eisenhower’s grandson married a Nixon daughter, the former president strongly encouraged the young man to cut his hair. He even offered to slip the young man a healthy piece of change if he would cut his hair prior to the ceremony. By the time the wedding occurred, young David’s hair was slightly shorter than that of his college contemporaries, but not short enough for Ike. The young man refused to endure a haircut, and Grandpa never paid up.You get fascinating trivia about world leaders who were in power at the time, and the small section devoted to the 1973 Yom Kippur war and the escalation of that war into something almost nuclear will fascinate you. We think of the Cuban missile crisis as the only real time the nation was at the brink of nuclear war. But things got pretty hot and dicey in Israel in the fall of 1973, and Nixon insists the U.S. came closer to nuclear war with the Soviets than most people realize. In fact, the air lift that Nixon approved for the Israelis rivaled the Berlin air lift in size and scope.I’m fascinated by complex people with flawed characters. There is much rich loam in this book in which to grow that fascination. Now maybe you don’t get all that emotionally tied to your books, but I confess that I had this ongoing nauseating feeling as I watched the Watergate scandal inexorably play out. You have to take that whole section with measured careful analysis and thought. Obviously, Nixon’s version of the story is inevitably going to be vastly different from that of John W. Dean or even Judge John J. Sirica who presided over much of the legal side of the mess. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the famous televised hearings from Nixon’s perspective. I had watched them that summer as a 14-year-old geek with my Grandma. She was an old-style new-deal Democrat who worshipped God and J. Edgar Hoover in that order. That, my friends, was a remarkable summer. All these years later, I still recall the accent and voice of Senator Sam Irvin.So does Nixon have a valid point when he insists the press and the House and Senate were largely against him during the Watergate era? He actually may to some small degree. He points out factually enough that the young staffers who helped manage the hearings that summer were largely Democrats. I’m intrigued even now to think that Mrs. Clinton was one of those young hotshot lawyers involved in the Watergate proceedings.The thing that will most vividly stand out for me regarding this book is the intensity with which Nixon loved his wife and daughters. There are moving tributes to all three of them here, and you get tender glimpses into their personalities that simply don’t exist anywhere else. He stresses repeatedly here the immense value of his family during the worst of his years in public life.If you can approach this book from the perspective that it’s a memoir, and therefore will be somewhat self-serving as memoirs are, then you will find fascinating and memorable bits of information in here that will leave you with a lot to think about.I found myself repeatedly shaking my head and asking “how could you be so stupid. Why, when you were going to carry the country by a massive landslide, did you even feel a need to bug Democratic National Committee headquarters? And if you’re going to bug an office, why use such apparent amateurs and bumblers to do it? I did my share of sighing impatiently during the “poor me, this is all so-and-so’s fault” sections of the book, but it’s truly a worthwhile read. The resignation hours are high drama indeed, and you learn things about the famous 18-minute gap on one of the Watergate tapes from his perspective.

  • Mike
    2019-04-15 22:11

    During my entire four years in the USMC, Richard Nixon was my president. With full confidence and admiration for him, I had nothing but the highest regard for Mr. Nixon both as a man and as a president. While I was stationed in SE Asia, in my estimation and that of other Marines, Nixon was "the man!" He is the one who brought the horrible quagmire which was the Vietnam War to an end, bringing our POWs home with their heads held high.He had nothing to do with the Watergate break-in. His subordinates threw him under the bus. He didn't realize the seriousness of their actions until it was too late.His downfall was brought on by the "cabal in congress" and by the "jackals in the media." In other words, those who hated him.His memoirs show clearly that he was a great man and a great president. The world looked upon him with the deepest respect as he negotiated peace and harmony with the Soviets, the Chinese, the Arabs, the Israelis, and Latin America. Only in the USA did he have enemies!This book has stirred up my feelings of support for President Nixon while, at the same time, stirring up the old feelings of antipathy, anger, and outright rage for the "cabal in congress" and the "jackals in the media," i.e. the liberals!

  • Scott Hazen
    2019-04-12 18:56

    Nixon's style is both complex and readable, the Memoirs are a page turner to me because his era in American politics spans such a long time and such a fascinating time. Odd is this may seem, and even though he provides very little as Pat is concerned, I came away with a much deeper respect for her...she was never out front as some of the later Presidential wives have become, and she placed a personal integrity above all else. RN was complex and fascinating...and I have read the memiors twice, just because they're such a good read.

  • Shawn
    2019-04-02 20:56

    I am truly surprised that I ended up enjoying this as much as I did. And I didn't expect that the end of his presidency would take on an almost tragic, Shakespearean turn. I haven fully developed how RN and Watergate specifically relate to Trump and the current investigations swirling around him, but superficially at least, the similarities are there, if not in the details, then at least in the more broad historico-political lessons to be learned from such hubris.With that being said, here are my "Random Notes and Observations on Nixon’s Memoirs."Can his version of history be trusted? Any politician’s motives for writing a memoire is always to: A) set the record straight, i.e., justify his misdeeds (if one is not so cynical, one might say that the politician’s motive is to simply set down an objective record for posterity); B) get that money for that book deal, i.e., the more sensational the better - make it read like it’s the real dirt ; C) confuse the narrative, so much so that it becomes permanently tangled, a Gordian knot. The strategy, then, is to compliment reading RN’s memoires with other readings. Next stop for me is ‘All the King’s Men,’ perhaps the most famous account of Watergate, by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. Read historical accounts written by trusted writers and trusted experts from that era. Read, compare, and contrast the memoires of the other primary actors. Use common sense when reading. Every author has her own tone, her own style. At some point one should be able to judge the veracity of the account based on tone. Difficult to get beyond the common perception of him as 'Tricky Dick.' Interesting, though, that politicians in the 50's seemed to truly have more class and integrity. JFK and RM shared a mutual admiration, if you can believe that. RM seems always on the defensive. He is always the good guy swooping in to save the day at the last second. "My detractors would have you believe THIS...but actually what happened was...""All is well in Nixonland. Everything is everyone else's fault, not mine. They're all out to get me, and always have been. Everything I say and do is taken out of context." Seems like this is the essence of what he is always saying. Underlying this assertion is the idea that politics is somehow supposed to be fair. Politics is not fair. It’s a dirty game of hardball. Come to play with a bat, but make sure it’s a spiked bat. NR knows this. Or maybe in the beginning he didn’t. Or did he really believe the myth that fairness, that supposedly quintessential American trait, was part of politics? It seems he simultaneously held fairness in esteem as he himself entertained the most practical political cynicism.Double-mindedness and Flexible Morals: On the one hand he could entertain breaking the law for the sake of a political win, while on the other he asserted that every night before bed he would utter a Quaker prayer. While no Christian can claim perfection, NR claimed he was a God-fearing man, even as he finessed and manipulated the rule of law for political gain. For NR, politics was amoral. Politics was an occupation, nothing personal. At the same time, NR strongly believed that his opponents had violated some moral code, or ethical code, by relentless savaging him personally, and the Presidency by extension. In his view, there are political ‘tricks,’ ‘political misdeeds,’ and ‘political sins.’ His opponents had committed unforgivable sins. The public, the electorate, could not, and never will be able to differentiate an amoral politic versus an ethical, moral life. NR had two sets of morals, as any successful politician must. Americans are naïve if they think that politics is about morality. Politicians can offer morality and ethics as a strategy only, never can they be reconciled as a righteous worldview. RN is obsessed with setting the record straight and goes to great length to provide counter-examples of how his crimes are/were no different than his predecessors from both parties, although he also goes to a lot of trouble to illustrate the cynicism and hypocrisy of the Democrats. NR is no naïf, though. He knows the game and he got caught. He knew that politics is a game of dirty tricks. He’d played the game, too, probably better than most ever – at least until Watergate. He even admits this, at times, but seems more outraged by the fact that the Democrats and the Press, even though they were ‘breaking the rules,’ they were breaking them TOO MUCH. Fascinating. Mudslinging and hyper-partisanship is nothing new. One might even consider the childish boorish, cynical tactics of today amateurish compared to the early 70's. We've been here before , we will make it thru this.RN puts forth countless examples of how the press became a victim of its own feeding frenzy and lost its legitimacy. While I think that is impossible to evaluate RN’s assessment of the press as ‘out to get him,’ on the surface it seems that he was right. One can only answer to this: of course it was! Nevertheless, it is also clear that the press was supremely guilty of reporting on every anonymous tip as news. It accepted as fact, without verification, countless false stories that fed into an already outraged and paranoid public that had lost virtually all its trust in government. The public had seen too many examples of graft, greed, corruption, and dishonesty, that no story seemed too implausible. What were probably honest missteps, became unforgiveable offences. Once RN had lost the public trust, there was no way to regain it. False and exaggerated reporting increased exponentially with every minor, and even insignificant, revelation about, not just Watergate, but government corruption in general. Many have said that Vietnam and Watergate ushered the in era of a more cynical, less naïve electorate. True, it did. It also paved the way for total cynicism, for an era of total lack of trust. Eventually the team lines hardened even further into Democrat versus Republican, with no compromise possible. Thinking about the contemporary context, I think, we are going to see a further permanent splintering of the parties, into further mistrustful factions. Politics as the art of the possible just might have become the non-art of the impossible. Historically, when politics has reached such a nadir as it has today, civil wars and revolutions happen, just as had happened in the decade or so before the American Civil War. The question is, is politics today so fractured as that decade, or is it closer in flavor to Watergate period? If it’s closer to the Watergate era, then we have a chance. If not, then we should expect, at the very least, revolution. Clichéd interpretations of RN: misunderstood hero (?) – this fits; a man of misplaced loyalties (?) – this fits, but it does seem that his loyalty only extends so far. RN asserts that his ultimate goal was never partisan; no, he was only interested in preventing the Presidency from losing prestige. Seems to me that claim is secondary. NR’s loyalty was first to himself. After reading Nixon's account of Watergate, I am confident that in politics nothing is ever as it seems when referring to the White House . The public truly has no idea, only speculation, which makes things even more murkier. Reporting on the White House is like a kaleidoscope is always shifting: once you’ve turned knob, reality becomes something totally different. Closing in on the end of the book, it’s difficult to avoid feeling some sympathy for RN. He presents an intense, heartfelt narrative of a man trying to survive. One must keep in mind that this was still his fault. When he was first informed in July 1972 by FBI Director Grey of the Watergate break in, it was clear that NR had not had any idea about it. He wasn’t in on it. He actually ordered Grey to get to the bottom of it. NR’s crime was that, as he slowly realized the political implications of the break in, he brought to bear all the power vested in his office to deflect any blame that might be associated with the White House. He was worried about his personal prestige, the political damage, and the personal damage to his men. If he would have taken the hit in the beginning and let the public know that he had initiated a full investigation to be headed by the FBI, he could have possibly suffered only political damage, although this, too, could have been managed. Unfortunately, NR’s instinct was to conceal, not reveal. Perhaps he had no choice. Despite the claim made by some that NR was too paranoid, there really does seem to be some truth to NR’s claim that the liberal establishment really despised him and would do anything to bring him down.

  • David
    2019-04-17 18:08

    This is the first presidential memoirs I have read. Very interesting since I was one of those Nixon haters back then. I learned a lot about the man and appreciate the struggles involved in ending the war in Vietnam. In that way gives me better perspective on today's wars. Well written and the diary notes were most interesting.

  • Kevin Coombs
    2019-03-26 02:13

    I've read everything Nixon wrote, several times. He was brilliant, insightful, liberal in many ways, by today's neo-con standards, and, of course, tragically flawed. In a word, he was human. All of that is on display in his memoirs. It is well worth the read, no matter what perspective on him or politics, you bring to the experience.

  • Jussi Mononen
    2019-04-02 02:05

    You don't have to like Tricky Dick, but this is a far better written presidential memoir than most. Nixon is not exactly forthcoming about Watergate but the book gives a good glimpse of the thinking and philosophy of the man.

  • Shaqer Rasheed
    2019-03-22 19:18

    This book is basically the history of the US in the 3rd quarter of the 20th century. Nixon is an amazing writer, whatever your opinion about the politician. The man had a razor sharp intellect and the quality so lacking in politicians these days- courage.

  • GT
    2019-03-20 18:25

    Outstanding memoirs, and one I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. Although the book's length was discouraging, it's content was rich. The term political animal must have been coined with Richard Nixon in mind. The beginning of the book was not as tedious as I thought it might be. Fairly quickly RN moved to the Alger Hiss case with discussion of Whitaker Chambers and "The Pumpkin Papers", and then the 1952 election and the "Checkers Speech". I've have read material on both of these episodes before, but hearing about them from RN's perspective was fascinating.His VP years was not something I knew much about. He proved to be effective and extremely loyal. Amazing to see that his strengths in foreign policy were apparent this early. And his political 'gut instinct' was pretty often correct. What makes all of this section so interesting is the knowledge of what lays ahead.His loss to Kennedy from RN's perspective, wow. Had he not been sick and missed two weeks of campaigning, had he allowed a little make-up to be applied in the first televised debate, had Eisenhower campaigned hard for him...I'd not realized the 1968 campaign was as close as it was. And then he was President. Through the first few years he was up against a tremendous amount of challenges. It has been said before, but he really seemed to have an excellent grasp of world affairs and his first term is marked with historical achievements. Opening up relations with China, negotiating the first SALT Treaty with the Soviets, even the moves and rationale he describes for continuing the war in Vietnam make sense in the context he describes. The elephant in the room in the first term is his handling of domestic affairs - translation: the anti-war movement and Watergate. Without being the ultimate judge on either issue, my reading of it is he handled a difficult domestic issue regarding protestors and worse based on his political views and what he thought best for the country. And he had the (silent) majority with him and giving him the ultimate nod of approval by a landslide victory for a second term. However on Watergate I really take issue with some of his self-serving recollections. I shouldn't expect a mea culpa, but he offers too many justifications for what occurred.Don't take that as a complaint as this is the main reason I read the book. I was eager to know what RN would say about what occurred in Watergate? On page 851 he talks about " a President could so incompetently allow himself to get in such a situation. That was people really wanted to know..." That perfectly summarized my interest.Once he finally made the decision to resign, in a meeting two days before he went on TV to announce his decision, he spoke to his Chief Of Staff, Alexander Haig, and to Special Assistant to the President, Ron Ziegler. RN recalls saying, "Well, I screwed it up good, real good, didn't I?" He goes on to admit it was not really a question.For someone as smart and politically astute as he obviously was, his story is just incredible.4 Stars★ = Horrid waste of time★★ = May be enjoyable to some, but not me★★★ = I am glad I read it★★★★ = Very enjoyable and something I'd recommend★★★★★ = A rare find, simply incredible

  • Stephen
    2019-03-20 22:25

    I read the Presidential Library edition of this book which had a new introduction by the author. In it, he admits he should have waited longer to write it because he felt he focused too much on Watergate. I agree with him on that point.Reading this book, or any of Nixon's books, you come away with the impression that he was an extremely intelligent man - perhaps the smartest president of the 20th Century. But he was also a deeply flawed man. He constantly felt under valued and under attack from everyone around him. In some instances, he had a legitimate gripe. He was assailed for things that both LBJ and JFK did before him and couldn't understand why the press was making such a big deal about it (the "R" after his name has a lot to do with it). Though I think a lot of the animosity toward Nixon can be traced to the Alger Hiss case. The Left never forgave him for exposing Hiss's espionage for the Soviets.Nixon is one of the most consequential presidents, even leaving Watergate aside. He opened relations with China, ended the Vietnam War, started the EPA and OSHA, and proved there was a "Silent Majority" who helped him to one of the three biggest Electoral College landslides in history.This is a very good read.

  • David
    2019-04-02 00:11

    You seldom find an autobiography that expresses criticism of the subject. That is especially true in this case, although one wouldn't expect to find Richard Nixon criticizing anything he did as president. This book was far too lengthy, and if you read it expecting to find a confession by Nixon, you are in for a disappointment. Nixon is, as he was in life, on the defensive much of the time.It's not a problem that only Nixon had. Almost everyone who ever wrote a memoir did so as a means of getting his/her side of the story into the public record without being cross-examined. I guess it's amusing for someone like myself, who remembers Nixon and his self-defensive posture, to read his memoirs. To be honest, it didn't take me long to grow tired of it. It was a huge seller in its day. I often wonder if most of those people who bought copies actually read much of what Nixon had to say.

  • Keith Thomson
    2019-04-15 00:00

    Say what you will about Nixon--and very likely what you have to say will preclude your considering this book--but he was a bright guy and had a unique perspective, having endured arguably the greatest fall in history. I was interested for those reasons. The book is insightful, exquisitely-written, compellingly humble and full of remorse. Also Dick is quite the raconteur. He may still be the worst-ever US president. But he is the best presidential autobiographer.

  • Ed Armstrong
    2019-04-07 20:24

    This book was quite interesting when I began reading it but as I progressed and Nixon "got more into" his own "story" I got the sense that the man was bizzar. At every turn he was "enunciating" some other "doctrine" which description always included his name. He was indeed a complex man, very intelligent and would have ended up being quite an effective president had it not been for his Waterloo: Watergate.

  • Don Heiman
    2019-03-21 19:25

    Nixon's memoirs is explicit, lucid, and written with amazing candor. Students of public administration will benefit from reading Nixon's description of the events that led to the downfall of his presidency. I am amazed at the role poor electronic technologies played in Nixon's struggle with audio tapes and transcription issues. The memoirs convinced me that open government policies must drive democracy and government accountability. I will think about Nixon's memoirs for a long time.

  • Carl
    2019-03-23 18:02

    It's really long, but worth it. That said, Six Crises is a better memoir, but this one does cover more of his life. Hard to argue against a book written after Watergate, but this is still Nixon memoir #2 in my rankings. The other books are interesting too, but the aforementioned two strike me as the essential Nixon.

  • James
    2019-03-28 20:25

    I have always intensely dislike Richard Nixon, both as a person and as a President. I read the book hoping to come to a more nuanced view; instead I came to feel he was even more profoundly depraved. Still, I was one of the few in my senior year of high school class to support his pardon. I did not feel then that "piling on" was in the American tradition.

  • Terry
    2019-04-09 19:58

    Nixon was witness to many leaders and events. The only man aside from FDR to be nominated to a national ticket of a major party FIVE times. His recounting of events and leaders is very interesting. When we get to the Watergate period, it bogs down in legal tit-for-tat, where we already know the outcome.

  • Michelle Chan
    2019-03-23 20:00

    Did an entire research based on this. Nixon's writing style is rather reflective and it reflects the sort of person he is. Highly recommended to know what is happening from the 1950s to the 1970s before you read his memoirs.

  • Marsha
    2019-03-31 23:20

    If you are interesting in self-deception and expert level rationalizing and justifications, this is a fascinating book. After reading it, I was left with no doubt about how Nixon got so many people to do his bidding.

  • Duncan
    2019-04-16 23:57

    The best autobiography I have read. Ever. Interesting to read having been relatively young (!!) during his presidency and although I am sure very one sided I enjoyed hearing about the events "first hand"

  • Wayne
    2019-04-14 01:18

    I really loved the book. It flowed very well until it got to Watergate, and then it slowed down.

  • Ned Lipes
    2019-04-11 19:23

    Unbelievable, the guy openly admits to some pretty shady stuff, but apparently it was only what could be proven against him.

  • Christine Heflinger
    2019-03-27 21:18

    Easily the loooongest book I've ever read! Interesting, though...especially the account of normalizing relations with China.

  • Leah Beatty
    2019-03-24 18:24

    I have no idea why I'm reading this.