By Evan Thomas
“What was once it rather wish to be Richard Nixon? Evan Thomas tackles this attention-grabbing query through peeling again the layers of a guy pushed through a poignant mixture of optimism and worry. the result's either insightful historical past and an astonishingly compelling mental portrait.”[b]—Walter Isaacson, writer of Steve Jobs
Evan Thomas can provide the easiest single-volume biography of Richard Nixon so far, a thorough, detailed portrait of a classy determine who was once either determinedly confident and tragically fallacious. the recent York occasions bestselling writer of Ike’s Bluff and Sea of Thunder, Thomas brings new existence to 1 of yank history’s so much notorious, paradoxical, and enigmatic politicians, allotting with myths to accomplish an intimate and evenhanded examine the particular man.
What drove a painfully shy outcast in elite Washington society—a guy so self-conscious he refused to make eye touch in the course of meetings—to pursue strength and public workplace? How did a president so attuned to the yankee political identity that he gained reelection in a historical landslide lack the self-awareness to acknowledge the gaping personality flaws that might force him from place of work and without end taint his legacy?
In Being Nixon, Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complicated, confounding determine who turned America’s thirty-seventh president. The son of religious Quakers, Richard Nixon (not in contrast to his rival John F. Kennedy) grew up within the shadow of an older, preferred brother and thrived on clash and competition. via highschool and faculty, within the army and in politics, he was once always major crusades and struggling with off enemies genuine and imagined. As maudlin as he used to be Machiavellian, Nixon possessed the plainspoken eloquence to minimize American tv audiences to tears along with his career-saving “Checkers” speech; in the meantime, his darker part hatched schemes designed to take down his political foes, incomes him the infamous nickname “Tricky Dick.”
Drawing on a variety of historic money owed, Thomas finds the contradictions of a pacesetter whose imaginative and prescient and foresight led him to accomplish détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish kin with communist China, yet whose underhanded political strategies tainted his attractiveness lengthy earlier than the Watergate scandal. one of many primary architects of the trendy Republican occasion and its “silent majority” of disaffected whites and conservative ex-Dixiecrats, Nixon was once additionally deemed a liberal in a few quarters for his efforts to desegregate Southern faculties, create the Environmental defense business enterprise, and finish the draft.
A deeply insightful personality examine in addition to a super political biography, Being Nixon bargains a shocking examine a guy able to nice bravery and amazing deviousness—a balanced portrait of a president too usually diminished to caricature.
Praise for Being Nixon
“Here in a single sharp and in a timely fashion written quantity is what you really need to understand concerning the nice and terrible thirty-seventh President: How might somebody so clever in regards to the international be so completely clueless approximately himself?”—Time
“[A] totally rounded portrait . . . Thomas has an exceptional eye for the telling quote and the humorous vignette, and his kind is eminently readable.”—The long island instances booklet Review
“Terrifically attractive . . . should be learn through someone with a extra open brain concerning the oddest guy ever to occupy the Oval Office.”—Max Boot, The Wall highway Journal
“Ambitious . . . There are well-crafted word-pictures of Nixon during the narrative.”—Carl Bernstein, The Washington Post
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Extra info for Being Nixon: A Man Divided
So why should I expend more space denying potential knights and adventuresses of the road the frisson of unknown perils? Let our half-stifled fears keep us awake as we roll down the interstate in the dry and cozy cab of a westbound semi. 29 Chicago Independent T he cop was a talisman. Barely a minute after he had disappeared, a semi pulled abreast of my spot and the driver waved me over. As I approached, he leaned out the window, an old teamster’s face under a rust-colored baseball cap, and asked me where I was headed.
Only after it was all over did I consider the odd fact that, although there were five of them and I was alone, and we were up on the mountainside where no one could interfere, they never tried to hurt me. Even when we were rolling in the ditch, neither I nor the other guy threw a punch; we were just wrestling, as if we were kids in a schoolyard. I was sorry to lose the guitar, of course, but even that had its good side: I had to hitch back to South Africa to buy another, and was picked up by a biologist from a field station in the desert, who asked me if I was in a hurry and, when I replied in the negative, proceeded to navigate most of the way on dirt roads through the dunes, occasionally stopping to take me on an expertly narrated nature walk.
But to return to the relatively prosaic roads we navigate in our cars: Hitchhiking can be a very fast way to travel, when the traffic is running your way, and all experienced thumbers take pride in knowing how to catch the right wave and surf straight and true to their chosen destinations. Myself, I have often boasted that I can beat Greyhound anywhere in the United States, and if anyone cares to put up the money I’ll prove it tomorrow, rain or shine. But speed is not the reason any of us is out here, nor does any sensible hitchhiker make it a prime concern except on rare occasions.