Before The Fall: An Inside View Of The Pre-Watergate White House

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Transaction Publishers, Apr 1, 2005 - Political Science - 704 pages
2 Reviews

William Safire was a speechwriter for Richard Nixon from 1968 to 1973. During that time, as a Washington insider, Safire was able to observe the thirty-seventh president in his entirety: as noble and mean-spirited; as good and bad; as a man desirous of greatness. Rarely has there been a White House memoir more intimate or revealing in its exploration of the great events that took place "before the fall" of Watergate. In this anecdotal history, Nixon and his associates come alive, not as caricatures, but as men with high and low purpose: Henry Kissinger, William Rogers, H. R. (Bob) Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, and Arthur Burns struggle not just for power, but for ideals.

As William Safire says in his Prologue: "In this memoir, which is neither a biography of [Nixon] nor an autobiography of me nor a narrative history of our times, there is an attempt to figure out what was good and bad about him, what he was trying to do and how well he succeeded, how he used and affected some of the people around him, and an effort not to lose sight of all that went right in examining what went wrong." The book is divided into ten sections, in which run three main themes: the President, the Partisan, and the Person. As a president, Safire discusses Nixon and the Vietnam War, foreign policy, economics, and race relations. As a partisan, he discusses Nixon's attempt to form an alignment across party lines, successful in many respects before the president tolerated the excesses that eventually corrupted his administration. And as a person, Safire finds that Nixon was a mixture of Woodrow Wilson, Machiavelli, Theodore Roosevelt, and Shakespeare's Cassius--an idealistic conniver evoking the strenuous life while he thinks too much.

This paperback edition of a classic primary source for historians includes a new introduction by its author. Studded with direct quotations that put the reader in the room where history was being made, Before the Fall is a realistic, shades-of-gray study of the Nixon years.

William Safire joined the New York Times in 1973 as a political columnist, where he also writes a Sunday column, "On Language," about grammar, usage, and etymology. The author of several books including Freedom, Full Disclosure, and Scandalmonger, he is the winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and served nine years as a member of the Pulitzer Board.

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Review: Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House

User Review  - Carmen - Goodreads

Helped me learn about the Nixon administration. It was difficult to read...maybe too technical. Read full review

Review: Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House

User Review  - Michael - Goodreads

i'm a nixon fan. yes, he was paranoid, petty and vindictive, but this book also betrays his good points. his love and protection of his family, his loyalty (until watergate), his foreign policy genius, the new federalism, and his distrust of big government. he was america's king lear. Read full review

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William Safire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
ISBN 0394502612; The Relations Explosion; Plunging into Politics; Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House. Speeches ...
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William Safire: Biography and Much More from Answers.com
ISBN 0394502612; The Relations Explosion; Plunging into Politics; Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House ...
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William Safire
Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House (1975) Full Disclosure (1977, novel) Safire's Political Dictionary (1978) ...
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THE ENDURING MYTHOLOGICAL ROLE OF THE
THE ENDURING MYTHOLOGICAL ROLE OF THE. ANONYMOUS SOURCE DEEP THROAT. by. Shana Lyris Hamilton. A thesis submitted to the faculty of ...
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About the author (2005)

William Safire was born on Dec. 17, 1929. He attended Syracuse University, but dropped out after two years. He began his career as a reporter for The New York Herald Tribune. He had also been a radio and television producer and a U.S. Army correspondent. From 1955 to 1960, Safire was vice president of a public relations firm in New York City, and then became president of his own firm. He was responsible for bringing Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev together in 1959. In 1968, he joined the campaign of Richard Nixon as a senior White House speechwriter for Nixon. Safire joined The New York Times in 1973 as a political columnist. He also writes a Sunday column, On Language, which has appeared in The New York Times Magazine since 1979. This column on grammar, usage, and etymology has led to the publication of 10 books and made him the most widely read writer on the English language. William Safire was the winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. He is a trustee for Syracuse University. Since 1995 he has served as a member of the Pulitzer Board. He is the author of Freedom (1987), a novel of Lincoln and the Civil War. His other novels include Full Disclosure (1977), Sleeper Spy (1995) and Scandalmonger (2000). His other titles include a dictionary, a history, anthologies and commentaries.

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