Being Nixon: A Man Divided

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Random House Publishing Group, Jun 16, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pages
2 Reviews
The landmark New York Times bestselling biography of Richard M. Nixon, a political savant whose gaping character flaws would drive him from the presidency and forever taint his legacy. 

“A biography of eloquence and breadth . . . No single volume about Nixon’s long and interesting life could be so comprehensive.”—Chicago Tribune

One of Time’s Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the Year

In this revelatory biography, Evan Thomas delivers a radical, unique portrait of America’s thirty-seventh president, Richard Nixon, a contradictory figure who was both determinedly optimistic and tragically flawed. One of the principal architects of the modern Republican Party and its “silent majority” of disaffected whites and conservative ex-Dixiecrats, Nixon was also deemed a liberal in some quarters for his efforts to desegregate Southern schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency, and end the draft.

The son of devout Quakers, Richard Nixon (not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy) grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. Through high school and college, in the navy and in politics, Nixon was constantly leading crusades and fighting off enemies real and imagined. He possessed the plainspoken eloquence to reduce American television audiences to tears with his career-saving “Checkers” speech; meanwhile, Nixon’s darker half hatched schemes designed to take down his political foes, earning him the notorious nickname “Tricky Dick.” Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts, Thomas’s biography reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal.

A deeply insightful character study as well as a brilliant political biography, Being Nixon offers a surprising look at a man capable of great bravery and extraordinary deviousness—a balanced portrait of a president too often reduced to caricature.

Praise for Being Nixon

“A biography of eloquence and breadth . . . No single volume about Nixon’s long and interesting life could be so comprehensive.”—Chicago Tribune

“Terrifically engaging . . . a fair, insightful and highly entertaining portrait.”The Wall Street Journal

“Thomas has a fine eye for the telling quote and the funny vignette, and his style is eminently readable.”The New York Times Book Review

“Thomas proves an amiable and fair-minded tour guide.”The Boston Globe

“A measured, concise, and important American biography.”—Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

5345. Being Nixon A Man Divided, by Evan Thomas (read 21 Jan 2016) Even though in July of 1995 I read Stephen Ambrose's three-volume biography of Nixon, I read this book since I believe Evan Thomas is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Susan.Macura - LibraryThing

This is an amazing psychological profile of Richard Nixon that looks at his childhood influences, his growth into an adult and his career in politics. The author shows the reader how Watergate was not ... Read full review

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Contents

The Fatalistic Optimist
Big Plays
Speak Quietly
Triumph and Tragedy
An Exciting Prospect
Peace at Last
Ides of March
Praying Not to Wake
Checkers
El Gringo Tiene Cojones
Jack
Over the Wall We
The New Nixon
October Surprise
AT THE MOUNTAINTOP CHAPTER 11 He Loves Being P
Statesman and Madman

The Saturday Night Massacre
I Hope I Havent Let You Down
Richard Wake Up
Elder Statesman
Rise Again
Dedication
Notes
THE STRIVER CHAPTER 1 Lives of Great Men Remind
Pat and Dick
The Greenest Congressman
Rock Em Sock Em
Need for Joy
Silent Majority
The Moviegoer
Hippies and Hardhats
Department of Dirty Tricks
Father of the Bride
Blow the Safe
Bibliography
By Evan Thomas
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Evan Thomas is the author of nine books: The Wise Men (with Walter Isaacson), The Man to See, The Very Best Men, Robert Kennedy, John Paul Jones, Sea of Thunder, The War Lovers, Ike’s Bluff, and Being Nixon. John Paul Jones and Sea of Thunder were New York Times bestsellers. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for thirty-three years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years (1986–96) as Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, where, at the time of his retirement in 2010, he was editor at large. He wrote more than one hundred cover stories and in 1999 won a National Magazine Award. He wrote Newsweek’s fifty-thousand-word election specials in 1996, 2000, 2004 (winner of a National Magazine Award), and 2008. He has appeared on many TV and radio talk shows, including Meet the Press and The Colbert Report, and has been a guest on PBS’s Charlie Rose more than forty times. The author of dozens of book reviews for The New York Times and The Washington Post, Thomas has taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton, where, from 2007 to 2014, he was Ferris Professor of Journalism.

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