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NixonA Study in Extremes of Fortune 
by Lord Longford.
Weidenfeld, 205 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 297 77708 4
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... Longford having taken it upon himself to set in train a sequence of events designed to process Richard Milhous Nixon through redemption to beatification and ultimately, I suppose, to canonisation, it is essential that his persecutors must first be made to see him as a martyr and recant the error of their own ways in ...

Strait is the gate

Christopher Hitchens, 21 July 1994

Watergate: The Corruption and Fall of Richard Nixon 
by Fred Emery.
Cape, 448 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 224 03694 7
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The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House 
by H.R. Haldeman.
Putnam, 698 pp., $27.50, May 1994, 0 399 13962 1
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... Dealer. The man who started this frivolous auction was William Safire, former speechwriter to Richard Nixon and now columnist for the New York Times. He it was who, during the dismal days of the Jimmy Carter Presidency, came up with ‘Koreagate’, ‘Peanutgate’, ‘Billygate’ and – his own favourite, concerning some fiddle of government ...

Decisions

John Kenneth Galbraith, 6 March 1986

Truman 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 220 pp., £12.95, February 1986, 0 00 217584 3
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... A socially adverse public record is, on the whole, advantageous. The more felonious associates of Richard Nixon were unquestionably enhanced as authors by their criminality. However, this is not essential: Mr David Stockman, President Reagan’s first Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the OMB, has been offered a million or so for the ...

Public Enemy

R.W. Johnson, 26 November 1987

Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover 
by Richard Gid Powers.
Hutchinson, 624 pp., £16.95, August 1987, 0 02 925060 9
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... security. He’s the only one you can put your complete trust in’: thus Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon, 1968. It is not often that a book casts fresh light on American history throughout this century, but this biography of Edgar Hoover does just that. Not only was Hoover, as head of the FBI, America’s leading policeman: he enjoyed an ...

Nixon’s Greatest Moments

R.W. Johnson, 13 May 1993

NixonA Life 
by Jonathan Aitken.
Weidenfeld, 633 pp., £25, January 1993, 0 297 81259 9
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... Winding up his efforts in the 1954 mid-term elections Vice-President Richard Nixon handed an aide the notes of his last campaign speech and said: ‘You might like to keep it as a souvenir. It’s the last one, because after this I am through with politics.’ Suffering one of his periodic depressions, Nixon had considered the matter with his wife Pat, and decided that he should retire from politics once his term as Vice-President finished in 1956 ...

How Dirty Harry beat the Ringo Kid

Michael Rogin, 9 May 1996

John Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... combined, and John Wayne was in one of them. Orange County is in Southern California, home of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, of Hollywood, Disneyland and John Wayne. Nixon would have lost his home state and the White House in 1968 without his Southern California support. At the 1984 Republican ...

Diary

Stephen Sedley: On the Guildford Four, 9 November 1989

... At almost exactly the same time as the Police were fitting up the Guildford Four, Richard Nixon was discovering that a shredder was a far more important piece of equipment than a photocopier. Late-night shredding parties have since become a feature both of US Administrations and of certain industrial enterprises as the step of judicial investigation approaches ...

I am disorder

Michael Wood, 19 October 1995

Sabbath’s Theater 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 451 pp., £15.99, October 1995, 0 224 03814 1
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... Who could have invented Eisenhower, he asked, and no sooner had he invented a caricature of Richard Nixon in Our Gang than Nixon turned out to be caricaturing himself in the same way, locker-room slang and all. ‘No a man’s character isn’t his fate,’ Roth writes in Operation Shylock: ‘a man’s fate is ...

Armageddon

Martin Woollacott, 3 July 1980

The Real War 
by Richard Nixon.
Sidgwick, 341 pp., £8.95, April 1980, 0 283 98650 6
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... them up in a way that can only be understood if you look at their earlier reverses. President Nixon, who not only lost control but office as well, has a strong enough personal reason for seeing the world through those paranoid spectacles that make every failure and defeat part of a pattern of systematic, co-ordinated threat. However, his book, The Real ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: Men (and Women) of the Year, 14 December 1995

... true celebrity ‘delivers’. He or she keeps weaving and moving in an effort not to disappoint. Richard Nixon was such a one. Every time a new segment of Watergate tape was released, revealing his Jew-baiting or thuggery or corruption, he would publish a new book on grand strategy or at least fly to Beijing. What a trouper! Such a pro! Say what you ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Vice’, 21 February 2019

... reverse happens: within the film, history corrects fantasy. Cheney is saying how much he admires Richard Nixon, and in particular, his ‘impish smile’. The idea is a cliché without much content, and not much in Cheney’s line. Even so, we aren’t prepared for its immediate visual contradiction. The screen fills with a picture of ...

A Regular Bull

Christopher Hitchens, 31 July 1997

Whittaker Chambers: A Biography 
by Sam Tanenhaus.
Random House, 640 pp., $35, February 1997, 0 394 58559 3
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... in Alistair Cooke’s great account of the time, Generation on Trial. He was the man who made Richard Nixon’s self-serving book, Six Crises (a ‘campaign book’ for an entire career), possible in the first place. Witness, his own work, had a marked influence on Arthur Koestler and on Czeslaw Milosz and is, indeed, the nativist American equivalent ...

Mailer’s Muddy Friend

Stephen Ambrose, 1 September 1988

Citizen Cohn 
by Nicholas von Hoffman.
Harrap, 483 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 0 245 54605 7
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... Mailer, Barbara Walters (they almost married), Cardinal Spellman, nearly all the top Mafia people, Richard Nixon, Si Newhouse, Rupert Murdoch, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, William F. Buckley, an endless list of Congressmen and judges and society swells, of the rich and famous. Cohn knew, dealt with, worked for, went to parties with and generally ...

Brief Shining Moments

Christopher Hitchens: Donkey Business in the White House, 19 February 1998

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65 
by Taylor Branch.
Simon and Schuster, 746 pp., $30, February 1998, 0 684 80819 6
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‘One Hell of a Gamble’: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-64 
by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali.
Murray, 416 pp., September 1997, 0 7195 5518 3
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The Dark Side of Camelot 
by Seymour Hersh.
HarperCollins, 497 pp., £8.99, February 1998, 9780006530770
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Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson , Bobby Kennedy and the Feud that Defined a Decade 
by Jeff Shesol.
Norton, 591 pp., £23.50, January 1998, 9780393040784
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The Year the Dream Died 
by Jules Witcover.
Warner, 512 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 446 51849 2
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Without Honor: The Impeachment of President Nixon and the Crimes of Camelot 
by Jerry Zeifman.
Thunder's Mouth, 262 pp., $24.95, November 1996, 9781560251286
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The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis 
edited by Ernest May and Philip Zelikow.
Howard, 740 pp., £23.50, September 1997, 0 674 17926 9
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Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam Papers: A Documentary Collection 
edited by David Barrett.
Texas A & M, 906 pp., $94, June 1997, 0 89096 741 5
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Taking Charge: The Johnson Whitehouse Tapes 1963-64 
edited by Michael Beschloss.
Simon and Schuster, 624 pp., £20, April 1998, 0 684 80407 7
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Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes 
edited by Stanley Kutler.
Free Press, 675 pp., $30, November 1997, 0 684 84127 4
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The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Jupiters, 1957-63 
by Philip Nash.
North Carolina, 231 pp., £34.70, October 1997, 0 8078 4647 3
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... is to be noticed in the newest pile of Kennedy-era books. For the baby-boomers, the Kennedy-Nixon years represent the time when, for them at least, politics became vivid and real: when, to borrow Auden’s lapidary words, the menacing shapes of our fever were precise and alive. And it’s fair to say that nobody will be poring over, for example, the ...

Subject, Spectator, Phantom

J. Hoberman: The Strangest Personality Ever to Lead the Free World, 17 February 2005

Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief 
by Mark Feeney.
Chicago, 422 pp., £19.50, November 2004, 0 226 23968 3
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... bloody escapes; middle-class students planted bombs and robbed banks. In August that year, Richard Nixon took a break from a four-day conference on crime control to address reporters. His subject was the spell that outlaw behaviour had apparently cast on the youth of America. In a characteristically sideways rhetorical manoeuvre, he began with a ...

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