Richard Nixon by John A. Farrell
The Life

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Brilliantly researched, authoritatively crafted by a prize-winning biographer, and lively on the page, this is the Nixon we've been waiting for.

Richard Nixon opens with young Navy lieutenant "Nick" Nixon returning from the Pacific and setting his cap at Congress, an idealistic dreamer seeking to build a better world. Yet amid the turns of that now legendary 1946 campaign, Nixon's finer attributes quickly gave way to unapologetic ruthlessness. It is a stunning overture to John A. Farrell's magisterial portrait of a man who embodied postwar American cynicism.
    Within four years of that first win, Nixon would be a U.S. senator; in six the vice president of the United States of America. "Few came so far, so fast, and so alone," Farrell writes. Finally president, Nixon's staff was full of bright young men who devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, poverty, civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy, but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great crack in the Cold War.
     Nixon had another legacy, too: an America divided and polarized. It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who set South against North, and who spurred the Silent Majority to despise and distrust the country's elites. He persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances—and to look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal known as Watergate, Nixon became the only president to resign in disgrace.
     Richard Nixon is an enthralling tour de force biography of our darkest president, one that reviewers will hail as a defining portrait, and the full life of Nixon readers have awaited.

About John A. Farrell

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JOHN A. FARRELL wrote the acclaimed Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century. He was the Washington editor of the Boston Globe and D.C. bureau chief of the Denver Post. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Published March 28, 2017 by Doubleday. 752 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Apr 16 2017
Weeks as Bestseller

Unrated Critic Reviews for Richard Nixon

Kirkus Reviews

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A sturdy study of the man ranked at the bottom of many historians' lists of presidents.

Mar 14 2017 | Read Full Review of Richard Nixon: The Life

Publishers Weekly

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Farrell makes the most of his material to offer insights and well-considered opinions about each of these historic events.

Feb 24 2017 | Read Full Review of Richard Nixon: The Life

Christian Science Monitor

This is the most formidable attempt yet made to put Richard Nixon in perspective. But some reputations can't be salvaged.

Mar 29 2017 | Read Full Review of Richard Nixon: The Life

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

While other former presidents had airports named after them, Mr. Farrell points out, the best Nixon got was a gym in Kentucky and a stretch of highway in Yorba Linda. In all likelihood, John Farrell’s unsparing biography will reinforce the perception that he was one of our darkest, most divisive ...

Apr 30 2017 | Read Full Review of Richard Nixon: The Life


In all, Nixon wrote a dozen books, some of them quite good if rather self-serving. But none of them were as honest, balanced or revealing as Farrell’s.

Mar 31 2017 | Read Full Review of Richard Nixon: The Life

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