No one can dispute the fact that Richard M. Nixon’s life story is immensely engaging and that his place in the scheme of modern history will always be a landmark. Stephen E. Ambrose offers a balanced, unflinching portrait of one of our most complex and puzzling chief executives at the apogee of his career, rebounding from defeat to an innovative, high-risk presidency, already sowing the seeds of his ruin.
©1989 Stephen E. Ambrose (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"If there is a better historian than Stephen Ambrose at work on the events and personalities of our time, that person has not been discovered. Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician is the most accurate and compelling volume on Richard Nixon’s tempestuous decade of defeat, resurrection and disaster." (Hugh Sidey, American journalist and New York Times best-selling author)
"Most previous biographies of Nixon have either been admiring political studies or hatchet jobs by obvious enemies. Ambrose rights both their wrongs…. Masterful biography." (Kirkus Reviews)
"The author writes disarmingly…. He offers a more rounded and detailed view of Richard M. Nixon - his instinctive reactions, patterns of thought, prejudices, convictions, and accomplishments - than has yet been published…. A thorough analysis." (Publishers Weekly)
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I enjoyed listening to this account of the critical part of Nixon’s career as a politician. Ambrose writes as an historian should – presenting the facts with a neutral perspective. Something rare among those who write about this man. What happened during this period is provably familiar to most, but this account provides a fair narrative of things from Nixon’s perspective.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Nixon (like most Presidents of this era) is the way they run the country with a small cadre of unelected advisers. Nixon and Johnson directed the Vietnam War, yet had no military experience. Nixon wanted to appoint John Connally to be secretary of defense even though he had no relevant experience. In the end it was all about politics..
That Nixon was a flawed man is a given. It’s all here. But what is also here is an example of how a politician needs to make premises he can’t keep and say things he doesn’t believe in – in order to get elected. Very relevant at the moment…
This book, in effect, encompasses many other books on Nixon, though it might not chisel into a given aspect quite so deep. But plenty of depth is here. It is my favorite Nixon book: the most comprehensive. This is great history. It is even-handed and calm in tone. It moves effortlessly from personal details to headlines to private memos and conferences. The writing is very well-disciplined and edited.
The audio quality is sub-normal by today's standards, though clear enough. There is some distortion. The narrator's style is a little unusual, but serviceable enough. His quotes of Nixon are set apart in a particular voice, not the usual ham-handed attempt to imitate Nixon exactly. Sometimes his intonations are slightly weird, and sometimes it seems a sentence is patched in at a higher rate of speed. But this doesn't spoil the fun.
The audio production of Stephen Ambrose's Nixon biography detracted enormously from the experience of listening to this audio book. The narrator was usually quite good at changing voices to indicate direct quotes but at times the tone conveyed meaning that might not have been implied in the text. The editor also seems to have injected words or phrases in ways that were disjointed and disruptive.
Maybe. if I was going to write a paper on presidency
I like how it was explained that Nixon kept people compartmentalized to maintain his power more easily.
I'm not crook!
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