A shocking and riveting look at one of the most dramatic and disastrous presidencies in US history, from Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Tim Weiner
Based largely on documents declassified in only the last few years, One Man Against the World paints a devastating portrait of a tortured yet brilliant man who led the country largely according to a deep-seated insecurity and distrust of not only his cabinet and Congress but the American population at large. In riveting, tick-tock prose, Weiner illuminates how the Vietnam War and the Watergate controversy that brought about Nixon's demise were inextricably linked. From the hail of garbage and curses that awaited Nixon upon his arrival at the White House, when he became the president of a nation as deeply divided as it had been since the end of the Civil War, to the unprecedented action Nixon took against American citizens, whom he considered as traitorous as the army of North Vietnam, to the infamous break-in and the tapes that bear remarkable record of the most intimate and damning conversations between the president and his confidantes, Weiner narrates the history of Nixon's anguished presidency in fascinating and fresh detail. A crucial new look at the greatest political suicide in history, One Man Against the World leaves us with new insight not only into this tumultuous period but also into the motivations and demons of an American president who saw enemies everywhere and, thinking the world was against him, undermined the foundations of the country he had hoped to lead.
©2015 Tim Weiner (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
Maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety, but this was narrated HORRIBLY. Every time this reader mispronounced a name (hint: consistently) it took me out of the story, and toward the end I was screaming at the narrator, "it's RuckELShaus, you moron!" Even worse was his botched Kissinger "accent." His delivery was overly dramatic, as though the story wasn't horrifying enough; his Nixon voice was like a cartoon villain.
Seriously, who gave the job to this reader? It can't have been the author. His story was beyond riveting, but the narrator nearly ruined it for me.
Most of the many books I've listened to had adequate to brilliant narration. But some I've had to stop listening to because of a bad narrator.
Okay, rant over!
Very interesting material, only recently declassified, is presented about the Nixon presidency; although almost exclusively focused on Watergate than anything else.
Narration is good, minus the cheesy Nixon impression, and rather poor accents. Not sure why increasing number of narrators feel the need to be so, "hammy" when a straight reading would do.
Book was good for the most part. Helpful to read newly unclassified materials set in a historical context. It serves as a good summary of all the tapes and diaries that I would not have time or inclination to seek out. Author does editorialize at times which I rarely, if ever, appreciate. Narration of the audio book is miserable. I eventually stopped listening and only read. Narrator attempts the voices of Nixon, Kissinger and others. It is laughable at first and annoying to the point of frustration by the half-way point of the book. Narrator should stop acting and just read. Since I followed along with the text for most of the work, I realized he misread parts and left out full paragraphs. His mispronunciation of names is appalling.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I enjoyed this book and found it most frightening thinking about how paranoid Nixon was along with depression and high alcohol intake, while he had control of so much power.
With the release of the White House Tapes and other Documents since Richard Nixon’s death in 1994 has brought out more books about Nixon. Two new books have just been released this month, this book by Tim Weiner and the one by Evan Thomas’s “Being Nixon: A Man Divided.” Both authors are highly accomplished journalist.
Weiner is a former New York Times national security reporter, is decidedly hostile to Nixon. The author structured his account of the presidency around a litany of transgressions related to Watergate and the Vietnam War.
The book is well written and meticulously researched. Weiner states emphatically that Nixon “cared little about domestic affairs: least of all housing, health, education, welfare and civil rights.” He states the heart of Nixon’s domestic policy was “tearing down the structures of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.” Weiner’s book adds documented details and evidence to confirm Nixon’s desperate Vietnam gambits and his central role in directing the Watergate cover-up. He cites incriminating evidence he has uncovered throughout the book. The author goes into detail about the mental health of Nixon. The story Weiner stress is “The tragedy of a man destroying himself.” Holter Graham narrated the book.
Yes. It covers the range of Nixon's actions--scandals and accomplishments--in sequence and in one volume. It helped me understand the full range of Nixon's attitudes, poor choices, and crimes.
The pace and clarity of the story. The author had to have read many thousands of pages, but gives us a clear narrative, without the "a claimed this" and "b claimed that" of so many other narratives.
Yes, if he is coached about the correct pronunciation of proper names. I like his style, but winced at his stumbles. It was clear to me that the first priority of the publisher was "speed to market" not "product quality." (Any person born in the 40's or 50's could have provided the proper pronunciations without hesitation. Was everyone involved in this book under 30?)
Nixon's interference in the Johnson White House peace talks. Nixon convinced the Vietnamese not to make a peace agreement, then prolonged the war--eventually agreeing to the same peace terms as Johnson offered. I wasn't aware of this crime before. I was also moved by Graham's reading of Nixon's complaint about how he (Nixon) suffered terribly (while allowing more soldiers and civilians to truly suffer in Viet Nam.)
The listener should look elsewhere for correct pronunciation of the following: Zhou Enlai (Chinese Foreign Minister), Andrei Kosygin (Soviet Premier), Nguyen Cao Ky (Vietnamese General and Prime Minister), Nikolai Podgorny (Soviet leader), William Ruckelshaus (US cabinet member), Gordon Strachan (White House official), Stuart Symington (US Senator), and Tony Ulasewicz (Watergate figure); and Vietnamese airbase Tan Son Nhut.
I was never an admirer of Richard Nixon, but this book is a pure hatchet job, tendentious, argumentative, and spiteful. Could not finish the first chapter. Nixon still needs a rounded, fully nuanced biography.
I enjoyed this book in contrast to previous accounts of the Nixon presidency. the author is able to add President Nixon's narrative to the historical landscape of the time. This access to real transcribed conversation made the sinister nature of Nixon that much darker yet created a palpable empathy for the struggles of the man.
Not sure we will ever know RN ... This explosive and enlightening story is nearly written by RN himself given what is reflected from more in depth excerpts from his Oval Office tapes. Harry Shearer's 'Nixon's The One', a YouTube video series brings elements of this to life via video as it might appeared in the '70's. Tragic, Comedic, Scary, Sad. It's all here.
Buy the book. The narrator has a halting, William Shatner cadence, insists on (and fails at) doing accents – including Nixon's, Kissinger's, and maybe most amusingly, Ted Kennedy's – and reads too slowly. My bad for thinking I could put up with it after listening to the sample.
Highly recommendable to anyone remotely interested in modern history.
The covert operations by US government against democratically elected leaders.
All were great.
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