Up until I read Richard Nixon The Life, I really didn’t know much about the man. I knew of him as being the Vice President for Eisenhower and the man who lost the 1960 Presidential election to JFK. Later he lost the California Governor’s race in 1962 and rebounded to win the Presidential election in both 1968 and 1972.
What the author John A. Farrell brings to the table is what made Richard Nixon tick. As the author explains in most of the scenarious of Nixon is that he was always paranoic and was not always outgoing and when things were not going his way he would be withdrawn and hence paranoic. We see a highly intelligent person who at times was very unsure of himself. Not being able to attend the elite universities on the East Coast not for lack of intelligence but for the lack of money.
Nixon was persuaded to enter politics in California as a U.S. congressman in 1946 and as they say the rest is history. Farrell details the Senate Race of 1950 Presidential election of 1952 earmarks his political successes as a young man. His dealing is masterfully detailed as to how Nixon proceeded in the Alger Hiss hearings. The author shows to us the first scandal that Nixon had to deal with when he was questioned on his financial dealings in the 1962 Presidential campaign. It shows a young Nixon utilizing the media of TV to give his famous Checker’s speech and redeeming himself on national TV.
Farrell shows an in depth look at Nixon’s relationship with Eisenhower. Not in all circumstances did Ike get along with his Vice President. Onto the 1960 Presidential election when the political fortunes of Dick Nixon began to change. With that Presidential loss came his loss in the 1962 California election. From there the author details Nixon’s political comeback. The triumph of the 1968 election and the landslide of 1972 election gave Nixon his nadir in the political arena.
With that said the tragedy of Watergate is discussed and shows to us an intelligent man who was quite excellent in dealing in foreign affairs but could not handle his paranoiac behavior and thus led him obstruct justice to the point that I actually felt sorry for Nixon.