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After Watergate

The Renaissance of Richard Nixon
Narrated by: Benjamin McLean
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

No one had an inside view of the renaissance of Richard Nixon after Watergate better than the Secret Service agent by his side for 14 years - Michael Endicott. 

This is a story about politics, history, and power. But, most of all, this is a story about a working-class kid from the south side of Tacoma, Washington, who became a Secret Service agent and traveled the world, building a relationship with one of America’s most controversial presidents, Richard Nixon, and Mrs. Nixon. This is a story about perseverance and friendship - and a story no one else can tell. Not the many presidential biographers and historians, and not even Nixon himself in his many memoirs, ever discussed Nixon the man who longed to rehabilitate his legacy - and how a Secret Service agent became his confidant in reshaping history. 

Retired Secret Service Agent Michael Endicott spent thousands of hours with Nixon and fills in a vital puzzle piece in history that answers the question: Whatever happened to Richard Nixon when he waved goodbye to the White House, to a flawed presidency, in a nation that wanted to put Watergate behind them? 

As newly assigned detail leader, Endicott picks up the story after the Nixon’s five years in exile in San Clemente, California, and the statesman’s plan to “get back in the action”, with a move to New York. When Nixon gave up his Secret Service detail - the only President to ever do so - he hired Endicott to be his Chief of Staff, and the two of them changed the course of history as Endicott sneaked Nixon into Moscow for high-level diplomatic talks. He also accompanied the former President to his beloved baseball games at Shea Stadium and arranged family dinners and events. 

The audiobook portrays Nixon as a father and grandfather, a very private man who eventually enjoyed meeting kids at McDonald’s when he longed to eat inside like a normal person or sign baseball programs when he insisted on sitting in the stands at games instead of in the skyboxes of friends.

©2019 Michael A. Endicott (P)2019 Michael A. Endicott

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  • Kingsley
  • Henely Brook, Australia
  • 02-22-19

Another side of the President

Nixon is often the villain in whatever piece is is in. The man who believed that the President should be able to do whatever he wants and it should never be called illegal, the man who covered up many political indiscretions, and who resigned before he could be impeached. This book tells a different side to him.

Told by the head of his secret service detail, who became his chief of staff, and considered himself a friend to the Nixons, this book tells of Nixon after he left the White House. It is a personalizing, softening story, to change the 'villain' into an actual human. Showing his personal side, and going through details of what he did post Presidency.

It is not told in strict chronological order, but instead follows themes in chapters and moves about their post-Presidency lives. Stories of family, gatherings of friends, interactions with the public, going to sporting events and so many other 'normal' things. It also covers some not so normal things he did, such as under the table discussions with Russia. It tells of Endicott's interactions with the KGB during this time, as well as other events.

There is nothing ground breaking or scandalous or even overly surprising in here. It's interesting, but more than that is mostly just feels down-to-earth and normal. It goes a long way to demystifying the boogeyman idea of Nixon.

Narration by Benjamin McLean is fine. Possibly more of a 3.5 and a 4, but good either way. Well paced, clear, interesting. Keeps you engaged with the text. Nothing outstanding, and there isn't really much here to flex his capabilities. It is a simple, solid performance from him.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Read

After Watergate: The Renaissance of Richard Nixon was a good read by Michael A. Endicott. Michael A. Endicott was a secret service agent that was by Richard Nixon's side for 14 years. This book follows Richard Nixon's life after being President and after the Watergate Scandal. I really enjoyed reading this inside look into Richard Nixon's life told by someone who was very close to him.

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A wealth of information but some curious choices

Like most Presidents, the post-presidency of Richard Nixon is little discussed, even though his was fairly eventful. Endicott's entry into public record the details of Citizen Nixon's rather consequential role in foreign and domestic policy, therefore, is a welcome addition. On a personal level, Endicott shines as he details little quirks of personality and psychological artifacts of Nixon's upbringing (such as his ignorance on even the existence of "transsexuality" even as he laughed at jokes about them) that cast his more distastrous decisions in a more human (if not excusable) light. The trouble comes when Endicott, despite a vow not to do so, attempts to re-litigate Nixon's biography, going after his biographers for what ultimately feel like quibbles. Still, it's a worthwhile read.

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Myopic

If you are a staunch Republican or a Richard Nixon devotee, this is the book for you.

This is a biased look at the post-Presidential Nixon years. Endicott is obviously a Nixon fan and seems to use only himself and Nixon as sources for the work. This is just not a very balanced piece of writing. He also muddles the facts: "I joined the Nixon detail five years after Watergate in 1979". And all this time I thought Watergate happened in 1972. Thanks for the update! There is also an egotistical tone to this book which leaves you with the impression that Endicott was the most successful Secret Service agent of all time. If that was the case then why was his greatest responsibility serving as a detail member of an active Vice President? Endicott was never on an active Presidential detail.

Beware: This is a flawed and stilted work.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.

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history is not my thing

I felt like the book was well written and well performed it just was not my thing.

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You have to listen to this book

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Former President Nixon is mostly known for the bad decisions that he made during the presidency that pushed him to resign to the Presidency. This book is an amazing intimate view of former President Richard Nixon shared by one of his closest confidants several years after resigning to the presidency. Mr. Endicott was one of the secret service agents in charge of the protection of Mr. Nixon after Watergate and established such a close relationship with him that became his personal security after Nixon decided to wave completely his secret service protection The stories are mindblowing and it definitely helps us understand better the personality and experience of the Nixons behind closed doors. Mr. Endicott's experience with the Nixons is one that no one ever had with the former president. I wonder sometimes how such public and powerful people struggle to establish close relationships. I am very surprised this book is not making a bigger buzz in the news considering the current political climate. I wish that we could see more of the real person and avoid the nasty partisanship that is destroying our capacity to listen to each other's differences. Great read!

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Fascinating behind the scenes tale

Oustanding and intimate portrait of President Richard Nixon told by one closest to him. Great listen.

Michael Endicott's behind-the-scenes stories paint a remarkable portrait of a Richard Nixon (and to a lesser extent, Mrs. Nixon) that few (if any) others knew. Depicting Nixon in settings both grand and historic (like his secret trips to Russia and China in the 1980's) and private and intimate (like family birthdays and swims with his grandchildren), the author adds great depth and nuance to the commonly held views of Nixon as private and aloof -- providing anecdotes of the former president's warmth, empathy, curiosity, and thoughtfulness that are rarely hinted at in any other tomes on Nixon. In addition, Endicott paints a fascinating picture of the behind-the-curtain logistical details that go into travel for even "exiled" former presidents.

The narrator does a fine job of telling the tale with energy and warmth, even providing spot-on re-creations of Nixon's voice and speaking style when direct quotations are used -- though never descending into parody or getting in the way of the material in any way.

A minor quibble: Some of the writing could have used a little more editing, as time-sequences seemed a bit jumbled at points and phrases (like "self-exiled") and passages were occasionally unnecessarily repeated. This is nothing, though, that will get in the way of one enjoying and learning from an otherwise fascinating, humanizing, and sympathetic look at a complex and controversial figure -- one that we now all know a little bit (or a lot) better from the up-close-and-personal view that Endicott provides. Well done all around.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the audiobook version of the text for purposes of providing an honest review..