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Publisher's Summary

From Vietnam to the Southern Strategy, from the opening of China to the scandal of Watergate, Pat Buchanan - speechwriter and senior adviser to President Nixon - tells the untold story of Nixon's embattled White House, from its historic wins to it devastating defeats.

In his inaugural address, Nixon held out a hand in friendship to Republicans and Democrats alike. But by the fall of 1969, massive demonstrations in Washington and around the country had been mounted to break his presidency.

In a brilliant appeal to what he called the "Great Silent Majority", Nixon sent his enemies reeling. Vice President Agnew followed by attacking the blatant bias of the media in a fiery speech authored and advocated by Buchanan. And by 1970, Nixon's approval rating soared to 68 percent, and he was labeled "The Most Admired Man in America".

Then one by one, the crises came, from the invasion of Cambodia, to the protests that killed four students at Kent State, to race riots and court ordered school busing.

Buchanan chronicles Nixon's historic trip to China, and describes the White House strategy that brought about Nixon's 49-state landslide victory over George McGovern in 1972.

When the Watergate scandal broke, Buchanan urged the president to destroy the Nixon tapes before they were subpoenaed, and fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, as Nixon ultimately did in the "Saturday Night Massacre". After testifying before the Watergate Committee himself, Buchanan describes the grim scene at Camp David in August 1974, when Nixon's staff concluded he could not survive.

In a riveting memoir from behind the scenes of the most controversial presidency of the last century, Nixon's White House Wars reveals both the failings and achievements of the 37th President, recorded by one of those closest to Nixon, from before his political comeback through to his final days in office.

Includes a bonus PDF of the Appendix, which includes handwritten notations on presidential memos.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Patrick J. Buchanan (P)2017 Random House Audio

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 06-15-17

Interesting

The title of this book intrigued me. I came across this quote by historian and biographer Sam Tenenhaus: “Buchanan begot Trumpism as his former ally William F. Buckley, Jr. begat Reaganism.” Between the two I just had to read the book. Personally, I am a moderate middle of the roader politically. In my humble attempt to understand the issues, I read books from both sides of the isle.

This is the fifth White House remembrance by a Nixon speechwriter. The first one was “Before the Fall” written in 1975 by William Safire. The book is now considered a classic. I discovered that it was Buchanan who created the phrase “The Great Silent Majority”.

The book is supposed to be about Nixon but in my opinion, it is a memoir of Buchanan’s time in the Nixon White House. Buchanan’s ultra-right-wing philosophy is presented throughout the book. He discusses the causes of division that Nixon inherited such as the Vietnam war, school busing, civil rights, ethnic communities and what Buchanan calls liberal judiciary. He also stated that all media is liberal. Buchanan states he tried to swing Nixon to protectionism to help save American jobs. I noted that Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in spite of Buchanan’s advice.

The book is well written. I was amazed that Buchanan wrote in such detail. He must have kept a detailed diary. I noted he also did the usually type of research of material such as reviewing the materials at the Nixon Library. The book does provide an in-depth behind the scenes view of the Nixon presidency. The author writes that Nixon was a Wilsonian idealist and a utopian Quaker pacifist. I found it difficult to understand Buchanan’s absolute belief that his opinion is correct and the only path for the country to follow.

I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is almost eighteen hours long. Arthur Morey does an excellent job narrating the book. At times, I thought it was Richard Nixon speaking. Morey did an excellent job portraying Nixon. Morey is an actor, voice over artist and award-winning audiobook narrator.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Eyewitness to History - A Compelling Story

Despite some initial skepticism, I purchased this book and was rewarded with one of the most engrossing and entertaining historical memoirs I've ever encountered. Having lived through the turbulent times portrayed in this fascinating narrative I was especially interested in the many insider accounts of those times and the momentous decisions that were made and that still affect this country today. Pat Buchanan's well reasoned and wonderfully articulated conservative assessment of those decisions are nothing if not highly thought provoking and compelling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Incredibly dense and engaging

Great collection of stories I thought I knew. Hearing them told first hand. It's impossible not to compare the press attack to events of today. This deserves another listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating!!

What did you love best about Nixon's White House Wars?

The insights are great--the kind you can only get from a key staff member. There has been so much written about Nixon's presidency that I am cautious of buying books like this for fear they will be repetitive. This book is based on the text of Buchanan's actual memos to Nixon and it was my first time getting this perspective--especially in this memo-based format.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The format. It's centered on the actual memos Buchanan wrote. He isn't Kissinger, but he's smart as hell and he had a lot of influence with Nixon.

What about Arthur Morey’s performance did you like?

Pretty good. Nothing amazing, but not boring. I wish it were Buchanan himself, though.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Buchanan was either much more influential in the administration than I previously realized or he was tooting his own horn. I don't think he was doing that. I think Nixon saw him as a reliable asset.

Any additional comments?

He does a decent job of staying neutral on political issues. I don't like when these degrade into political rants, even when I agree with the position. Instead, this book gives insight into why decisions were made, who was in Nixon's ear, and what Nixon privately thought. Thats what I wanted.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Great Insider's Account

A great story from the last of the Nixon's intimates to tell his story.

A particular interesting anecdote is the story of how Nixon was contemplating appointing a Democratic Senator from the south for Vice President, before changing his mind.

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  • rhl60
  • Jamestown RI, United States
  • 09-09-17

A Great Look Back....

Thoroughly enjoyed this look back from Buchanan's perspective. Yes, it is very Pat-centric. But that's ok. Though I take issue with some of his positions over the decades, he is always engaging, smart, and perceptive. A political junkie's junkie.
One could do worse than this effort as a solid refresher course on the Nixon years. I highly
recommend it. A very competent narration, as well.

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Fascinating Behind the Scenes Portrait

I've read/listened to 20 or more books about Nixon and his administration and this is easily top 3 in both form and content. I hated for it to end! Many tidbits and anecdotes I've never heard before. Buchanan is insightful and very funny, I laughed out loud several times. Now scouring audible for more Buchanan books.

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A must read!

This is an excellent sequel to "The Greatest Comeback," but can be read or listened to on its own. Some understanding of President Nixon is assumed by the author.

The book primarily recounts Buchanan's White House years as a trusted Nixon staffer. His understanding and accounts of major events are given in great detail, bringing history alive. One can literally feel his passion for conservatism as the book progresses. He also succeeds in bringing to life some individuals while other writers could not.

Although Buchanan spends precious little time on the post-Nixon years, he does put his own runs for the presidency into greatest perspective. As a one-timeBuchanan supporter I feel as though I understand both he and his friend President Nixon, much better now.

Narrator Arthur Morey does his usual fine job bringing history to life.

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This book is not about Nixon

Would you try another book from Patrick J. Buchanan and/or Arthur Morey?

This book is all about Buchanan and not about Nixon, if you want to read about Buchanan's overstated role in Nixon's career this is the book for you

0 of 2 people found this review helpful