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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like being a fly on the wall
This is an incredible read, an essential addition to any Watergate buff's library. The bulk of the book consists of transcripts from conversations Nixon had with his advisors during the Watergate break-in and its aftermath. All of the material is recently released and there's no doubt why the Nixon daughters desperately want this stuff suppressed: it paints their father...
Published on July 31, 2003 by Candace Scott

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Look at a Sad Man
If you are interested in how the Nixon and his staff handled the Watergate issue then this is a wonderful look into the private conversations that took place. The author does a good job of setting most of the conversations up with comments as to what the conversation covers. There are also some explanations at the beginnings of the major areas of the book. I would have...
Published on July 14, 2002 by John G. Hilliard


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like being a fly on the wall, July 31, 2003
By 
Candace Scott (Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (Paperback)
This is an incredible read, an essential addition to any Watergate buff's library. The bulk of the book consists of transcripts from conversations Nixon had with his advisors during the Watergate break-in and its aftermath. All of the material is recently released and there's no doubt why the Nixon daughters desperately want this stuff suppressed: it paints their father with a viscerally black brush. We all know Nixon was a paranoid loner, brilliant but erratic, and distrustful of everyone around him except Haldeman and Ehrlichman. These tapes show conclusively that Nixon also demanded total sycophancy from his inner circle, that he was a racist, an habitual liar and someone with a pathological need to deceive.
Bob Haldeman and Alexander Haig come off as complete toadies; worthless "yes men." Ehrlichman comes across better, as does Magruder, but the worst abuse must be heaped on Henry Kissinger, who appears as a quasi-insane boot licker of the highest order. It's incredible to see these men constantly assure Nixon that he was always right, always clever and completely above the law. How wrong they all were.
The most delicious parts are when Nixon speaks himself. He is unintentionally hilarious, as he plots to "get" various reporters, wiretap his enemies and harass anyone who gets in his way. His diatribes on Howard Baker and Sam Erwin are the stuff of classics, you'll be on the floor, laughing. "That senile old b------," Nixon growls about Erwin. "He's half in the bag every waking moment, the miserable a------." This is a grand book, highly entertaining!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nixon revealed, August 27, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (Paperback)
Kutler has done a masterful job of presenting these tapes.Nixon was terribly served by his advisors. Haldeman was a meanspirited drone. One surprise was how badly Haldeman's successor, General Aexander Haig,comes across. In his goal to consolidate his own power he spurs Nixon's paranoia and anger. In the end all the president's men ill served their flawed chief. Nixon comes across and a petty, vengeful and neurotic man. Imagine. having your day to day conversations publicly revealed. Posthumus humiliation! Any student of Watergate must read this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Insight Into History, May 8, 2003
By A Customer
If you are interested in how Nixon and his staff handled the Watergate issue, then the book Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes by, Stanley Kutler is a great one to read. Kutler does a great job of setting the private conversations up with comments as to what they cover. He also gives some explanations at the beginning of the major areas of the book. I was happy that they did not edit much of the conversations that took place because they serve a good point in the overall book.
What struck me the most about the book was just how desperate Nixon kept getting. I almost started to think that maybe he even believed the lies he was telling. It was so fascinating to see how he would come up with a "cover" story and then keep presenting it to his staff to see if they would replace their understanding of the events with his. What is sad is the amount of denial that Nixon encountered at the end. He was trying so hard to justify his actions; I started to think that he was trying to change reality with his force of will.
Many of the conversations are very revealing and interesting. It makes me wonder, if at times, Nixon forgot he was being taped? I got a good understanding of why Nixon and his family fought so hard to keep the tapes private. In my opinion, these tapes have set back all the work Nixon did after leaving office to rebuild his reputation. It will help you if have read something else to give you some background on the conversations. Hopefully, this will not be the only book on the Watergate scandal that you read. Overall, the book is interesting and well written.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, May 11, 2005
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This review is from: Abuse of Power (Audio Cassette)
I listened to the cassette tape version of this book, which is a reenactment of the tapes by professional actors. I was kind of hoping to listen to the actual tapes, but this approach turned out to be better than expected.

One thing that kind of bugged me was the continual mispronunciation of Gordon Strachan's name (pronounced "strawn" not "stra-chen"). That kind of boo boo only reminded me that these were actors and not the real people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to Abuse of Power, edited by Kutler, as Book on Tape, December 30, 2004
By 
This review is from: Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (Paperback)
If you grew up during the Vietnam era (or not), and cut your teeth on Watergate and the resignation of a president, listen to Abuse of Power as a book on tape. Hear the participants speak for themselves in the privacy of their offices. Kutler's Abuse of Power is based on tapes hitherto suppressed as Nixon, in his lifetime, vigorously sought to repaint his image.

Also recommended to read alongside the tapes: Secrets, A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg, and the Haldeman Diaries. Although flawed by grammatical and spelling errors, the Breaking of a President 1974, compiled by Marvin Miller, is also worth reading because it contains thumbnail personal histories of each of the players in the above volumes, and day-by-day breaking news of that era, with lots of pictures.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read about what Haldeman knew about and told Nixon about Mark Felt on pp 170 & 171, March 4, 2006
This review is from: Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (Paperback)
This is pretty interesting material for Watergate buffs. When Watergate broke the idea that a President cursed and had a private persona shocked the American people. That disappointment is part of what led to Nixon's downfall, regardless of what the Nixon haters want to keep preaching about Nixon's criminality. It has also come to light since those years that, as Nixon Claimed, Presidents before him used their power, the FBI, the IRS, and other agencies to look into and intimidate their opponents. Yes, Johnson and Kennedy did what Nixon did. They just didn't get all of it on tape. Nor did they have the press wanting the get even for Alger Hiss (who really was a Communist agent - see Venona).

For me the most fascinating part of the tapes included in this book is to go in the index and read the segments about Mark Felt, who we now know was Deep Throat for Bob Woodward. It is clear from these transcripts that Nixon and his staff knew that Felt wanted to top job at the FBI, that they didn't trust him, that they knew he leaked to the NY Times and, most amazingly, to the Washington Post. Haldeman makes it explicitly clear on 170 & 171 that he knew from inside the Washington Post that it was Felt leaking to the Post reporters. Facsinating.

Just remember, if you were taped in your private moments, you wouldn't look to the world as you do now. You might not be as dark as Nixon comes across, but then you aren't trying to wield power on a world stage either. I am not a Nixon apologist. Rather, I am taking a broader view of what we have learned since 1975 about our Presidents, the Presidency, and how they used their power while in office. The saying is true about politics and sausage making.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Look at a Sad Man, July 14, 2002
By 
If you are interested in how the Nixon and his staff handled the Watergate issue then this is a wonderful look into the private conversations that took place. The author does a good job of setting most of the conversations up with comments as to what the conversation covers. There are also some explanations at the beginnings of the major areas of the book. I would have preferred a little bit more editing out of some of the conversations, but they do serve a point in the overall book.
What struck me the most was just how desperate Nixon kept getting. I almost started to think that maybe he even believed the lies he was telling. It was so fascinating to see how he would formulate a "cover" story and then keep presenting it to staff to see if they would replace their understanding of the events with his. What is sad is the amount of denial that Nixon was sliding into at the end. He was justifying his actions so hard, I started to think that he was trying to change reality with his force of will.
Many of the conversations are very revealing and interesting. I wonder if at times Nixon forgot he was being taped? Why would anyone think that what he was up to would stand the test of time and be thought of as acceptable behavior. You get a good understanding of why Nixon and his family fought so hard to keep the tapes private. In my opinion, these tapes have set back all the work Nixon did after leaving office to rebuild his reputation. My only warring would be that this should not be the first or only book on Watergate that you read. It will help you if have read something else to give you some back ground on the conversations. Overall the book is interesting and a good addition to your Nixon collection.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Regardless Of Flaws, February 28, 1998
By A Customer
A critic of Kutler claimed that he was "dean-for-life of the Nixon haters" and that Nixon's words had been distorted in this book. Even if there are some transciption errors, this book is essential for anyone interested in Nixon. Short of going to the archives at College Park, MD, this is the only source currently available for this material.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Small time crooks in the world's highest office, September 27, 2014
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This review is from: Abuse of Power (Audio Cassette)
Dramatic readings of the Watergate tapes, released in 1997. William Windom as Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States, is a weak link in the way he interprets the presidential character. Part small time crook, part jaded executive who has seen too much and no longer cares to play by the rules. No question, Nixon's own statements, as recorded here, are possibly the strongest condemnation of himself as chief executive. He could not have been elected county dog catcher if people had known his private thoughts and motives. The amazing thing is that his Presidency was moderately successful in some ways. It seems that Nixon was willing to "do the right thing" when he thought he should. Unfortunately, he also believed he had a license to do "wrong things" as President, and he took advantage of that doubtful privilege. Interesting set of recordings for Watergate buffs.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing mayhem! Where will it end?, November 28, 1997
It doesn't seem possible that one could still find conversations that shock and appall coming out of the Nixon White House. Maybe the Nixon Estate should have dumped all the tapes at once and we'd all be over our astonishment at the arrogance and criminality of the Nixon Administration. Kutler has done an excellent job of editing. On a larger scale, he has done a service to the reading public. M. Carlota Baca, Santa Fe
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Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes
Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes by Stanley Kutler (Paperback - September 22, 1998)
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