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The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority Hardcover – July 8, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (July 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553418637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553418637
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“An evenhanded insider take on Nixon's storied political rebirth…Buchanan deals the story with a great deal of humility…Much more a balanced history than a me-me-me memoir.” –Chicago Tribune

"Should be required reading for RNC staff and everyone across the country trying to help the GOP win the Senate… A fun read not only for the opportunity to see Nixon in such a personal, behind-the-scenes way, but also for the lessons it offers us today.” -Newsmax

“A fast-moving account of those comeback years, written in strong, clear prose…An upbeat portrait of Nixon as a surprisingly compassionate man, but a tough politician, energetic and well-informed, with a deep knowledge of world affairs and ideas about how to reset the balance of power and restore America’s international standing.” –Washington Times

“Buchanan’s book performs the useful service of describing a populist triumph from the inside.” –The Economist 

“A conveniently incisive study guide to the 1968 presidential election… In his own unsparing way, Buchanan sums up the political tumult of the era—tumult signaling that the long reign of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society were coming to an end.” -Breitbart

“Offers memories and insights on the meetings, memos, stump speeches, and conversations Nixon waded through to get to the White House. Details and factoids abound for politics junkies…Buchanan is a capable writer and skilled at providing succinct summary of the complex politics of the era.” –Publishers Weekly

About the Author

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN, America's leading populist conservative, was a senior adviser to three U.S. presidents, ran for the Republican nomination in 1992 and 1996, and was the Reform Party's presidential candidate in 2000. The author of eleven other books, Buchanan is a syndicated columnist and founding member of three of America's foremost public affairs shows, NBC's The McLaughlin Group and CNN's Crossfire and Capitol Gang. He lives in McLean, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most interesting was Nixon's campaign for President in 1968.
Robert Deepe
The book explores the inner workings of the Presidency and those tasked with this difficult and demanding job.
John Ritter
If you are one of his detractors I highly recommend that you read this book.
Clifton E. Eastham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book covers the first three years of Buchanan's association with Richard Nixon, from 1965 to 1968. The opening chapter provides a bit of history leading up to that point. Nixon had been a very successful politician early in his career, elected to Congress in 1946 and to the Senate in 1950, then becoming Eisenhower's Vice President in 1952. By 1960, only 47 years old, he had gained vast exposure on the world stage traveling on behalf of the US government and the Eisenhower administration.

Despite losing the presidency, the Democrats had expanded their presence in both houses of congress and statehouses during the Eisenhower administration. Registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by about two to one. Eisenhower, who could have run on either party's ticket, was simply not a party builder for the GOP. The lack of political infrastructure, and a consistently hostile press, were handicaps that proved impossible for Nixon to overcome.

Buchanan has some good observations on the way the campaigns were run in 1960. They involved a lot of personal appearances, as neither candidate had yet figured out how to fully leverage television. When they did, it benefited Kennedy more than Nixon as he was the more telegenic man.

Buchanan, as an editorial writer at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, saw what few others would have imagined: that Nixon was likely to be a contender again in the 1968 elections. Quoting Oliver Wendell Holmes "It is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived," Buchanan approached Nixon with an offer to serve.

After losing to Kennedy in 1960, Nixon planned his comeback via the governorship of California. California politics was then as now a rather confused.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Annelise Anderson on July 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great read and puts Richard Nixon in perspective. As Buchanan points out, Nixon was re-elected, winning 49 states; he ended the draft, got us out of Vietnam, opened up China, etc. I wish this book had an index--there's an idea for a web page.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jemedm on August 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Normally, I blog about Christian books that I've read; however, I departed from my modus operandi when I saw the possibility of Patrick J. Buchanan's book The Greatest Comeback. Whenever the name Nixon is invoked, everyone quickly thinks of Watergate, but Buchanan deals with a rather unknown part of Nixon's career -- he rebuilt the atrophied Republican party base and overcame his label as a "loser." It was deliberate, intentional, and strategic steps that led to his resurgence.

As an aside, the author uses a last line teaser to indicate that he may already be working on a book dealing with Watergate. If he does so, I would be interested in how he characterizes the President differently than he has done the Candidate. It is for this reason that my review is entitled resurgence not resurrection. I can only think of one individual that rose from the dead to never die again, and that was Jesus Christ. Nixon regained a following but flushed it down the drain with horrible choices in a cover-up. Had he come clean immediately, the drama that we know as Watergate may never have occurred.

The book is delightfully written and easy to understand. To be honest, it was the fastest 350+ page book I've ever read. Buchanan has a reputation of being a partisan, but that side does not emerge front and center on every page. Yes, it can still be detected, but he writes more from an admiration of Nixon standpoint than a partisan one. He does capture the cultural struggles of the day that helped foster the resurgence of Nixon, and this historiography further enhances the work itself.

My biggest gripe revolves around the end of the campaign where Nixon was losing ground as Wallace's supporters flooded to Humphrey.
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Format: Hardcover
"Having lost in 1960 after the party base had been decimated in 1958, Nixon was convinced that a far larger army of GOP state legislators, governors and members of Congress was essential for victory in 1968. Yet, in rebuilding that GOP base, Nixon was also putting scores of Republican leaders in his debt and building a foundation for his own possible run. He was investing sweat equity in anticipation of a comeback in 1966, and gratitude in 1968 should he run again. This investment of time and effort would prove as wise as were his travels on behalf of Barry Goldwater." -- page 56

He experienced the whole thing up close and personal. Patrick J. Buchanan went to work for Richard Nixon in December 1965. Young Mr. Buchanan had taken a look at the political landscape and was convinced that the former Vice President was the logical choice to be the Republican presidential nominee in 1968. He desperately wanted to be a part of it. As far as most of the political gurus of the day were concerned Richard Nixon was dead and buried. But bubbling in the bowels of America was a resurgence of interest in conservative ideas. Richard Nixon sensed an opportunity and cobbled together a game plan. Throughout 1966 he worked tirelessly for Republican congressional and gubernatorial candidates all across America. His gamble paid off in spades. 1966 turned out to be the greatest Republican off-year election triumph in decades. Pat Buchanan chronicles what many believe to be the most incredible turnaround in American political history in his compelling new book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority". Being a lifelong political junkie, this book brought back a flood of memories of people, places and events from so very long ago.
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