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The problem lies in documenting those actions. Santo Trafficante (a Florida crime boss) wasn’t known for leaving detailed records, and Lee Harvey may or may not have taken dark secrets to his grave. But over the years, in the absence of first-person testimony, any number of accounts have cropped up, some more credible than others.
=== The Good Stuff ===
* Fulsom writes well. The book is easy to read, keeps moving, and is written in lively and slightly informal style.
* The book is well referenced, with clear sources for just about all of the material presented. You can clearly track down the source of Fulsom’s writing.
* If you are a fan of conspiracy, this is your book. Fulsom ties Nixon to shady real-estate deals, Cuban vice and casinos, mob hits and money-laundering, assassinations, murder, and just about everything but the Lindbergh kidnapping.
=== The Not-So-Good Stuff ===
* The book lives or dies on the strength of its references. While there are a number of very credible looking sources in the references (e.g. CBS News) the more outrageous material has references that are less robust. These include convicted felons, less-than-well-known historians, and filmmakers such as Oliver Stone. How much of this book you accept as true depends on your opinion of those sources.
* Fulsom leaves the reader without any conclusions. Was Nixon any more or less corrupt that the average President? Was he a “good” President in spite of his shortcomings? Or were others really acting in the role of President while Nixon managed his multiple conspiracies?
=== Summary ===
I believe the fairest was to judge this book is as a sort of anthology of Nixon stories. Don Fulsom gives us a marvelous collection of everything Nixon was accused of. I have to admit, some of them are incredible. But at the end of the book, it sort of comes down to what you believe, and who you believe.
Personally, the list of Nixon crimes seemed a bit overboard, and I am not sure how he would have found time to get elected. But I claim no special knowledge of these events, and it could be that the sources cited by Fulsom are correct and Nixon was involved in the JFK assassination.
=== Disclaimer ===
I was able to read an advance copy through he courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.