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Nixon - A Presidency Revealed

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Imbued with both remarkable triumph and unprecedented scandal, the legacy of Richard Milhous Nixon is one of the most complex and enduring of all former U.S. Presidents. In this feature-length special, THE HISTORY CHANNEL® takes a fresh look at one of America’s most controversial leaders more than thirty years after his infamous resignation. Drawing on previously unseen footage and only recently released audio tapes, NIXON: A PRESIDENCY REVEALED sheds new light on the man who brought both progress and shame to the presidential office. Some of his greatest achievements included ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War; forging historic peacekeeping relations with the Soviet Union, China, and the Middle East; and implementing innovative social and environmental initiatives at home. However, Nixon’s accomplishments were ultimately overshadowed by his secrecy, lies, and gross abuse of power, which undermined America’s faith in the integrity of the presidency.

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One of America's most tragically flawed statesmen is comprehensively profiled in Nixon: A Presidency Revealed, an excellent History Channel documentary first broadcast in February 2007. The major strength of this 94-minute exposé lies in the number of high-ranking officials who are interviewed on the subject of Richard M. Nixon, his ill-fated presidency (1968-74), and its impact on American politics and society. Peabody Award-winning director David C. Taylor assembled an impressive lineup of participants who had a front-row seat to Nixon's rise and precipitous fall; included are Alexander Haig (Nixon's chief of staff during the Watergate scandal); former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Nixon's former deputy assistant Alexander Butterfield; former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee; and both John Dean and Charles Colson, whose roles in the Watergate cover-up are starkly contrasted with their own latter-day perspectives on Nixon's darkest hours. The film's other noteworthy asset is its access to previously unavailable film footage, documents, and audio tapes that dig deeper into Nixon's psyche than any previous documentaries were able to.

More than three decades after Nixon resigned in disgrace, A Presidency Revealed lives up to its title by showing Nixon as a deeply insecure and introverted leader whose most revolutionary achievement (his re-opening of diplomatic relations with China) was darkly overshadowed by his penchant for rampant paranoia and deeply held resentments toward those he placed on his notorious list of "enemies." And while Nixon can justifiably be remembered as a progressive peacemaker ("too liberal" to be electable today, says former senator Bob Dole), this riveting program doesn't flinch when examining the secrecy, lies, cover-ups, and other abuses of power that led to Nixon's downfall. Better yet, this highly recommendable DVD also includes the 2000 History Channel program Inside the Presidency: Eisenhower vs. Nixon, an equally insightful examination of Nixon's vice presidency under Eisenhower in the 1950s--a turbulent and unflattering relationship (toward Nixon) that fostered Nixon's later, distrusting behavior in the Whit House. Taken together, these must-see programs are outstanding primers on the acquisition and abuse of political power, and both represent History Channel programming at its finest. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

  • Bonus documentary: "Inside the Presidency: Eisenhower vs. Nixon"

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Nixon
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OIOPPO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,790 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I only wish the biography was longer, more comprehensive of his entire life's work, rather than going on mostly about the Watergate affair. But overall, a must-see, even if you're not at all a Nixon fan. It's pretty fairly balanced, for those who love him and hate him.
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Initially I was disappointed that this production focused mostly on Nixon's dark, "paranoid" (as some who knew him described him) side. But the longer I watched this I came away with a better understanding not so much of the man, but of his administration and how wrapped up in Vietnam and later with Watergate he got. The audio tapes are quite revealing of Nixon's abuse of power.

The downside to this production is that it doesn't go into his pre-political life. For that I suggest one watches the PBS Presidential version of Nixon, a good production that balances this one out. This work starts with Nixon's term under Eisenhower and how he rose to power in the 1950s.

Nixon's daughter is interviewed for this, Alex Butterfield, Sen Bob Dole, Henry Kissinger and a few others, but not VP Ford or others closely working with Nixon. That is fine, though as the tapes we get to listen to in part say enough of Nixon the man.

Sen Dole said it best that Nixon the persona overshadowed some of the laws that Nixon passed early in his administration: environmental laws and other seemingly-progressive laws that were later overlooked when Watergare came around. He would be considered a moderate-progressive to today's standard Republican and, according to Dole, never be nominated to the GOP. It makes one think of what could have happened had Nixon won the election in 1960 instead of Kennedy.

This is a nice addition to a presidential buff's personal library.
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You learn more than you ever thought you could about Nixon. I can't understand what the noise was about. If we'd waited a decade or two, he'd be a hero. I received the movie exactly when it was supposed to be delivered. Great fun!
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"Nixon- A Presidency Revealed" is another of the excellent treatments by its producer. It may be a bit short on Nixon's positive contributions, but it's hard to give them much of a place in light of his negitives.
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By Heath Compton on September 9, 2009
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I think the video did a good job of explaining the presidency of Richard Nixon. However, I think the video should have focused more on Nixon's good qualities. The video could have dealt more on his early family history. The video could have mentioned something about his stance on Civil Rights early in his career. No one doubts that Nixon did wrong during the Watergate episode. In spite of this, Richard Nixon had a profound influence on American foreign policy. One question I ask is "What would have happened if Nixon had won in 1960?" We probably would not have had the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam debacle. I also think Nixon would have advanced Civil Rights in a more forward manner than Kennedy. The question will never be answered, but it is fun to think about.
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Good DVD. Material is easily recalled, though, after a few viewings and it is no longer intriguing, nor new. I wouldn't actually recommend it, because it doesn't feature enough detail about Nixon or his life to warrant repeated viewings throughout the course of a 365 day year. A more thorough DVD is necessary to do this. The extras here are the same; awesome to watch a few times, boring and rote thereafter. Works well as a PBS special that airs once a year, where the viewer cannot memorize every single line being uttered by every participant. One thing: no interviews with either the late John Mitchell, the late Pat Nixon, the late Gerald Ford, or even the late Richard Nixon himself. DVD needed that actually encompasses the man's life.
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Bought this book for my 90 year old dad. He loved it! He said he learned a lot about Nixon and this country that even he, a well-read person, didn't know! Check it out!
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