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Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President Hardcover – January 31, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“When Richard Nixon boarded Air Force One on August 9, 1974 to return to San Clemente in disgrace over Watergate, I felt an immense sense of joy. After reading Don Fulsom's carefully reported account of Nixon's Darkest Secrets, I'm left with a profound sense of dread that someone so mobbed up, vindictive and downright treasonous could have been elected president of the United States. More than anything, the book makes me wonder how the mainstream media was able to let Nixon skate so long when Watergate itself was really nothing compared to his far more insidious crimes.” ―J. Patrick O'Connor, author of The Framing of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Scapegoat: The Chino Hills Murders and the Framing of Kevin Cooper

“Just when you thought you knew it all, Don Fulsom digs deeper into the mire of the Nixon presidency in NIXON'S DARKEST SECRETS, a book which bristles with revelations about the most disgraced American leader in history. He offers evidence of how Nixon sabotaged peace talks for political gain in 1968, how closely he was connected to the Mafia, his alcoholism and his abuse of his long suffering wife, Pat Nixon.” ―Muriel Dobbin, author and former White House correspondent

“Don Fulsom, the first reporter to link the Watergate burglars to President Nixon's reelection campaign, has spent more than three decades unlocking the secrets of the the Nixon Administration's roles in a breathtaking array of crimes and cover-ups. His new revelations about President Nixon's ties to powerful mobsters and their stooges in politics, business and labor have been particularly disturbing and are now fully chronicled. Fulson's excellent new book, Nixon's Darkest Secrets, puts an end to the urban legend that President Nixon was run out of office in the wake of nothing more than 'a third-rate burglary.'” ―Dan E. Moldea, author of The Hoffa Wars

“All those wonderful times with President Richard M. Nixon come flooding back with Don Fulsom's lovely litany of chiseling, payoffs, 2nd rate burglaries and, yes, public hand-holding with a boozy Bebe Rebozo. If you covered Nixon as I did from beginning to bitter end, no day was complete with a Fulsom question for the uptight press secretary Ronald Ziegler. On every presidential trip, Fulsom was first aboard the White House press plane so he could paste up a smiling picture of Nixon over his seat. And, Nixon did smile on reporters with an endless supply of page one astounders. There are some I missed but fortunately Fulsom recounts the best ones in this book that will delight and inform those once entertained by The Trick.” ―Patrick J. Sloyan, Pulitzer-prize winning Washington reporter

“The Nixon papers and tapes that continue to flow are gifts that keep on giving. Veteran reporter Don Fulsom skillfully wraps them into a neat and easy-to-read package.” ―Richard Benedetto, retired White House correspondent, USA Today

Nixon's Darkest Secrets again reveals how this most secretive of presidents ironically left a vast paper and tape trail that reveals the history he tried so hard to suppress. Don Fulsom, a White House reporter in Nixon's presidency, nicely fulfills the complementary roles of contemporary observer with that of a historian. He has opened our eyes to countless examples of Richard Nixon's weird, incomprehensible, and sometimes apparently criminal doings in the Oval Office. No one can write on Nixon's personality without taking proper measure of Fulsom's work.” ―Stanley Kutler, author of The Wars of Watergate

“Don Fulsom has written a fascinating look at President Richard Nixon. There is much to be learned from his shrewd analysis. Highly, highly recommended!” ―Douglas Brinkley, bestselling author and renowned U.S. historian

About the Author

DON FULSOM is a longtime White House reporter and former United Press International Washington bureau chief who has covered presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton. He is an adjunct professor at American University in Washington D.C., where he teaches "Watergate: A Constitutional Crisis."


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312662963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312662967
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joel on March 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I decided to read Nixon's Darkest Secrets following the completion of academic work focused on the Nixon Presidency and Watergate era. During the course of my studies, I was able to speak with over a dozen former Nixon Administration officials, reporters, and historians. I also read several other books focused on Nixon such as All the President's Men, The Arrogance of Power, etc. After hearing about Fulsom's book, I thought it would be worth a read.

In the book, Fulsom paints a portrait of Nixon that is not so much different from what many others have said, but rather gives a much greater level of detail and observation. In doing this, Fulsom gathers the experiences and observations of many reporters, administration officials, and academics to produce a well-rounded view of the former president. Fulsom reports fascinating accounts of everything from Nixon's planned break-ins to his marriage and even personal relationships. I have noticed that several reviewers have criticized the book for giving these accounts. I must rebut by saying that although Fulsom may not provide video footage of Nixon's misdeeds or indiscretions, he passes on the reports and accounts of the people who knew, saw and studied Nixon the most - and in doing so, gives the most complete picture possible.

I found that the book reflected much of the most interesting findings of my studies, and offered a wonderful complete view of the true Richard Nixon. The book is does a wonderful job - and perhaps finds most of its importance - in identifying and describing the prominent events of the Nixon Administration and Nixon's personal life, and stringing these two discussions together to form a fascinating view of how Nixon's personality impacted the actions of his staff, White House environment and eventually, his presidential legacy. Great read!
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Format: Hardcover
Nixon's Darkest Secrets, Don Fulsom

Don Fulsom is a former United Press International Washington bureau chief who covered Presidents from Johnson to Clinton as a radio reporter. He teaches about Watergate at American University in Washington DC. Fulsom was one of the reporters who always tried to get newsworthy information (p.292). Fulsom spent a lot of time gathering data from the National Archives (`Acknowledgments'). Fulsom first linked CREEP to the Watergate burglary after a tip from a friend (`Introduction'). His skepticism about Nixon's denials allowed him to get significant scoops during the Nixon presidency (p.2). He spent over three decades on the shadowy details of Nixon's deeds and illicit activities. These twenty chapters cover various topics, some are more important than others. The `Notes' provide the references. [This book tells how the Ruling Class of America picks a candidate to run the country for their benefit. Since 1969 wages were stagnant and taxes escalated for most Americans.]

Nixon burglarized the campaign office of his opponent in his first campaign, hired people to pose as communists when handing out his opponent's campaign literature, and gave false information to reporters about the man who shot governor George Wallace. [Wallace would have taken votes away from Nixon.] Nixon tried to kill Fidel Castro, approved a plan to assassinate Aristotle Onassis, authorized the murder of Salvador Allende, planned to kill Oscar Torrijos, and almost did in columnist Jack Anderson (p.3). Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein feared for their lives after a warning from Mark Felt. He had hidden ties to gangsters from his early campaigns (p.4). He took a payoff to pardon Jimmy Hoffa. His buddy Bebe Rebozo was an associate of organized crime, like Santo Trafficante.
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At first, I thought after seeing this on America's Book Of Secrets it would be great. Sadly I was met with the worst biography ever written. This book constantly repeats itself, keeps making the same references, instead of waiting till the chapter about Watergate, it makes numerous quotes about it throughout the book, and most of all, the author didn't put anything in chronological order.
This was the worst waste of money I have ever made. DON'T BUY THIS BOOK!
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As a book lover, one of my key criteria of a great read is if I get the sense that I don't ever want to reach the last page. That's what this bit of Nixon-ology is for me. As a baby-boomer I remember the entire Nixon saga and this book intelligently and accessibly captures this tragic and fascinating figure. The information about the JFK assassination is also very compelling. I even bought a copy for a friend.
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It's possible that I don't know enough about the Kennedy assassination and the controversy surrounding the Warren Report, but I thought Nixon's Darkest Secrets was a little too laden with the conspiracy theory that implicates Nixon and the mafia of orchestrating Kennedy's assassination. The tone of the book leaned toward tawdry gossip, and although I'm no fan of Richard M. Nixon, I find it fascinating that he was able to maneuver himself into the most powerful office in the world only to squander it with with paranoia, an all consuming anger, and retribution. Machiavellian leaders get their underlings to conspire against each other thus allowing for no time to plot against the man on top. One of Nixon's biggest flaws was his willingness to get directly involved in the plots of his enemies leaving a sloppy trail that led directly to his threshold. Mr. Fulsom's book had me marveling at how so brilliant a man could be so stupid, but Fulsom also seems to have an axe to grind, and his story telling at times got in the way of a good story.
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