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RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon Paperback – May 15, 1990

4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Former President Richard Nixon's bestselling autobiography is an intensely personal examination of his life, public career, and White House years. With startling candor, Nixon reveals his beliefs, doubts, and behind-the-scenes decisions, and sheds new light on his landmark diplomatic initiatives, political campaigns, and historic decision to resign from the presidency.

Throughout his career, Richard Nixon made extensive notes about his ideas, conversations, activities, and meetings. During his presidency, from November 1971 until April 1973, and again in June and July 1974, he kept an almost daily diary of reflections, analyses, and perceptions. These notes and diary dictations, which are quoted throughout this book, provide a unique insight into the complexities of the modern presidency and the great issues of American policy and politics.

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Product Details

  • Series: Richard Nixon Library Editions
  • Paperback: 1136 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671707418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671707415
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I first read this memoir 20 years ago. I was in my early twenties but even then it caught my interest and held it throughout the whole book. I have recently looked through it again. It's a lengthy tome, but well-written, with good characterization, and details that enlivens events for the reader. It was the first of its genre to turn me onto other presidential memoirs but none I read afterwards ever matched the depth of his.
The book not only describes his personal and family life but key players and world events at the time, a good study in political history now. There was plenty going on during his presidential years, a war abroad and civil unrest at home. He did not end the war as soon as he should have - the memoirs could not dodge this, as well they should not. That fact alone, and the loss of life entailed by it, mattered more to me than Watergate ever did.
But I liked and respected Nixon, even during the Watergate years. And in his memoirs, he was candid about his actions of those days and accepting of the consequences.
Whatever else history may say about him, Richard Nixon had been a major political figure for many years of his life, served his country and cared deeply about it.
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Format: Paperback
In this autobiographical account of his career, former President Richard M. Nixon narrates his career from its earliest beginning in Yorba Linda, Ca. thru his election and ultimate resignation as President in 1974. In a literary format reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt's' "Fireside Chats," the author narrates the behind the scenes actions in some of this nations' most critical decisions.
Key sections include his coming to national prominence during the trial of Alger Hiss, and the elections of 1952, 1960, 1968 and 1972. The most critical period is his six year stint as President between '68 and '74 when he and National Security Advisor, later Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, successfully exploited the Sino-Soviet rift making an end to the war in Vietnam possible, the 1973 Arab-Israeli War ending with Americas' brokering a peace treaty between the seemingly intractable foes, and the success of détente over the objections of liberal and conservative critics. Despite these monumental successes in foreign policy a malignant cancer was steadily growing on the Nixon presidency; it was called, "Watergate."
The author chronicles the events surrounding Watergate in painstaking detail. Throughout he contends that he never authorized the break-in at Democratic Headquarters and had no knowledge of it in advance. He states flatly his principal accuser, John Dean, was lying when he stated otherwise. He also says he was effectively tried by a hostile press based on leaks of "secret" material from "informed sources" whose objectivity and integrity was highly suspect. Is his story true? This is the only format in which his story is told completely, devoid of the hype that surrounded the first ever resignation of a U.S. President.
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Format: Paperback
For anyone fascinated by the only president in history to resign from office, Richard Nixon in his own words provides the first-hand account of the reasons for the events that triggered a national civil and presidential history crisis. "I saw Watergate as politics pure and simple," Nixon writes, adding he'd "play it tough" because his "enemies" would. But Nixon's downfall is put a part of this extensively written memoir, focusing also on the ex-president's incredible achievements as a peacemaker and his rise to national recognition as a fervent anti-Communist and his about-face in reaching out to the world's two most powerful communist countries (China and the former Soviet Union) once in office. Much of Nixon's own memories have been written in other publications, but this one adds (to a very limited degree) some reasons for the abstracts that were Richard Nixon. He tells us the night of his first presidential race loss to John F. Kennedy was the longest of his life, hinting that the election embittered him the rest of his public life. Yet, 12 years later, in 1972, when he was overwhelmingly endorsed by the American public in one of history's most lopsided presidential races, Nixon admittedly was unable to savor the mandate of the nation's choice, instead caught in some inexplicable dark mood caused by, Nixon profers, the looming storm of Watergate, his party's failure to wrest the House and Senate from the Democrats, or whatever else was at the core of the very man himself. Nixon, in his own words, is a mandatory addition to any Nixon library, and its historical value is apparent even if the reader disagrees with the man's explanation for some of the petty characteristics that brought down what may well have been one of the most productive presidential administrations in history.
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Format: Paperback
A good autobiography is one in which the author shares himself with the reader, his dreams and aspirations, his joys and sorrows and if you are lucky, his inner thoughts and emotions. President Richard Nixon does this in his memoirs and when you finish this massive book, you feel for the guy, understand him better and realise that the public at large do not understand or appreciate one of the greatest presidents of all time.

That may sound like a big statment, but when you look at what Nixon accomplished both domestically and foreign policy wise, you realise that this man did more than most presidents to shape the world into a better place. He opened China in 1972 and used the leverage of his visit to conclude the ABM and SALT I treaties with the USSR. He strengthened NATO and always accorded foreign leaders with great respect. He brought the US back from the brink of civil war by ending the Vietnam war, abolishing the draft and cracking down on extremists like the Weatherman. He created the Enviromental Protection Agency (EPA)and reformed healthcare and the welfare system.

Great acheivements obscured by Watergate: this book helps explain Nixon's mistakes in handling the situation, and he doesn't hide his criminal behavoir. But you understand that he played by the rules of his predessors who also bugged people and covered up, but that he got caught for it.

A Greek Tragedy was Nixon's life, but what I take home from his book is the man's intellegence, his vision and his belief in never giving up until you have reached the mountain's summit.
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