Read Nixon Volume #2: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972 by Stephen E. Ambrose Free Online
Book Title: Nixon Volume #2: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972|
The author of the book: Stephen E. Ambrose
Edition: Simon & Schuster
Date of issue: December 1st 1987
ISBN 13: 9780671528379
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 17.42 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.9
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''Richard Helms, head of the CIA, opened the meeting by listing the countries that had recognized Biafra. Nixon stopped him and said ''Look Dick, you've left a couple of countries - Zambia and the Ivory Coast.'' Helms, somewhat shaken, got going again, this time about tribal rivalries being part of the problem. Nixon stopped him again. ''Yes. And this is a problem which really goes back to the history of that country. The British colonial policy favored the Moslem Hausas in the north and that aggravated the tensions and there's cultural as well as economical and political factors here. It's a very, very tragic problem.'' One foreign Service officer was absolutely astonished at the level of knowledge of Nixon''.
Volume 2 of Ambrose's Nixon's biography is filled with lots of interesting insights about the man, the lawyer, the politician, the commander in chief that was the 37th president. the book covers his life from his exile of active politics in 1962 to his triumphal reelection in 1972. It is a tale of an astute politician who waits quietly, tours the world's capitals, builds his network and wins the big price (twice).
I was really interested in learning details about RN's life when he was no longer under the limelight. His comeback in 68' was everything but meticulously planned since his ''retirement'' in 62'. Nixon tried to be the poster boy of the opposition to LBJ's Great Society and involvement in Vietnam and was very successful at getting attention from the press.
His first mandate covers most of the book. Ambrose spends a great deal of time elaborating on the White House policies and the battles between RN, a democratic controlled congress and a liberal leaning Supreme Court. But, as the author points out often, Nixon had little interest in domestic policies. Focusing much of his energy on the Cold War and his obsession with the press and leaks from his staff.
Vietnam is, of course, covered at length. Here, Ambrose doesn't go soft on his deception about Nixon's false campaign pledge to end the war in his first term. He also discusses the 1968 cease fire and LBJ's attempt to negotiate peace before the election saying that we can't be sure if Nixon sabotaged the negotiation. However, thanks to Farrel's biography of Nixon published in 2017, we now have documents proving he actually had had a back channel to South Vietnam through a political operative and tried to convinced Saigon and Hanoi not to play ball with the democrats. Johnson knew it but decided not to expose Nixon's trick because it would have shown that the White House was spying on the republican candidate (LBJ spied on Humphrey as well).
The slowly unfolding Watergate Scandal gets a great deal or writing too. The authors makes a point of analyzing it through the sole perspective of Nixon's actions. He also does a good job at showing the essential with a talent for great narrative:
''Nixon had actively attempted to obstruct justice by ordering the CIA to lie to the FBI and by buying the silence of the guilty through offers of clemency and financial support. In his public statements - that he ordered a vigorous FBI investigation and that he had ordered an internal White House investigation that proved no one on his staff was involved - he had lied. He had also lied in private to Halderman, Ehrlichman, and Colson. Eisenhower had once told Nixon that he had learned a long time ago that when you got caught, ''don't try to be cute or cover up. If you do, you will get so entangled you won't know what you're doing'' ''
Great read, valuable book.
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Read information about the authorStephen Edward Ambrose was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He received his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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