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President Nixon: Alone in the White House

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  357 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Who was Richard Nixon? The most amazing thing about the man was not what he did as president, but that he became president at all. Using thousands of new interviews and recently discovered or declassified documents and tapes, Richard Reeves's President Nixon offers a surprising portrait of a brilliant and contradictory man.
Even as he dreamed of presidential greatness, Ni
Paperback, 704 pages
Published October 10th 2002 by Simon & Schuster (first published September 18th 2001)
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Aaron Million
Jul 29, 2014 Aaron Million rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
Another good behind-the-scenes look at a presidency by Reeves. And, no presidency had more going on in the shadows than Richard Nixon's. Reeves details the isolation and rampant paranoia of Nixon - a man who would at times communicate with his wife via memos, obsess over his "enemies" - of which he had many, backstab people, lie, and try to ruin others' careers simply because he could. Nobody here comes off looking good: Nixon, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Dean, Mitchell, Colson, Kissinger, Rogers, Agn ...more
Sep 03, 2008 George is currently reading it
Like some zombie that's overstayed its welcome, old ski-nose (or was that Bob Hope, I get the two confused) just keeps coming back for more. Dirty tricks, brain-dead ideologies, and banal hypocrisy are all part of the Republican Party's arsenal these days. Nixon's vision of a Republican-controlled New South still bleeds Red. And his prediction that the superior "Yellow Race" would eventually come out on top over the black-and-white versions? Hey, did you happen to check out where that American f ...more
Paul Swendson
Aug 05, 2014 Paul Swendson rated it really liked it
This is a very thorough overview of Nixon's first term in office. The author glosses over most of Nixon's second term, describing it as being swallowed up by the Watergate affair.

I first heard about this book when listening to the author talk about it on NPR. He described how he was able to get access to a huge amount of Nixon's personal notes. Apparently, Nixon would sit around through much of his presidency writing notes to himself on yellow note pads. By gaining access to Nixon's personal not
Dec 18, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
Richard Reeves has provided an amazing insight into the presidency of Richard Nixon. Getting access to Nixon's extensive notes to himself, notes to others, tapes of conversations in the Oval Office, Reeves describes an extreme introvert, who basically isolated himself from all but a handful of staff. And even these he often avoided, presumably to brood alone.

Nixon's term and a half as President had an amazing number of highpoints: concluding the war in Vietnam and bringing both the active milit
M. Milner
Jan 30, 2015 M. Milner rated it really liked it
A huge, exhaustive look at Nixon’s first term of office, Reeves’ book is a compelling day-by-day look at the making and unmaking of a presidency, often at the same time. It’s an interesting read.

When Nixon rolled into the Oval Office in 1969, he brought in a handful of loyalists whose jobs were to insulate him from stuff he deemed un-presidential. If people wanted to talk with him, they had to go through Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman first. So right from the get-go, maybe Nixon’s presidency was d
Erik Graff
Jun 01, 2015 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: US citizens
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
As its title indicates, 'President Nixon' is about the years in the White House, focusing on the campaigns for the office, the recognition of Peoples' China, detente with the USSR and withdrawal from Vietnam--and, surprisingly, not all that much about the final stages of the Watergate investigations leading to resignation. In the course of this the characters of both Nixon and his staff, the culture of the White House, are revealed in such a manner that Nixon's fall appears almost tragic.

Feb 04, 2011 Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating account of what went on in the Nixon administration. It's a period of history I knew very little of.
Shawn Ryan Rosa
Apr 19, 2013 Shawn Ryan Rosa rated it it was amazing
Excellent work by Reeves, definitely worth reading for a better grasp on this largely mistunderstood president.
Alisha Bennett
Jun 20, 2016 Alisha Bennett rated it it was ok
Nixon has always been a confusing President to me. After reading Reeves' biography I believe he may have suffered from a mental disorder manifesting in paranoia and megalomania. I was born in the late, late 70's (okay, truthfully, I spent less than 20 days in the 1970's) so I don't have a personal context for his Presidency, Watergate or his subsequent resignation. However, I believe (and hope) that there are better books available on Nixon. Dry and obsessed with quoting other sources, who quote ...more
Apr 18, 2010 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-white-square
"There was one last piece of business concerning the session (with Chairman Mao). The President's men asked the Chinese photographers to cut Winston Lord out of their pictures before they were given to the press. That way they could tell the State Department that the Chinese had insisted that only the Preident and Kissinger come to Mao's house."

"President Nixon had memorized his toast, and that had caused a strange scene in the American party between Dwight Chapin, the White House advance chief,
Neil Pierson
Jul 08, 2014 Neil Pierson rated it really liked it
"How am I supposed to plot the destruction of my enemies when you keep interrupting me with this... this... presidential shit?"

Okay, Nixon never said this - at least out loud. But he probably thought it constantly. It was the dilemma he created for himself by seeking to control every detail in the federal government without having to endure human contact.

To you, Nixon may have seemed a crabbed, paranoid, vindictive would-be tyrant. Actually, he was worse.
Nov 02, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Fascinating day by day study of the Nixon administration. The president comes across as a very odd man with some good political instincts. It emphasizes foreign policy, clearly Nixon's primary area of interest, with the visits to Russia and China and the cynical winding down of the Vietnam War prominent in the story. It demonstrates how Nixon concentrated power in the White House and basically ignored the Cabinet departments. No one looks good in this story, which presents a portrait of an amora ...more
Apr 05, 2008 Mike rated it liked it
Richard Reeves is a fair author. Having read his previous book on President Kennedy, I was interested in his take on Nixon. This book is not a bio, nor is it a political history per se. Rather this book, like the Kennedy and Reagan books, weaves a path through the first four years of Nixon's presidency. The age old question will always remain: how a guy as smart as Richard Nixon, and he was smart, got caught up in a bevy of intrigue, black ops, and paranoia.
Apr 09, 2007 Elaine rated it really liked it
This is such an impressive, comprehensive biography of Nixon during his years in the White House. You will marvel at Reeves's ability to weave events out of the thousands of minutes of conversations and endless documents he had to review to write this chronicle. From his work comes an interesting though not all that surprising take on Nixon as somewhat of a recluse whose own closed-offness led him to shun potentially worthy advice and act on or try to act on sometimes vindictive whims. Sound fam ...more
Jul 30, 2007 ba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a day by day account of Mr. Nixon's Presidency, based on the government's own documentation. The reader can see the "ordinariness" and pettiness of the man, and also watch his mental state deteriorate as the pressures of his role collide with the massive ego that drove him to the position in the first place. It's interesting to see that the majority of the current "neocon" leadership was either already active in Nixon's administration , or was appointed by him. That's your Perots, Rumsfe ...more
Grindy Stone
Jul 20, 2016 Grindy Stone rated it liked it
A glorified timeline - this is a good jumping off point for anyone interested in the Nixon presidency (though it ends in April, 1973). The only new tidbit I got was reading about Bob Haldeman on the Oval Office tapes reporting to RMN that Mark Felt was talking to the press about Watergate, specifically to the Washington Post. This was some years before Felt was outed as Deep Throat.
Jan 25, 2009 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent bio of Nixon. Although Reeves is an establishment liberal, he approaches Nixon with an open mind and gives him his due. The fascinating part is that much of what the press reported and subsequently reported concerning the Nixon White House Horrors is verified independently by Reeves.
Jul 30, 2007 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marthasbooks
Want a preview of the imperialist neo-fascist presidency of George W. Bush? Read this book. An insight into Nixon's humanity (and I don't mean that in a good way) and also a damn frightening look at the abused of power within our fragile democracy.
Feb 13, 2013 Colleen rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
I was afraid it might breed sympathy for the devil but instead it just ga e me a clearer picture
May 08, 2009 Jay added it
We've been studying Watergate at school and I had to refresh my grasp of the facts.
Feb 26, 2009 Monte rated it really liked it
Not possible to read enough about President Nixon
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Richard Reeves, the bestselling author of such books as President Kennedy: Profile in Power, is an award-winning journalist who has worked for The New York Times, written for The New Yorker, and served as chief correspondent for Frontline on PBS. Currently the senior lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, he lives in Los Angeles.
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