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Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President

3.08  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
A veteran White House reporter reveals our 37th president was even more sinister and haunted than we knew.

While Richard Nixon resigned from the White House as our most disgraced president, the American people never knew the full extent of his demons, paranoia, prejudices, hatreds, and chicanery. Calling on his work in covering Nixon in the White House, as well as scores of
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 24th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 31st 2012)
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Feb 02, 2012 Donna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have been studying Nixon for many years, reading every book about the man that I can find, including Nixon's books his daughters books his assistants books, his doctor's book, his political operatives books, Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Dean, Mitchell, his brother's book, his friends books, his enemies books, Martha Mitchell's book and scores of others. I also peruse the presidential daily diary, and my hobby is listening to the Nixon tapes, hundreds of hours and not just those that pertain to Waterg ...more
Dan Wickett
Mar 07, 2012 Dan Wickett rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot remember the last time I was so disappointed in a book. One would think that a book with the title, Nixon's Darkest Secrets, and especially with the subtitle, The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President, would have something new, something substantial, backing up its claims. Sadly, this is not even close to the case this time around.

Instead what Don Fulsom has given his readers is a mish-mash of previously whispered about questions about Nixon--was he tied to the Mob?, what we
Rick F.
If Nixon did suffer from alcoholism- he suffered from a disease and should not be demonized- The other main claim is Nixon had a gay affair- which is highly offensive to gay people, and people like myself, who view homosexuality as simply a normal part among many that contribute to a whole person...same with heterosexuals like me..Orientation does not define a person, kindness and caring for others does. Apparently Fulson (Will not use his first name as he does not rank it)considers homosexualit ...more
May 23, 2012 Beej rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who found this book a load of incoherent trash, a complete waste of time. The writer appears to have no idea what constitutes an expert or even a fact. The book contains rumor and half-assed suppositions and sweeping conclusions represented as fact, which have all the intellectual maturity, discernment and insight of an eight year old (my apology to eight year olds) "backed up" with footnotes often to other rumor mongers, conspiracy theorists and similar unre ...more
Bill Franks
Feb 18, 2012 Bill Franks rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a shabby book. An obviously biased effort by a journalist whose exposure to the president (Nixon) was distant at best. The scurrilous speculations entertained herein are not only baseless, as the author presents no evidence to support either of his sensational claims. (which makes me think he used them to dishonestly gain exposure and to help foster sales) but they are of the same nature as those that many presidents have endured in the past and ARE endurring to this day. Google "11 US p ...more
Jack Brandt
Jun 19, 2012 Jack Brandt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely the worst book that I have ever read on the topic of Richard Nixon. And it seems most news outlets and political pundits are in complete agreement on that score. This book has been roundly punished in national reviews and most deservedly so. In total it is shot through with gossipmongering and conspiracy hoaxes. Don't waste your time or money filling your mind with useless far fetched and thoroughly discredited conspiracies and baseless and ludicrous gossip, most of which appears to b ...more
Jason Randt
Sep 10, 2012 Jason Randt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book reads like a supermarket tabloid. Author made no attempt to hide obvious bias. This book and others like it are a scourge to serious students studying history and merely represent a new and growing genre of "kick them when they're dead." This book gets it wrong in many areas, especially when one looks at the footnotes and compares the actual events sourced in other books with respect to the manner the event is colored by this author. This book contains backbiting, jeering and unsupport ...more
This is a recitation of the misdeeds, most of which have been reported before, of the 37 president of the United States. It is a grim picture, indeed, full of Richard Nixon's profane and vindictive personality and his coterie of mobbed up and ruthless friends. I don't know what purpose the book serves beyond providing a means of wallowing in the worst episodes in this sorry period in American history. Even with respect to Richard Nixon -- at least, where serious research and reflection are conce ...more
Stuart Radner
Sep 10, 2012 Stuart Radner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very Disappointing book. This author traffics in revisionism and wild speculations that are with only a little effort easily disproved. He probably utilized the more sensational suggestions in this book to help promote his book upon release. Howver the book is heavily footnoted but a simple review of source materials shows that this author is accustomed to relating only portions of events and suppressing conflicting information, all in a very disingenuous attempt to help foster his speculations. ...more
Mark Mccullough
Feb 18, 2012 Mark Mccullough rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Trashy, shameful, incoherent rag, waste of my time and money.
We can now know more about the Nixon administration than we could when we were living in it. Previously sealed records have been opened, books by and interviews with participants (and their families) have published and historians and journalists have been diligent in tracing the record. This book, by a White House reporter at the time, contains a lot of the new information.

The book's footnotes show a reliance on secondary sources. Many are reliable reporters such as Seymour Hersh, Robert Woodwar
Gary L. Strike
Mar 20, 2012 Gary L. Strike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in humanities.
After reading other reviews I am almost afraid to give my opinion so as not to look naive or gullible. Oh well, since when did I let that stop me? I am enjoying the book and it makes SO much sense in light of who Richard Nixon was. This man who served as our president was a hypocritical unmoral corrupt phony. He was an extreme narcissist who only cared about himself, his stature, and his legacy...which is ruined. I truly suspected as much but Fulsom even provided more information on a man I woul ...more
Jim Zubricky
Feb 05, 2012 Jim Zubricky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit: I picked up this book after reading several reviews of it with promises of tantalizing new information on President Nixon. While some of the author's contentions are a little far-fetched (the chapter on Nixon's possible homosexuality and and another on beating his wife -- but even then it mainly focused on him suckerpunching his aides) and stretching, some of what he does say seems very plausible (especially his relationship with the Mafia, and based on the tons of research already ...more
Martin Bakner
For those who are relatively unfamiliar with the events of the political life of Richard Nixon, this book would be a good introduction.
For those who have read other accounts of Nixon's life and deeds, there will be few revelations... though this book provides a decent summary of Nixon's dealings and personal demons.

Footnotes are abundant, and the reader will feel drawn to study many of the sources, whether they be detailed accounts such as The Final Days or transcripts (and actual recordings) of
Aug 22, 2012 Skylarkestral rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not credible, particularly with respect to the irresponsible and unsubstantiated rumors that the author has tried to promulgate to help foster sales. If you care to delve into the facts, and had the author himself taken the time to do so (like any decent investigator would), he/you would find that Nixon's private recorded conversations with Bebe Rebozo reveals that Nixon believed his friend to be a 'ladie's Man" he even kidded him about it on tape. These tapes are available for anyo ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Jacki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is quite literally one of the worst non-fiction books I have ever read. If you can look past the insane bias (which I really couldn't) there were still the 900,000 times that he sited secondary sources, and so many cases of whole phrase/paragraph repetition and just sloppy writing that I was appalled. I cannot imagine how this made it to publication.

Amongst other things, Fulsom claims that Nixon was a gay drunk that beat his wife and hated his daughters. He really has almost no evidence th
Dale Stonehouse
One might think there are no more or worse revelations about Nixon after all the books on him. But even though much of this book is a rehash, some indeed is new. Perhaps we will never know completely how flawed this poor man was. After seeing what happened to Kennedy and Johnson in office, maybe he felt he had no choice but to make some very poor personal and political choices. The one that seems nearly unforgivable is his treatment of wife Pat. If only for cover it seems like keeping up appeara ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 28, 2014 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nixon fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
Fulsome covered the White House during the Nixon years, even accompanying the president to China. This book includes some anecdotes from the author's own experiences, but it's mostly based on interviews and recently released documents and tape recordings. Those who've read much about the Nixon presidency (and the Kennedy assassination) will have been exposed to most of the themes addressed, but may be pleased to see what had once been merely alleged to have been subsequently confirmed by the rec ...more
Aug 30, 2013 Dan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Umm, wow. There's no question from the opening pages of the book on that the author has an axe to grind, and it comes across as personal. Whatever you may think of Richard Nixon and what he did to, for, on behalf of or against our country, this book is little more than speculation, innuendo, and accusations, much of it based on extraordinarily loose, fanciful, and possibly even delusional readings of everything from primary source material to rumors. For someone who lays claim to a career as a t ...more
Gregory Klages
Fulsom offers a rather challenging interpretation of Richard Nixon's life. While some of his sources are highly reliable, others are extremely questionable. His speculation regarding Nixon's possible complicity in, or at least knowledge of a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy seems far-fetched, if not impossible to prove.

See select quotations at:

There is a alot of rehashing between the chapters, but there are many confirmations in this book. Everything is backed with excellent research and analysis.

The Bottom line is that Nixon was indeed a crook. He was also a drunk, a wife-beater, a bully, a racist, both homophobic and mildly homosexual, owned by the mob and Howard Hughes, and while he did not have a role in the JFK Assassination, he knew almost everyone involved.
Sep 10, 2012 Steve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not a credible book, heavily contrived, draws specious conclusions on intangible or uncontextualized events. Highly selective use of footnoted sources only allows skewed picture to develop. Author suppresses conflicting information that would allow a more genuine picture to evolve. Not recommended.
Brad C
Feb 07, 2016 Brad C rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
Read some things in this one that I didn't know, but this writer's lack of objectivity makes me question the veracity of many things in the book. The entire book is contrived from an obvious hatred of Nixon. While I certainly understand Nixon's faults and weaknesses, I prefer that an author at least pretends to write with some level of objectivity.
May 05, 2013 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a Nixon scholar so I'm not as knowledgeable as some of the negative reviewers. Liked the book, just wish it wasn't about a US president, but I'm glad that he is the worst we've had in recent history, as opposed to a Stalin, Mao, or any other dictatorship. Of course, I didn't serve and die in Vietnam between 69 and 75 like so many others, on both sides.
Randy Cauthen
A little loose in structure and at times a little petty -- do we really need a whole chapter about how Nixon cussed up a storm? But I learned some stuff, including how a 7-year-old little Dick clubbed another kid with the blunt end of a hatchet because the kid wouldn't let him hold his jar of pollywogs.
Jan 20, 2014 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Popcorn; salty but little nutritional value. Nothing new here if you've read much of Tricky Dick. He was a pig, a bully, a drunk, and nearly deranged at the end. Should have been tried for treason for delaying peace in Vietnam to win election in '68. The book rambles and disappointments. Rating 1 of 5 sweaty lips.
Dec 29, 2015 Amber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found myself questioning quite a few of the author's sources. Much of his "research" seemed to come from secondhand gossip or word of mouth rather than primary sources. I had been looking forward to reading this, but it read more like an article from Star magazine than an actual work of non-fiction.
Nov 07, 2014 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Oh what a web we weave.." I hope the declassification of 1 million CIA documents in 2017 finally explains the sorry business that has shrouded America since 1963. This book provides a good idea of what those documents might reveal.
Jeff Partyka
Not great. Repetitive, haphazardly organized. And some of the insinuations (e.g., Nixon and his bachelor pal Bebe Rebozo may have been more than friends) are presented with virtually no supporting evidence.
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“If you were Meyer, who would you invest your money in? Some politician named Clams Linguini? Or a nice Protestant boy from Whittier, California?” 0 likes
“have now spent more than three decades pursuing the shadowy details of Richard Nixon’s deeds, and the links to illicit activities keep coming, thanks to the extensive research I’ve done and the staggered release of Nixon’s White House tapes and documents.” 0 likes
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