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Nixon Volume #2: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972
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Nixon Volume #2: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972 (Nixon #2)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  182 ratings  ·  15 reviews
This book is about one of the most complex and puzzling of our chief executives at the apogee of his career--rebounding from defeat to an innovative, high-risk presidency, already sowing the seeds of his ruin. Illustrated.
Hardcover, 736 pages
Published December 31st 1987 by Simon & Schuster
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I wish Ambrose had taken a bit more of an unbiased look at Nixon in this book. He did a better job of hiding his hatred of the man in Volume 1. Nixon had enough faults and problems without having to ramp up any negatives.

I've really liked Ambrose's other works and was just disappointed to see him let his bias show so much.
Everyone agrees that Nixon was a complex and perhaps a strange man. What strikes me about Stephen Ambrose's biography is that how similar Nixon is to other conservative leaders. I'm not sure if conservative politicians consciously followed the Nixon template or that it is the nature of right wing governments in liberal democracies that they tend to be secretive, paranoid, run by resolute cynics who tend to be driven by reacting to enemies.

A demonised man, the ultimate political cynic whose nick
Picked this one up after seeing the film Frost/Nixon, which provided an interesting glossing over of the crucial issues of Nixon's presidential regime. I've been itching to dive a little deeper into some American history (about which I'm woefully under-educated), and the movie made me realize Nixon's era might be a good place to start as it covers a huge array of major economic and political issues that continue to be hot topics to this day.

The late Stephen Ambrose was a respected biographer who
Good insight into Nixon's run for president and jis pre-downfall years. What all was going on? Kennedy and Johnson handed Nixon the nightmare of Vietnam. Domestic terrorism had taken root in politicians being shot, buildings burned, and looting (often under the guise of peace protests). The civil rights movement was still just in its infancy and white America was not ready for it. The Russians had achieved equality with the US in the nuclear arms race. China was playing an ever-increasing role i ...more
Brian Schwartz
The book closes with the election of 1972 when the Democrats imploded around the candidacy of George McGovern. Nixon should have behaved as Reagan did in 1984 and been a gentleman to the man he knew he was going to crush. Instead, his paranoia of losing and his drive to create a massive "mandate" that would empower him to completely reshape government and the federal bureaucracy to his liking, planted the seeds of his downfall.

The machinations of Watergate are covered in Ambrose's third volume.
Ambrose's writing is engaging and almost conversational. He strikes an appropriate balance of maintaining objectivity and providing critical assessments of Nixon and his excesses (of which there were many). He gives credit where credit is due, but also does not hesitate to call Nixon on his lies and manipulations (of which, again, there were many). To the extent that Ambrose has been accused of plagiarism in his works, I'm not aware of any alleged instances of that in this book. All in all, the ...more
Clayton Brannon
Superbly written history of one of the most controversial Presidents we have ever had. Takes a a close look at his personality and why he was the way he was from his triumphs to his failures as an individual. A must read for anyone interested in that historical time frame. I live through those times but still found this extremely enlightening.
As always a good read by Ambrose. The book makes me think no politician is really worthy of the office of President. They are ALL so flawed. It is not the desire to serve and move the country towards a better place, but a sick desire for power and control.
I normally don't have any problem getting through a book like this, but I admit I struggled here; it was only my absolute determination to finish that saw me through. I think this book was almost a little too detailed, and I could never find a rhythm to really get into it.
David-jacky Breech
The Second in the series makes you want to immediately start the third and final. Nixon went from losing the California Governors race in 1962 to being elected President 6 years later. This was the comeback of all comebacks.
Part 2 of Ambrose's Nixon series is a balanced look at his return from the political wilderness, eventually to reach the Oval Office. Such a biography of Nixon seems unlikely today, which is unfortunate.
Exhaustive and engrossing. Particularly the part where Ambrose quotes Nixon as referring to peace activist John Lennon as "fucknuts."

--Note: I made that up.
Chris Brimmer
At this point Ambrose's penchant for recycling material came through, still a great work.
Another well researched and well written Nixon biography from Ambrose.
Bill Ashcraft
Same as volume 1 --- really good!
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Stephen 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.

More about Stephen E. Ambrose...

Other Books in the Series

Nixon (3 books)
  • Nixon Volume #1: The Education of a Politician, 1913-62
  • Nixon Volume #3: Ruin and Recovery 1973-1990
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