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RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon
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RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  298 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Hardcover, 1111 pages
Published January 1st 1979 by Warner Books (NY) (first published May 1st 1978)
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34th out of 89 books — 6 voters

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John Harder
I love stories about very intelligent people with a fatal flaw. Nixon fits this to a T. I am fascinated by Nixon’s trip to China. Though it resulted in a foreign relations coup and ultimately opening China provided a huge benefit for the average Chinese citizen, how could Nixon shake hands with one of the worst monsters in world history -- Mao Zedong? He did not seem phased by this, proving he was an adherent of realpolitik.

RN offers an indispensible perspective of a troubled and potentially tri
I'm always drawn to the flawed and misunderstood hero. Nixon fascinates me as one of the greatest foreign diplomats in US history. An extremely talented and intelligent man plagued by paranoia and and a misguided sense of loyalty.
The memoirs of a very talented, complex and conflicted man. Every time he seemed to be down for the count, he managed to pick himself back up. I can't help but admire that.
This was a great book. It gave me a sense of the scale of RN's historical achievements and his personality. The last 350 pages were almost painful to read as he goes into intense detail on Watergate and the reader sees how an Administration accomplishes historic goals (opening with China, end of Vetnam, return of POW's, arms agreements with USSR, stabilizing Mid East, opening relations with Sadat's Egypt while helping Golda Meir keep Israel alive in two wars) against a looming scandal which grad ...more
More than anything, I enjoyed Nixon's account of how hard he worked to get through college and law school. It inspired me coming out of high school when I found myself in similar circumstances; and it has helped me appreciate Nixon with a bit more humanity than most - faults and all - ever since.
During my entire four years in the USMC, Richard Nixon was my president. With full confidence and admiration for him, I had nothing but the highest regard for Mr. Nixon both as a man and as a president.

While I was stationed in SE Asia, in my estimation and that of other Marines, Nixon was "the man!" He is the one who brought the horrible quagmire which was the Vietnam War to an end, bringing our POWs home with their heads held high.

He had nothing to do with the Watergate break-in. His subordina
Scott Hazen
Nixon's style is both complex and readable, the Memoirs are a page turner to me because his era in American politics spans such a long time and such a fascinating time. Odd is this may seem, and even though he provides very little as Pat is concerned, I came away with a much deeper respect for her...she was never out front as some of the later Presidential wives have become, and she placed a personal integrity above all else. RN was complex and fascinating...and I have read the memiors twice, ju ...more
Shaqer Rasheed
This book is basically the history of the US in the 3rd quarter of the 20th century. Nixon is an amazing writer, whatever your opinion about the politician. The man had a razor sharp intellect and the quality so lacking in politicians these days- courage.
Outstanding memoirs, and one I enjoyed much more than I thought I would. Although the book's length was discouraging, it's content was rich. The term political animal must have been coined with Richard Nixon in mind.

The beginning of the book was not as tedious as I thought it might be. Fairly quickly RN moved to the Alger Hiss case with discussion of Whitaker Chambers and "The Pumpkin Papers", and then the 1952 election and the "Checkers Speech". I've have read material on both of these episode
You seldom find an autobiography that expresses criticism of the subject. That is especially true in this case, although one wouldn't expect to find Richard Nixon criticizing anything he did as president. This book was far too lengthy, and if you read it expecting to find a confession by Nixon, you are in for a disappointment. Nixon is, as he was in life, on the defensive much of the time.

It's not a problem that only Nixon had. Almost everyone who ever wrote a memoir did so as a means of getting
Nadia Torok
Many people base their judgement of him on the stories that have been blown up by the media (i.e. Watergate) but i don't think conclusions should be drawn about an individual like this based on one event in his monumental life. He did so much, that single occurrence was really a drop in a pond. and that is what makes this book so great. It gives people a feeling for the time, a firsthand account of an extremely influential man's life, and one more side of the story that allows people to judge fo ...more
Don Heiman
Nixon's memoirs is explicit, lucid, and written with amazing candor. Students of public administration will benefit from reading Nixon's description of the events that led to the downfall of his presidency. I am amazed at the role poor electronic technologies played in Nixon's struggle with audio tapes and transcription issues. The memoirs convinced me that open government policies must drive democracy and government accountability. I will think about Nixon's memoirs for a long time.
Keith Thomson
Say what you will about Nixon--and very likely what you have to say will preclude your considering this book--but he was a bright guy and had a unique perspective, having endured arguably the greatest fall in history. I was interested for those reasons. The book is insightful, exquisitely-written, compellingly humble and full of remorse. Also Dick is quite the raconteur. He may still be the worst-ever US president. But he is the best presidential autobiographer.
It's really long, but worth it. That said, Six Crises is a better memoir, but this one does cover more of his life. Hard to argue against a book written after Watergate, but this is still Nixon memoir #2 in my rankings. The other books are interesting too, but the aforementioned two strike me as the essential Nixon.
Ed Armstrong
This book was quite interesting when I began reading it but as I progressed and Nixon "got more into" his own "story" I got the sense that the man was bizzar. At every turn he was "enunciating" some other "doctrine" which description always included his name. He was indeed a complex man, very intelligent and would have ended up being quite an effective president had it not been for his Waterloo: Watergate.
I have always intensely dislike Richard Nixon, both as a person and as a President. I read the book hoping to come to a more nuanced view; instead I came to feel he was even more profoundly depraved.

Still, I was one of the few in my senior year of high school class to support his pardon. I did not feel then that "piling on" was in the American tradition.
Kevin Coombs
I've read everything Nixon wrote, several times. He was brilliant, insightful, liberal in many ways, by today's neo-con standards, and, of course, tragically flawed. In a word, he was human. All of that is on display in his memoirs. It is well worth the read, no matter what perspective on him or politics, you bring to the experience.
This is the first presidential memoirs I have read. Very interesting since I was one of those Nixon haters back then. I learned a lot about the man and appreciate the struggles involved in ending the war in Vietnam. In that way gives me better perspective on today's wars.
Well written and the diary notes were most interesting.

Nixon was witness to many leaders and events. The only man aside from FDR to be nominated to a national ticket of a major party FIVE times. His recounting of events and leaders is very interesting. When we get to the Watergate period, it bogs down in legal tit-for-tat, where we already know the outcome.
Jussi Mononen
You don't have to like Tricky Dick, but this is a far better written presidential memoir than most. Nixon is not exactly forthcoming about Watergate but the book gives a good glimpse of the thinking and philosophy of the man.
If you are interesting in self-deception and expert level rationalizing and justifications, this is a fascinating book. After reading it, I was left with no doubt about how Nixon got so many people to do his bidding.
I am still stuggling through this 1000 pager. If it wasn't part of a larger reading goal, I would have put it down a long time ago.
Christine Bailey
Easily the loooongest book I've ever read! Interesting, though...especially the account of normalizing relations with China.
This monstrous tome is surprisingly well written. Of course, the author isn't entirely on the level.
Monty James
He wines a little - but at least you get a first-person perspective of his failed presidency.
I really loved the book. It flowed very well until it got to Watergate, and then it slowed down.
Dec 11, 2012 John rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own, 5-star
Oct 30, 2007 Shawn is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I only reading this in my quest to read all preisdential autobiographies I can get my hands on.
Bud Brown
I loved this book, it was very enlightening and a look back in history
Great read
Mar 03, 2010 Suzy added it
This would be a good book to discuss and use as a learning tool.
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37th President of the United States.
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