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RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  444 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Former President Richard Nixon's bestselling autobiography is an intensely personal examination of his life, public career, and White House years. With startling candor, Nixon reveals his beliefs, doubts, and behind-the-scenes decisions, shedding new light on his landmark diplomatic and domestic initiatives, political campaigns, and historic decision to resign from the pre ...more
Hardcover, 1111 pages
Published January 1st 1979 by Warner Books (NY) (first published May 1st 1978)
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Memoirs by Men
85th out of 728 books — 456 voters
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Books written by American Presidents
49th out of 89 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,082)
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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
محمد وفيق زين العابدين
مذكرات الرئيس الأمريكي (ريتشارد نيكسون) تعتبر من أهم مذكرات الساسة في القرن العشرين، وأهميتها تكمن في أنها تُعد مصدرًا أساسيًا لمعرفة الأبعاد السياسية للحرب الباردة بين الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد السوفيتي، وكذلك علاقة الولايات المتحدة بالدول العربية، وأهميتها الكبرى ليست في قدر ما توفره من معلومات بقدر ما هي في صدورها عن شخص مؤلفها الذي كان رئيسًا لأمريكا في الفترة من 1969م وحتى 1974م ونائبًا لرئيسها في الفترة من 1953م وحتى 1961م.
وأكثر ما جذب انتباهي من نصوص هذه المذكرات ما تعلق منها بتحديد علاقة
Feb 22, 2013 Kat rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 12, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 03, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 01, 2015 Nolan rated it really liked it
Shelves: nls-audio
First, it really doesn’t matter where you stand politically. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, what you’ll find here is a book where the main character is not much given to that kind of sorrow that results in true repentance. Instead, there seems to be a lot of victimhood in here—someone else’s fault, always someone else out to impede or derail the author.

So why would anyone want to read a book by a whiner about the tragedies of his life largely imposed on him by others? Bec
Jun 26, 2008 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies, politics
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.
Oct 27, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 27, 2011 Scott Hazen rated it really liked it
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
Dec 11, 2012 Shaqer Rasheed rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 01, 2014 GT rated it really liked it
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
Aug 03, 2007 David rated it liked it
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
Ned Lipes
Apr 09, 2016 Ned Lipes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievable, the guy openly admits to some pretty shady stuff, but apparently it was only what could be proven against him.
Jan 16, 2015 Anne-Kathleen rated it liked it
The German chancellor Willy Brandt is missing in this book. Not good!
Nadia Torok
Jul 12, 2013 Nadia Torok rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 18, 2014 Don Heiman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 12, 2013 Keith Thomson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiographies
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
Jul 18, 2009 Ed Armstrong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 16, 2013 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
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
Jun 05, 2013 Kevin Coombs rated it liked it
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.
Jul 19, 2013 David rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 03, 2009 Terry rated it liked it

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
Aug 06, 2011 Jussi Mononen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 24, 2012 Marsha rated it liked it
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.
Jun 09, 2015 Duncan rated it it was amazing
The best autobiography I have read. Ever. Interesting to read having been relatively young (!!) during his presidency and although I am sure very one sided I enjoyed hearing about the events "first hand"
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 Heflinger
Aug 01, 2010 Christine Heflinger rated it really liked it
Easily the loooongest book I've ever read! Interesting, though...especially the account of normalizing relations with China.
Jul 10, 2014 Johnrylelawsoniii rated it liked it
This monstrous tome is surprisingly well written. Of course, the author isn't entirely on the level.
Dec 06, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it
Fascinating to read his account of his meetings with foreign leaders such as Mao and Brezhnev.
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37th President of the United States.
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