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Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  132 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews

A Washington Post Best Book of 2010

A Denver Post Best Book of 2010

A Kansas City Star Best Book of 2010

Poisoning the Press recounts the bitter quarter-century battle between the postwar era’s most contentious politician and its most reviled newsman. The struggle between Richard Nixon and Jack Anderson included bribery, blackmail, burglary, spying, and sexual smears

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Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Picador (first published August 31st 2010)
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Frances Levy
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The academic research that produced this book is astounding. A very well-written book that teaches us two things: Richard Nixon was an even bigger son of a bitch that we thought he was, and so was Jack Anderson.

Absolutely fascinating.

I used to read the Merry-Go-Round column as well as Maxine Cheshire's society column (now there's a ripe subject for a book)in the Washington Post when Drew Pearson wrote it and then Jack Anderson took the reins. There was no CNN then. If you really wanted to know w
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Jen
Oct 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating! Mark Feldstein reminds the reader of Nixon's endless corruptions and the blame he puts on everyone but himself. This blame eventually leads to the plot to kill his long time nemesis in the press, Jack Anderson. Anderson is a muckracker who arrived in Washington as an investigative reporter the same time Nixon arrived as a California Congressman. Anderson uncovered scandal after scandal that had Nixon in the front and center. One such expose earned him a Pulitzer Prize. Yet he didn't ...more
Phil
Oct 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
If you want to see the antecedents of the Bush crime family, look no further than the pages of this book. Tracing a line from Nixon in the 1940s and the Alger Hiss case through to the corruption of ex-military officers parroting the talking points of the Pentagon on Faux News, this book covers the history of the corrupting influence of that virulent strain of political slime that is Conservatism. The dirty tricks, the bribery, scandal, backstabbing and even murder (almost).

A wonderfully research
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Carol Hoenig
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wrote about this disturbing book for The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-h...
Converse

Its not every American politician who seriously asks his subordinates to find a way to kill a pesky journalist without getting caught. But then not every American politician has the likes of G. Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt on the payroll.


Jack Anderson's interactions with Richard Nixon when back over a decade by the early 1970s. His serious journalistic career began when started working with the columnist Drew Pearson in the late 1940s. He and Pearson revealed just before the 1960 election tha

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Todd
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am fascinated by Richard Nixon.

The man is straight out of Shakespeare -- sometimes Iago, sometimes Lear, sometimes (in his better, if increasingly rare, moments) Prince Hal himself. (Never Falstaff, though.) Nobody doubts his brilliance or cunning, but oh, what venality. He could never get over the contempt he had for the kinds of people LBJ called "the Harvards" -- those golden boys who effortlessly controlled the levers of power and sneered at awkward ladder-climbers like Richard Nixon.

Mark
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Kusaimamekirai
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating look at two men, president Richard Nixon and reporter Jack Anderson, who shared an adversarial and toxic relationship for thirty years. This relationship would have far reaching consequences not only for the lives of these men but for the country as a whole even to this day. While many people today probably are unaware of Jack Anderson he was during the 60’s and 70’s the preeminent investigative journalist in America. As such, he spent a large amount of time hounding, hara ...more
david-baptiste
Excellent portrayal of the decades long feud/war between Tricky Dick Nixon and the "scoop snoop" supreme jack Anderson--for myself a fascinating read as i had not known the extent of the mutual enmity/involvement of the two men dating back to the late 1940's--and the effects--sometimes inadvertntly postive--thatAnderson had on Nixon's various election campaigns in California (Congress & Senate inthe 1940's; governorship race lost in 1962) and nationally as Vice President under Eisenhower and ...more
Riley
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good reminder of just how dangerous Richard Nixon really was. I also learned a lot about Jack Anderson, a largely forgotten media figure who was in his day the nation's preeminent investigative reporter.

Whenever I read about abuses by the FBI and CIA, I'm always struck by how absurd and incompetent they often are. It is always important to remember, though, that they are also very, very serious things. Those thoughts came to mind for me reading about the Nixon administration's plo
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April Helms
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A great read for history buffs (although you might want a comic chaser afterward). It's an interesting and well-written account of the backgrounds and relationship between former president Richard Nixon and muckracker columnist Jack Anderson. To say it was antagonistic would be an understatement. The two men hated each other with a passion; there is a whole chapter devoted to how Nixon asked some of his Plumbers about murdering him. The writing can be funny (the whole bit about the CIA trying to ...more
Marc
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a little corner of history I wasn't aware of - evidence that Richard Nixon had made a concerted effort to have a reporter poisoned. If he had succeeded, Watergate would have been the least of his problems.

This is a fascinating look at the return of muckraking journalism in the Nixon era and shows how Jack Anderson's Mormon worldview helped propel him forward in zealously exposing the abuses of power in Washington. It doesn't treat Anderson as a saint, however and shows that noble pursuit
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Massimo Monteverdi
La macchina del fango agiva con successo anche oltre oceano. Nel ferale duello tra un giornalista d'assalto e il politico più screditato d'America, prevalse a lungo il mastino dell'informazione che mordeva le caviglie del potere. Giocò sporco, talvolta e, purtroppo per lui, lo beccarono. Poi, sul più bello (la grana del Watergate), si fece superare dai giovanotti più baldanzosi del Washington Post.
Edy
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fascinating story about the Nixon era and the antagonism between Nixon and Anderson. I heard about the book on KBYU's Thinking Aloud program and thought it sounded like a good read. It was. The older I get, the more pessimistic I become about government, political self-interest, etc. This book confirmed alot of my musings. It is well worth the read.
Lynn Eldredge
Mark Feldstein was on The Bob Edwards Show Friday (ll-18-11).
Erica
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reflective look at the scummy-ness of Nixon while trying to resurrect the reputation and role of Jack Anderson in his downfall.
Peter
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow...fascinating
Sarah
Oct 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! Full of suspense and historical facts.
Susan
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It provides some great insight into how we reached the gotcha journalism of today and a review of just how awful the Nixon years were.
Kurt Johnson
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look into the workings of the press.
Katherine
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE! Highly recommend to all fellow Nixoniacs and/or journalists interested in politics.
Ben
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adulthood
So good. If you're at all interested in this era, read this book. Those people were all insane.
Chris Cieslak
rated it really liked it
May 12, 2011
Andrew Schneider
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May 09, 2012
Michael
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Melanie
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Sep 14, 2012
Mark
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Dec 14, 2010
Sandra Fish
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Dec 11, 2016
Alex
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Feb 12, 2011
Connie
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Sep 10, 2011
Stuart
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Jan 21, 2011
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MARK FELDSTEIN teaches media and public affairs at George Washington University. He has worked for nearly twenty years as an on-air correspondent at CNN, ABC, and NBC, and is a two-time winner of the George Foster Peabody public-service award.
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