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Frost/Nixon: Behind the Scenes of the Nixon Interviews

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  551 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Following the resounding success of the eponymous West End and Broadway hit play, Frost/Nixon tells the extraordinary story of how Sir David Frost pursued and landed the biggest fish of his career—and how the series drew larger audiences than any news interview ever had in the United States, before being shown all over the world.

This is Frost's absorbing story of his pursu
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published December 31st 1975)
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Apr 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Richard Nixon's resignation has always been an oddly fascinating moment for me. I was almost ten years old when he resigned and for some reason, the event left it's mark. Back in the late 90s, when the Bill Clinton impeachment comedy was playing out in Congress, there were a lot of people saying that what Clinton had done, essentially lying about cheating on his wife, was "worse than Nixon." Curious to see if they were correct, I found myself reading everything that I could get my hands on about ...more
P.S. Winn
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you weren't around when Nixon was in office, you have to read the interviews, if you were, you have to read them too. So much happened at this time, much of it behind the scenes. Reading the story helps us not to forget what happened and why we need to stop it from happening again. ...more
Matt Evans
Feb 07, 2009 rated it liked it
My hope was to hear the entirety of the Frost/Nixon interviews, and since that was far outside the purview of this 4.5-hour audiobook (the interviews run something like 28 hours), I was disappointed. That's a pattern for me, for my life: disappointment because of insufficient initial info gathering.

But still, there is quite a bit here to hold one's interest. Of especial note is Nixon's parsing, in his own words, in his own voice, and at the business end of Frost's anglovox, Q&A goad, Nixon's par
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
After the success of the Broadway play, David Frost wrote this book to set the record straight on the events of his historic interviews with Richard Nixon. Although he tacitly gave his blessing to the play, he had no influence on the writing and is quick to point out inaccuracies that were incorporated into the play to enhance the dramatic narrative. However, after reading Frost's account of the actual events, there doesn't seem to be any reason in my mind why dramatic license would need to be t ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very insightful look into a critical and turbulent time in American politics. As an American, this book makes several points about the repercussions of the Watergate scandal that are relevant to current US politics under the Obama administration. My critique of the scandal is that Nixon suffered a critical moment of indecision which blew the whole situation up and made it bigger than it should have been. It is also remarkable that Watergate has now become a case study for how a scandal can aff ...more
Oct 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I realised that perhaps I should have done some more research into the topics being discussed beforehand - it's was very easy to get lost in Nixon's rambling.

It was less about the actually production of the interviews themselves, unlike the film, and more about Frost discussing is take on Nixon during and after the interviews, analysing what he had said, adding in his own motivations and then examining the former president's later life - comparing what he said interviews to what later said in p
Asha Stark
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having thoroughly enjoyed the film when it was released (Can Michael Sheen do no wrong?), coming across this for fifty cents in a secondhand store was pretty exciting. I knew that the film had to take some liberties to make it watchable and no longer than two hours, but I didn't really know what was changed, for the most part.

This set me straight, and had the additional pleasure of being a bit of a character study from Frost's point of view.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
David Frost writes about the context, preparation and actual series of interviews he did with the 'disgraced' President Richard Nixon, on Watergate, the cover ups, the obstructions of justice, Viet Nam, Détente, China etc etc. A revealing and engaging look at one of the most famous series of interviews in history. 7 out of 12
Ella Catherall
This book is at its peak when describing the process of preparing and carrying out the interviews. However, I felt it dragged a tad in other bits and repeated a lot of the same points (The repetition is a criticism that can be particularly levelled at the last section of the book, the transcripts of the interviews).
David Gilani
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting topic (I loved the film). Book is decent, but a tad repetitive and I don’t think the best format / structure.

Still, a very interesting part of political history and the book definitely gives a more accurate picture of how the interviews went down
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
As someone not alive when the interview took place it was interesting to read the transcripts. But, I kept wondering why a British journalist should be doing a political and historical analysis of Nixon, rather than just presenting his journalistic process and the transcripts.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Listen to the audio for actual clips of the interview. Nothing shocking if you already know about this famous event, but excellent behind-the-scenes details and Frost’s emotional reactions to some of the responses.
Gretchen Hohmeyer
Worth listening to the audiobook entirely because it splices in clips from the actual interviews. The book itself is mostly just fine. Nothing in here is mindblowing from what I already know, but it's an interesting encapsulation of an event. Actual rating 3.5. ...more
Mike Medeiros
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I would have appreciated this more if it had just been a very detailed telling of the complete run -up and inner workings of the famous series of broadcasts in 1977. Instead Frost spends a lot of time giving historical Nixon presidency background and almost half the book is direct transcripts.
Tom Griggs
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating character study. Worth reading even if you've seen the play/movie, as he explores the interviews in more depth. ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting. I now know a lot more about Nixon, Watergate and Vietnam.
Vincent Andersen
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Some incredible details, but ultimately Frost spends most of the book preening and posturing. Disappointing peek at an amazing bit of American history.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Good insight into the conduction of Frost's famous Nixon interviews. A bit dry at times but otherwise a satisfactory read. ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
As much as I want to say I like the book because I admire Frost's journalism work, I cannot. The book was repetitive and rather uninteresting (at least in the second half). ...more
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Interesting to get the background to the interviews. Such as the preparation and the negotiations.
Nancy Oakes
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Frost/Nixon: Behind the Scenes of the Nixon Interviews is divided into two parts.

First there's a look at Frost's decision to interview Nixon when he was basically persona non grata, at a time when Nixon was trying to get back into public life. This was not an easy thing to accomplish for Frost -- a LOT of negotiation went on, including questions over how much money Nixon would get, who was going to have editorial control, the topics that Nixon would speak on, etc. This part of the book also exam
Paul McFadyen
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
The book of the film of the play of the televison show of the interviews of the man.

Definitely felt like a "commissioned" piece - that is, it looks like Frost has been approached to write up his own recollections, following the success of the aforementioned movie, and came up with the disjointed, modular book.

The first half is exactly what we'd expect: Frost's recollections of the process leading up to the interviews; the planning, the initial discussions and meetings with Nixon and a very signi
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, nonfiction

One thing I don't like to say in polite company is that I have a long-standing Richard Nixon addiction. This isn't to say I like him, mind you, but the combination of insecurity, criminal inclination, indecision, aggressiveness, political acumen, intelligence and many other seemingly contradictory characteristics are fascinating. Back in 1994 I sucked down Fred Emery's book on Watergate, and watched the excellent documentary that was linked to it.

I ha
Dec 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, own
When you've resigned the presidency in disgrace and then holed up for almost three years without talking to anybody from the media, and then you finally come out of your bunker and talk, what you say might be interesting. Or it might not.

It all depends on the ground rules and the interviewer. Interestingly enough, when Richard Nixon sent the word out that he needed money to pay for his legal fees, the networks weren't very interested ... they didn't expect much to come out of such interviews bey
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
Frost/nixon is an insider look at one of the most important interviews (and periods) in recent history. The book should be evaluated in three ways. The first is the interview - the dialog - itself. Second is the behind the scenes look at the discussions. Finally is a retrospective of Nixon's life. Regarding the interview, the author does a good job of highlighting the most important parts, specifically Watergate, Vietnam, China, and the "behind the curtain" psychoanalysis of Nixon as a man. The ...more
Chris Steeden
Nixon: 'I let down my friends, I let down my country, I let down our own system of government and the dreams of all those young people that ought to get into Government but think it's all too corrupt and the rest. I let the American people down, and I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life.'

Frost states that 'Our interviews illuminated some of the dark corners of Nixon's and Kissinger's approach to this dilemma - secret bombings, buggings, burglaries and more.'

I actually have
Jan 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in television history, politics, nixon
Shelves: the-nixonian
Find this book in a library.

Nixon was the first president I remember being part of everyday life. I watched some of the watergate hearings, but didn't understand them. Later, four years after Nixon left office (all the discussion in our house was about whether or not Nixon would weep when he resigned. He didn't), I watched (I think) each of these interviews when they aired.

This is a good read. It easily held my interest, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it was consistently compelling -- just o
Tori Jo Lau
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The book is in three parts. Part one is the most interesting, which is David Frost's perspective on the interviews, the planning and how it all took place. If you've seen the recent movie, the first thing Frost does is to point out which parts of the play (which the film is based on) is fictional, and whatever else differs from what actually happened. This part was absolutely thrilling.

The second part is a reading of Nixon by Frost, talking about his actions in the light of what facts have been
Travis McClain
May 26, 2010 rated it liked it
First we rented Frost/Nixon on Blu-ray from Netflix. Then, I streamed the original Watergate interview episode. It seemed serendipitous when I came across this at Half Price Books for $3.98 on 17 April. The first part is a collection of reminisces and hindsight; the second part are excerpts from the transcripts.

One caution for anyone who might be interested: Frost assumes (and probably rightly so) that if you're interested in his 30 year retrospective on those interviews, that you're already wel
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably read it again in a few years. I don't normally like to mark/underline in my books, but I plan to keep this book for a long time and there are so many facts and memorable quotes and notes in this book that it's a great reference point. The main thing that I love about the pick is the opposing arguments and view points - you would expect a book like this to only bash all the things President Richard Nixon did during his term. However, being from an ...more
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Sir David Paradine Frost, OBE is a British journalist, comedian, writer and media personality, best known for his serious interviews with various political figures, the most notable being Richard Nixon. Since 2006, he has been hosting the weekly programme Frost Over the World on Al Jazeera English. He was portrayed by actor Michael Sheen opposite Frank Langella's Richard Nixon in the 2006 Peter Mo ...more

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