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One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,466 ratings  ·  216 reviews
A shocking and riveting look at one of the most dramatic and disastrous presidencies in US history, from Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Tim Weiner.

Based largely on documents declassified only in the last few years, One Man Against the World paints a devastating portrait of a tortured yet brilliant man who led the country largely according to a deep-seated
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 16th 2015)
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Susan I believe her name was Martha Mitchell, who was married to Nixon's attorney general. Haven't read the book yet, but I remember hearing about it back i…moreI believe her name was Martha Mitchell, who was married to Nixon's attorney general. Haven't read the book yet, but I remember hearing about it back in the day.(less)
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Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The press is the enemy. The establishment is the enemy. The professors are the enemy,” Nixon said. “Write that on the blackboard 100 times and never forget it.”
Nixon was a very paranoid and vindictive man. While the world has many paranoid and vindictive men, very few of them are also Presidents of the United States. This book was an examination of the steps Nixon took that brought him to the precipice of impeachment and his fall from power. It is a gripping and truly terrifying examination
Christopher Saunders
Tim Weiner's One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon fulfills its brief as a quick, dirty and readable ledger of Nixon's crimes, from his meddling in the Paris Peace Talks through his deceits on Vietnam, his attacks on dissidents and antiwar leaders and, of course, everything Watergate related. Weiner's main asset is thorough documentation, from tapes and memoirs to recently declassified government documents which allow readers to assess how Nixon's entire presidency was grounded ...more
Steven Z.
In 1972, Bruce Mazlish wrote a psychohistorical inquiry into the life of Richard Nixon, entitled, IN SEARCH OF NIXON. Mazlish analyzed Nixon and concluded that “he project[ed] unacceptable impulses onto others. He identified his personal interest with the national interest. He exalt[ed] strength and fears of passivity.” (143) These conclusions were based on a detailed exploration of Nixon’s upbringing, relationship with his parents, and his actions as an adult. The book was written before the em ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Oliphant Chuckerbutty

This is really not a biography at all, but a slice of history, focusing on Nixon's actions in the Vietnam War, his diplomatic forays to China and the Soviet Union, and Watergate. Weiner makes much of the fact that he is using newly released Nixon tapes for his research. I learned a few new facts, a couple about Kissinger being snookered by the Chinese and the Soviets and he in turn snookering them, and that in May 1972, disgusted by the bombing campaign's inability to win the war, Nixon took com
Donna Davis
Question: What do an old typewriter, a copy machine, Scotch tape, and a razor blade share in common?

Answer: They were all tools used by White House employee Howard Hunt, at President Richard Nixon’s request, to forge a cable that would make (dead) President JFK appear to have ordered the assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem.

My, my, my. The things you can learn once you start digging. This is by no means the most important part of the Nixon story as told by veteran political writer T
Kressel Housman
I read this book with the History Book Club, and for once, I actually stuck to their syllabus, which means I read the book gradually over two months while tandem-reading other books. The trouble with switching between books in this way is that it becomes hard to remember the details, especially in a book like this, which is full of military strategy, hardly my forte. I understood the Watergate sections better, but probably only because I’d seen “All the President’s Men.” Neither subject makes fo ...more
Even to a kid, the Vietnam War and Watergate were as unavoidable as Kim Kardashian. Halderman, Erlichman, Dean etc. were household names even if the complexity of the conspiracy was difficult to grasp for me at the time. Therefore, the book does a very good job of explaining in a concise way, who knew what and when. And while this certainly is not the first book to attempt to do that, it is one of the first to fully make use of taped private conversations. And if you thought Watergate was bad, y ...more
Bob Schnell
There have been plenty of books about Richard Nixon and his presidency but "One Man Against the World" is the first one I've read that uses transcripts from the entire catalog of tapes where Nixon basically bugged himself. Using direct quotes in context, author Tim Weiner exposes Nixon as a petty, paranoid, bigoted, drunken bully. We always kind of knew that, but hearing it straight from the man and his inner circle in their own words is a bit of a revelation of how bad he really was.

There isn'
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I lived through these disgusting times, but I was far from aware of the full extent of the malice, the viciousness, the egotism, the total disregard for the law. Some tapes are yet unsealed, and more are still to come. This was a page-turner for me. I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I should say that I tried to read Weiner's book on the FBI, but I couldn't bear it. Since 1923 we have had people come to power who cared for nothing but themselves? And I mean very big power. It was so dishearten ...more
(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of reading and reviewing this book on Goodreads and taking part in an online discussion about it with the History Book Club here on Goodreads. Aside from the free copy, I have not received any other remuneration for my opinions and the views expressed below reflect my own and not that of the publisher or author.)

The narrative of Richard Nixon's presidency has always had a dichotomous nature to it. Some tell
Mal Warwick
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Even if you were an adult during the six troubled years of the Nixon Administration and have a great memory, even if you think you know everything there is to know about Richard Nixon, you will be surprised — shocked, maybe — at the revelations in this extraordinary new book by Tim Weiner.

Don’t write off this book as yet another liberal’s effort to recycle all the usual criticisms of Richard Nixon. The author of this expose, Tim Weiner, a long-time reporter for the New York Times, won the Pulitz
Michael Blackmer
I received this book for free in a give away by the publisher in support of a group discussion in the Goodreads group History Book Club. I am appreciative of the fact that various publishers are so willing to support not only the promotion of a book but serious discussion and study of the book and subject as well.

I was fairly young at the time that Nixon was President of the United States. I was five when he was elected for his first time and nine when he won his second term. I do remember the n
I think this was just an "okay" book. With a lot of the Watergate documents just recently "declassified," Weiner is the first among an undoubtedly long list of "historians" to interpret them in an effort to see what motivated Nixon and his absurdities. Weiner seems like he has "an ax to grind" and I remain suspicious of his own motivations. There also does not seem to be a lot of new details although he certainly paints a very unfaltering portrait of Henry Kissinger among others. Spoiler: one in ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One Man Against the World should perhaps be subtitled The Tragedy of America. The effects of Nixon's actions throughout his political career, left an indelible mark on the nation. Tim Weiner pulls information from newly released audio tapes and written documents to present the true character of Nixon during his administration from Vietnam to Watergate to his impeachment. Most people have an idea of who Nixon was, but Weiner shows the reader that there is much more than the public ever knew. All ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-edition, owned
What a timely book. If you are mystified by the antics and deceptions of Donald Trump, you could do worse than read this. Like me, you will keep saying: "Wow, that is exactly what Trump is doing now - demeaning the Justice Department, firing the head of the FBI, attacking the news media, lying indiscriminately and constantly." It is sort of shocking. Does no one in the present White House read history? Is the ignominious fate of Richard Nixon completely forgotten by the present occupants?
For all
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: presidents
One Man Against The World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon, is an aptly titled examination of the events that led to the public unraveling of the 37th President of The United States. I admit coming into this book with the firm view that Richard Nixon was the most disastrous President in United States history for the sheer fact of bringing the country to its knees during the Watergate scandal and leaving us teetering on the brink of a Constitutional crisis. My views were not dissuaded by this book, ...more
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-history
Thanks to the publisher, Henry Holt, for providing a free copy of the book. Thanks also to The History Book Club group for arranging the giveaway and for providing a forum for discussion.

In the past I have read plenty of books about Nixon but it has been several years since I tackled this man and his place in history. There is new information coming out here and there but did I really need to know anymore? Well, I discovered that it's never a bad idea to refresh your memory about events. Time se
I enjoyed this book and found it most frightening thinking about how paranoid Nixon was along with depression and high alcohol intake, while he had control of so much power.

With the release of the White House Tapes and other Documents since Richard Nixon’s death in 1994 has brought out more books about Nixon. Two new books have just been released this month, this book by Tim Weiner and the one by Evan Thomas’s “Being Nixon: A Man Divided.” Both authors are highly accomplished journalist.

Weiner i
Jill Hutchinson
I made a fatal mistake when I picked up this book....I read the first chapter and couldn't quit!!! What a well-written fascinating telling of the Nixon administration and the amazing things that were happening right under the noses of the public and some of Nixon's chief "advisors". Has there been a more corrupt administration?....probably (Warren Harding comes to mind), but the back stair machinations of Nixon and his cronies were not achieved by an incompetent as in Harding's case, but by a ma ...more
Liz Estrada
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, besides pissing me off and scaring the hell out of me, what I have basically learned is we, as a people, have learned nothing! A truly well written and researched book, it just grabbed me from page one and read it in a few days.

Being 12 years old at the time of Nixon's resignation I was not too aware of all the shenanigans going on, but knew enough to know this guy was a crook. Though living in Spain at the time, my family and I were vacationing in Picket Park, Tennessee when this all happ
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Richard Nixon. I say this is the modern beginning of executive abuse. My opinion, but the United States has still not recovered from this episode. I find it amazing that many of the names brought up in this book are still around. Rumsfeld, George Bush Senior, and even Hillary Clinton. Those that seek power flock to it.

Aside from the criminal aspects of this book I also found very interesting discussion regarding Henry Kissinger basically running the National Security Apparatus and the Secretary
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a strange, perplexing, unnerving, and scary account of Nixon's tenure as President. Even as I read this lively account I kept thinking back to those days and wondering why he did what he did. And I still do not know.

Paranoia seems too easy an explanation. Maybe it was nature, not nurture - he was born of a certain psychological makeup and unsuccessfully fought against it.

In any event, the author skillfully uses the raw material of the complete set of White House tapes, and other pr
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brief, pointed book that synthesizes the remainder of the recently de-classified recordings, diaries, and memoranda of the Nixon White House. Nixon, of course, is every bit the crook that everyone already thought he was--and worse, if possible. What emerges from this book--which, to be fair, focuses only on Nixon's Presidency--is the portrait of a scheming, deceptive, corrupt, astute, alcoholic, paranoid, insecure and ultimately pathetic man.

This account also makes clear the absurd degree to
C. Patrick G. Erker
I hadn't ever read or listened to a biography of President Nixon, and given the fact that I'd visited another President's California-based library recently (Reagan's), and that there have been a number of comparisons between both the man himself and the situation to current political situations, I thought it worth checking out. (I had also previously listened to Weiner's Legacy of Ashes and enjoyed it.)

First, Weiner shows his political biases and cards fairly clearly throughout the book. He seem
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review: One Man Against the World-The Tragedy of Richard Nixon-by Tim Weiner

I perhaps had a somewhat different experience reading this book than some others. When I first picked it up, our town was hit by the largest rainfall in 100s of years in one day- almost 2 feet in several hours. Columbia, SC became flooded with what our Governor called "a 1000 year flood". My family was definitely blessed as our home was fine, but neighbors and friends and family members were not in the same shape. For a
Sotiris Makrygiannis
"Im not a crook" that what Nixon said, mainly the case was not why he order the break into his competitors but that he was looking for 1 million usd to close their mouths. This book has very good chapters around the Watergate. Vietnam coverage was brutal and the bombing of Hanoi sounds like a huge disaster. One thing is in my mind, that Watergate started once Nixon admitted that he lost Vietnam.
Tom Rowe
This book appears to start out as a hit piece on Nixon. It presents everything from a negative viewpoint. However, it is an interesting examination of the downfall of Nixon and filled with quotes. Sometimes the writing is ambiguous, and it takes a minute to figure out what the writer is actually saying. Overall, this is a very interesting look at a very interesting time, even if it is a bit one sided.
Mona Ammon
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: After reading the book about James Polk I decided I would read one about every US president
REVIEW: I knew the basics of Nixon's story. So I didn't learn anything fundamentally new. However, learning the details of his paranoia and corruption was educational. His story particularly resonated given the current actions, word and deeds of 45. As I was listening I kept saying to myself, and anyone else around, this is just like Trump. Some similarities: both felt they knew more
Herb Hastings
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first memory of Richard Nixon is of me hating him. I was a ten year old Irish Catholic student at Sacred Heart Parochial School and he was the evil man running for president against our Brother in Christ, John Kennedy. I remember discussing this with my friends, with all the knowledge and passion that ten year old boys could muster. We were convinced that if Nixon won, he would force us to go to school on the weekends. We could think of nothing more heinous that a president could do. He lost, ...more
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought Legacy of Ashes was a great book. It had a great narrative and was fact filled. For being a non-fiction book it read like a spy thriller. The writer obviously had a great deal of passion for the subject and that energy showed in the prose. Enemies was a really good book. The narrative was also solid, as following Hoover's life provided a solid basis to tell the story of the FBI. I was looking forward to One Man Against the World. I thought Weiner would tackle Nixon' life in the way he ...more
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The History Book ...: WEEK SEVEN - PRESIDENTIAL SERIES: ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD - November 30th - December 6th - Chapter(s) Twenty-two - Twenty-three - (246-279) - No Spoilers, please 58 141 Mar 05, 2016 12:38PM  
The History Book ...: SPOTLIGHT - PRESIDENTIAL SERIES - BOOK AS A WHOLE AND FINAL THOUGHTS - ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD: THE TRAGEDY OF RICHARD NIXON - (December 14th - December 20th) - (Spoiler Thread) 31 76 Mar 05, 2016 04:42AM  
The History Book ...: WEEK EIGHT - PRESIDENTIAL SERIES: ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD - December 7th - December 13th - Chapter(s) Twenty-four - Twenty-five, Epilogue, Judgments, Acknowledgments - (280-324) - No Spoilers, please 53 144 Dec 23, 2015 10:57AM  
The History Book ...: WEEK SIX - PRESIDENTIAL SERIES: ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD - November 23rd - November 29th - Chapter(s) Nineteen - Twenty-one - (201-245) - No Spoilers, please 88 143 Dec 16, 2015 09:11PM  
The History Book ...: WEEK FIVE - PRESIDENTIAL SERIES: ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD - November 16th - November 22nd - Chapter(s) Sixteen - Eighteen - (163-200) - No Spoilers, please 89 129 Dec 16, 2015 01:51PM  
The History Book ...: WEEK FOUR - PRESIDENTIAL SERIES: ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD - November 9th - November 15th - Chapter(s) Twelve - Fifteen - (124-162) - No Spoilers, please 80 139 Dec 14, 2015 05:55PM  

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Tim Weiner reported for The New York Times for many years as a foreign correspondent and as a national security correspondent in Washington, DC. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and the National Book Award for LEGACY OF ASHES: The History of the CIA. His new book, out in July, is ONE MAN AGAINST THE WORLD: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon.

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