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The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/Nixon Interviews

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  141 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The Watergate scandal began with a break-in at the office of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel on June 17, 1971, and ended when President Gerald Ford granted Richard M. Nixon a pardon on September 8, 1974, one month after Nixon resigned from office in disgrace. Effectively removed from the reach of prosecutors, Nixon returned to California, uncontrit ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 27th 2008 by Broadway Books (first published 2007)
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Jason Koivu
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, penises
A book about an interview about something much more exciting than an interview does not make for a terribly good read.

In The Conviction of Richard Nixon James Reston Jr. details his involvement in English television personality/journalistic David Frost's attempts to wrench truths and admissions out of former President Nixon in a grueling 20 hour interview.

The lead up to what everyone wants to hear about, Watergate, is long and less than enthralling. However, Reston's admirable writing does save
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for objectivity, you won't find it here. If you saw Frost/Nixon (the play or the movie), then you might enjoy this book about how the interviews were conducted. Reston was a character in the play, and in these pages he shows how close the character was to the man. Reston despised Nixon, and wanted the Frost interviews to be a hit piece.

There is little new information here. One gets the feeling that with the release of the play, Reston decided to dig out some old notes and capi
Sep 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written 30 years ago but only recently published, and the fervor and emotion of the time is still very apparent. It wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but it was an interesting peek into Nixon post-resignation and into the mindset of the people who were still very personally angered by Watergate.
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the story behind the remarkable Frost/Nixon interviews. It is INSANE what went down, I can't even believe half of the injustices caused by this craptastic administration. However, this book is an excellent read on Nixon's character - a smart and strange man who was no fool, but definitely was a crook. He was shady, crafty... and a complicated weirdo.

"...Nixon appeared in the kitchen doorway. David was friendly as ever, and asked him if he had a nice weekend. Nixon nodded, noncommittal.

John Hood
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Bound: Miami SunPost 12.25.08

Christmas with Nixon

This Year, Celebrate With a Ghost

By John Hood

Face it. Not everybody’s peachy keen on all this Christmas stuff — the wining and the dining, the giving and the receiving, the Merry Ol’ this-and-that which insists that no matter how you live it, It’s a Wonderful Life. Add the long list of folks who don’t even have someone to celebrate with in the first place, and you come up with quite a crowd.

But rather than s
Sam Motes
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final stages of Nixon’s downfall on prime TV. Frost setup a dream team and offered Nixon the financial incentive to take part in the interviews. Nixon saw it as a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the public and probably thought he was bigger than life but he was dismantled over the days of the interviews. Reston’s memoir of the event is a very interesting read on politics, negotiations, ethics, and hubris just to name a few.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il presidente imperatore

Sono passati 38 anni dai fatti del Watergate e come è normale che sia, in tanti hanno solo una vaga idea di cosa si tratti. Abituati (soprattutto noi italiani) agli scandali quotidiani e alla corruzione come sistema politico-sociale efficace, è difficile capire quanto scalpore fece allora lo scandalo che vedeva coinvolto in prima persona il presidente Nixon. Travolto dallo scandalo e in procinto di essere posto sotto impeachment, Nixon si dimise dalla carica di presiden
"The breaking of Richard Nixon was indeed a pleasure to me..." This quote best summarizes Reston's attitude throughout the book as he chronicles the behind-the-scenes story of the Frost/Nixon interviews. It's clear that Reston is more concerned with his own personal vendetta, calling it a quest for justice. But instead of justice, it's clear Reston only wanted to see Nixon burn throughout the interviews that he bills as "the conviction" Nixon never got. By the end, Reston claims to feel pity for ...more
Hugo Torres
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jon Stewart has made the argument in the past that he shares a legacy of satirist who over the years have had the unique position to ask the question that others can't.

This is the thought that continued to creep up time and time again while I read this marvelous tale of an event that I knew hardly about but that meant so much to the American people in a time when answers were scarce from their former Commander and Chief.

James Reston Jr.'s recollection of the months prior to this interview of di
Interesting companion to the play. As other reviewers have noted this creates the impression that the play attempts to stay pretty close to the story.

The book is interesting as it recounts the amount of work that went into building the Frost Team's strategy. Research (especially the discovered Colson transcripts) plays a critical role and the book makes a strong arguement that without this information, the "apology" moment would not have occured.

Reston also reveals how essential the strategy w
Edy Gies
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was interesting from the point of view of the researcher. I think Reston makes personal judgments about Nixon and this clouds his research and judgment. I realize Nixon and Watergate are polarizing issues, but he claims to be objective and accuses others of having a lack of objectivity. He makes multiple analogies to the Bush White House and the negative effect of the Whitewater scandal and the presidential abuses. I find it interesting that there is no mention of the Clinton ...more
Robert Jones
Despite its title this is not a book about the conviction of Richard Nixon, or about Watergate. It's about the Frost/Nixon interviews, and like the subtitle implies, it's a behind-the-scenes look at these interviews. Reston was an active and important player in these interviews - and while it's great to hear from a primary source, his biases and opinions aren't hidden in the slightest. You get a good idea of how intelligent, cunning, and calculating Tricky Dick was from this book, and you'll lea ...more
Dec 16, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
Given how sensational the whole Watergate era was, I found this retelling rather... dull. Reston assumes that the reader is familiar with all the details of Watergate, and while simply avoiding the original scandal allows Reston to speed right along to the Frost / Nixon interviews, it robs the book of a lot of the drama. Even as someone who's relatively conversant with the scandal, when he refers to the various players, the time it takes for me to place what his or her relevance was detracts fro ...more
Brooke Evans
This is basically the book version of the movie/play "Frost/Nixon." Well, except it's told from the perspective of one person who completely loathes Richard Nixon. The bias comes out in full force and made the book much less enjoyable to me. Unnecessary name-calling and vitriolic description depletes the validity of the book, in my opinion. Otherwise, I liked the story because I already liked the Frost/Nixon story.
Mar 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polly
Richard Nixon and Watergate are fascinating stories because of the whole tragic flaw theory of the classic Greek dramas. This is the story behind the scenes of Frost interviewing Nixon and extracting the famous apology. The author is a novelist and professor, besides a political researcher, and makes a terrific comparison to The Odyssey and the capture of Proteus. The book is the basis for the recent play and movie, and I'm planning to watch the original interview tapes next.
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anybody who shares my fixation with the Watergate scandal, this book will drive all the issues home. It provides insight into the intricate web of lies that former President Nixon and his covert team created, effectively shattering the dream-like illusion that surrounds the American presidency.
Nov 19, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a movie coming out about the Frost/Nixon interviews. I'm not so good at history, and for some reason had the urge to learn more about Richard Nixon. Thus, this book, which I picked up because I had just seen a preview for the movie- which I will not likely go to see.
Jun 27, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The behind the scenes story of the Frost/Nixon interview. Having lived through this time in history, it was interesting to hear what went on behind the cameras --the motives and the decisions that were made

It makes me want to see the play!!
This book is a behind-the-scenes narrative. If you know nothing or very little about Nixon and Watergate, etc., I wouldn't recommend it. The author expects you to know a great deal of general material. Having said that, I'm finding it a fascinating read.
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political
After seeing the movie and the play, I was very interested in reading something by Reston. I listened to the audio book and it was neat to hear how much of the real story was in the play/movie -- a lot, but there were some changes for dramatic effect. What a sleeze Nixon was!
Alex Robinson
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Quick behind-the-scenes look which acts as a good companion to the movie FROST/NIXON.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, a little heavy on the comparisons to Homer and Prometheus but a great follow-up to the movie to separate the fact from the drama.
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This isn't the actual play but it is a quick and interesting read, especially for those like me for whom this is all pre-cambrian history.
George Copley
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A synopsis leading up to the interviews of Richard Nixon by David Frost from the authors perspective of acting as an advisor and researcher.
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The real story behind the Frost/Nixon interviews.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting behind-the-scenes look at the Frost/Nixon interviews. Very quick and easy read.
Jake Voss
rated it really liked it
Sep 04, 2012
rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2008
rated it it was ok
Oct 22, 2014
Gretchen Hunter
rated it it was amazing
Oct 08, 2010
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James Reston Jr. (born 1941, New York City) is an American author and journalist. His father was the American journalist James Reston.

Reston was raised in Washington, D.C. He earned his BA in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) while on a Morehead Scholarship. At UNC, he was an All-South soccer player, and retains the single game scoring record for the university (5
More about James Reston Jr....

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“garrulous,” 0 likes
“The eighteen-and-a-half-minute gap on the June 20, 1972, tape. Haldeman’s notes indicated that he and Nixon had discussed Watergate on this first working day back at the White House. The notes talked of a “PR offensive to top this” and “the need to be on the attack—for diversion.” The evidence indicated that only three people could have caused the erasure: Stephen Bull, the presidential assistant; Rose Mary Woods, the President’s secretary; or the President himself.” 0 likes
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