From a prize-winning biographer comes the defining portrait of a
man who led America in a time of turmoil and left us a darker age. We
live today, John A. Farrell shows, in a world Richard Nixon
The story of that transformation is the stunning overture to
John A. Farrell&rsquo;s magisterial biography of the president who
came to embody postwar American resentment and division.
Nixon&rsquo;s sins as a candidate were legion; and in one
unlawful secret plot, as Farrell reveals here, Nixon acted to prolong
the Vietnam War for his own political purposes. Finally elected
president in 1969, Nixon packed his staff with bright young men who
devised forward-thinking reforms addressing health care, welfare,
civil rights, and protection of the environment. It was a fine legacy,
but Nixon cared little for it. He aspired to make his mark on the
world stage instead, and his 1972 opening to China was the first great
crack in the Cold War.
It was Nixon who launched the McCarthy era, who played white
against black with a &ldquo;southern strategy,&rdquo; and
spurred the 'silent Majority to despise and distrust the
country&rsquo;s elites. Ever insecure and increasingly paranoid, he
persuaded Americans to gnaw, as he did, on grievances&mdash;and to
look at one another as enemies. Finally, in August 1974, after two
years of the mesmerizing intrigue and scandal of Watergate, Nixon
became the only president to resign in disgrace.
Text in English