Reviews - What do customers think about Richard Nixon: American Politician (Notable Americans)?
A description of how he went so far up and so far down Mar 10, 2005
Richard Nixon will always remain one of the most fascinating presidents. His trip to the People's Republic of China in 1972 was the highest point of his career and one of the seminal events of the last forty years. He was about to be re-elected by one of the greatest margins in history, so it appeared that his position was as secure as it could possibly be. And yet, his sinister side emerged triumphant over his pragmatic side. He saw enemies everywhere and enlisted a collection of very shady characters to engage in the actions we now refer to as Watergate. These actions forced him to resign the presidency before he would have been removed by impeachment. In many ways, Nixon's life was an impressive American success story. When he was young, his family was so poor that his father only owned three sets of clothes. Yet, Nixon managed to get into law school, graduate third in his class and rise to dominate the American political scene. He worked extremely hard; he was driven to succeed from a very young age. Barron's description of his childhood recounts his social awkwardness, his inability to make friends and his deep resentment at those who were better off than he was. One of the most telling and most admirable aspects of his life is that for a short time he lived in an abandoned tool shed while he was in law school. It makes you speculate whether living through such deprivation left permanent scars on his personality that could only surface after he was successful and didn't need to keep them buried. This is an excellent short biography of a man who could have been considered one of the best ten presidents of all time. Instead, his personal demons drove him to commit criminal acts that were senseless because they were unnecessary. Although the public perception of Nixon has mellowed over time, he is still remembered as "Tricky Dickie" at best and a crook at worst.