Share for friends:

The Arrogance Of Power: The Secret World Of Richard Nixon (2001)

The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (2001)

Book Info

3.75 of 5 Votes: 1
Your rating
0140260781 (ISBN13: 9780140260786)
penguin books

About book The Arrogance Of Power: The Secret World Of Richard Nixon (2001)

Nixon was the most disturbed person to serve as President and surely in the top 5 list of worst presidents. At at time when some writers were trying to resuscitate Nixon's reputation, Anthony Summers wrote this biography to remind the world of Nixon's crimes and bring up many other things that you might not have known.Nixon is synonymous with Watergate, but I think his greater crimes are 1) sabotaging Johnson's Viet Nam peace proposals before the 1968 election promising South Viet Nam that he would give them a better deal if they refused to come to the peace talks, 2) extending the bombing into Cambodia, destabilizing the government leading to the bloodbath of the Khmer Rouge, and 3) green-lighting the coup in Chile, toppling and killing the democratically elected Allende, supporting the dictatorship of Pinochet. Nixon as Vice President also had an influence in some of the bad decisions of the Eisenhower administration, like the overturning of democratic elections in Guatemala and Iran and the Bay of Pigs planning that Kennedy inherited. And let's not forget that he was 2nd only to McCarthy as a communist red-baiter in the 50's.Summers does give credit to Nixon for the SALT II talks, détente and going to China in a mere few sentences, but the majority of this book is a reminder of what happens when we elect a truly black-hearted person to the highest office in the land.

I enjoyed the history aspect and the tales of Nixon's younger days. Often, though, the author seemed bogged down in the intense details of certain monetary transactions and proof Nixon lied or covered things up. I would rather read more colorful stuff than those dry facts. Nevertheless, it's a pretty authoritative and compelling biography with one exception: There is next to nothing about the last 20 years of his life (1974-94). Surely details were to be had of his visits to the White House under the Clinton Administration and information written about him at the time of Pat Nixon's death. The photo pages were literally more informative about that period than the text. It essentially ends with Watergate.

Do You like book The Arrogance Of Power: The Secret World Of Richard Nixon (2001)?

Having previously read Summer's book about J. Edgar Hoover I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was about the muck-raking quality of thie 'biography' of Richard M. Nixon. I write 'biography' because this isn't quite that. Very little mention is made of Nixon's achievements, much attention is paid to his character flaws and criminal activities--all of it documented, though much by means of hearsay, albeit some multiply-sourced.The Nixon emerging from this study is a morally uncentered person who would stop at nothing to ensure his own success in politics and who was capable of extremes of self delusion in order to believe his own lies. Personally, based on what I've read elsewhere about the man, I think the picture is basically accurate.
—Erik Graff

This book amazed me. I actually couldn't put it down which was a bummer because it's a big, heavy book and bringing it with me everywhere was a pain. I am fascinated by Nixon - corrupt to the bone, totally ruthless and also brilliant. His psychiatrist thought he was insane and there are unsettling descriptions of the Secret Service chasing him through the White House trying to tackle him mid-freakout. Of course, after GW Bush, he doesn't seem so damaging to the country but he was, obviously. A bizarre character.

First off, I will confess I didn't complete this book. I find Nixon a fascinating figure but I found the style to be somewhat hysterical, along the lines of biographers like Albert Goldman. The author is so determined to show that Nixon was a sleazebag in every way possible that he winds up relying on a lot of hearsay ("Joe Smith said Nixon once kicked a dog, according to his valet Chet Jones") and makes some bold claims with little evidence (the fact that Nixon beat his wife, for instance). Nixon did so much awful stuff which is on the record it got a little tiresome seeing him strain to find new dirt.
—Alex Robinson

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Anthony Summers

Other books in category Fiction