The complex man at the center of American’s most-destructive presidency. In this provocative and revelatory assessment of the only president ever forced out of office. The legendary Washington journalist Elizabeth Drew explains how Richard M. Nixon’s troubled inner life offers the key to understanding his presidency.
An Improbable President
Richard M. Nixon was an improbable president. He didn’t particularly like people. He lacked charm or humor or joy. Socially awkward and an introvert, he had few friends and was virtually incapable of small talk. He didn’t care to, in his words, “press the flesh”.
He was also one of our most complex presidents; insecure, self-pitying, vindictive, suspicious-even literally paranoid-and filled with long-nursed anger and resentments, which burst forth from time to time. Never was he seemed the Happy Warrior.
The historian David Greenberg has written that Nixon’s unusual personality unleashed “an unprecedented national seminar on the hidden workings of the incumbent president’s mind”. Even Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s National Security Adviser and later Secretary of State, remarked, “Can you imagine what this man would have been if someone loved him”?
Driven Out Of Office
Even reaching the pinnacle of American politics didn’t satisfy him. The mixing of his psyche with the presidency made for a poisonous brew, with tragic consequences, as he became the first president to be driven from office.
Strikingly, and openly, self-preoccupied, Nixon often talked or wrote about his inner feelings, sometimes with startling self-knowledge. Nixon’s first book was titled Six Crisis, about what he saw as his own ordeal. During his presidency he referred to it often, urging people to read it. I won’t do that here, it is not worth the money you will spend to get that book, Six Crisis.
Nixon was much more than the cartoon figure with the perpetual five o’clock shadow, his arms extended upwards, his fingers forming a V. He accomplished a great deal more than is usually granted him-in large part because it’s difficult not to view his presidency through the Prism of Watergate and Impeachment.
How Did Nixon Become President And Win Reelection
In part, because of Nixon’s resilience and his fierce unmatched determination. He displayed true grit; he was unusually willing to do the scut work of politics; he knew the country district by district, doing favors for myriad other politicians, expecting their support in return.
Moreover, he was an exceptionally smart man, with a solid command of wide-ranging information, and an able politician.
Nixon was a product of his times as well as the pioneer of the rough political tactics for which he became famous-and loathed. Also, in light of what came later, it’s important to recall that when Dwight D. Eisenhower selected him as his running mate in 1952. Nixon was a hero to a large swath of the American public, a star of the Republican Party.
After that he benefited from the Republican Part’s traditional respect for hierarchy and its tendency to select tested warhorses. And, as in the case of many successful politicians, there was an element of luck in his triumph.
About The Author Elizabeth Drew
Elizabeth Drew was born on the 16th of November 1935. She is best known for being a journalist. She served as a panelist during the 1976 debate between United States presidential candidate Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Elizabeth Drew’s age is 84 or 85 now. Notable as a political journalist for The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly, she is also known for her appearances on PBS and NBC news programs.
Her full-length notification works include On The Edge: The Clinton Presidency (1994) and George W. Bush’s Washington (2004). As well as this book HERE: Richard M. Nixon.
Drew was born in Ohio, United States. After earning her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College, she began her journalistic career with a publication titled the Congressional Quarterly. During the 1970s, she headed a nonprofit organization known as the Council on Foreign Relations.
In this provocative and revolutionary assessment of the only president ever forced out of office, the legendary Washington journalist Elizabeth Drew explains how Richard M. Nixon’s troubled inner life offers the key to understanding his presidency. Drew shows how Nixon was surprisingly indecisive on domestic issues and often wasn’t interested in them.
Turning to international affairs, she (Drew) reveals the inner workings of Nixon’s complex relationship with Henry Kissinger, and their mutual rivalry and distrust. The Watergate scandal that ended his presidency was at once an over reach of executive power and the inevitable result of his paranoia and passion for vengeance.
Even Nixon’s post-presidential rehabilitation was motivated by a consuming desire for respectability, and he succeeded through his remarkable resilience. Through this book we finally understand this complicated man. While giving him credit for his achievements, Drew questions whether such a man-beleaguered, suspicious, and motivated by resentment and paranoia-was fit to hold America’s highest office, and raises large doubts that he was.
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If you would like to purchase this book, please do HERE; Richard M. Nixon By Elizabeth Drew
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