Richard M Nixon: A Life
Jonathan Aitken portrays former US President Richard Nixon as a master geopolitical strategist who shifted the global balance of power in the West's favour through rapprochement with China and who achieved "peace with honour" in Vietnam. Aitken views Nixon as "an original and progressive domestic President" who ended the draft, created the Environmental Protection Agency and was a hands-on manager of the economy.
In Aitken's scenario, the Watergate break-in was an irresponsible act carried out by overzealous aides without Nixon's knowledge; Nixon's endorsement of a cover-up transformed Watergate into a political disaster. This biography draws on interviews with Nixon, his aides and family, and unique access to his private diaries and letters.
Both critics and supporters will find new material to ponder. Aitken sheds light on Nixon's spiritual crisis at ages 20-21, his friendly early relationship with fellow Congressman John F Kennedy, his accusations against Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy, his interaction with National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, and his role as elder statesman and informal adviser to the Carter, Reagan and Bush administrations.
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