Being Nixon: A Man Divided (Large Print / Paperback)

Being Nixon: A Man Divided Cover Image

Being Nixon: A Man Divided (Large Print / Paperback)


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The landmark New York Times bestselling biography of Richard M. Nixon, a political savant whose gaping character flaws would drive him from the presidency and forever taint his legacy. 

“A biography of eloquence and breadth . . . No single volume about Nixon’s long and interesting life could be so comprehensive.”—Chicago Tribune

One of Time’s Top 10 Nonfiction Books of the Year

In this revelatory biography, Evan Thomas delivers a radical, unique portrait of America’s thirty-seventh president, Richard Nixon, a contradictory figure who was both determinedly optimistic and tragically flawed. One of the principal architects of the modern Republican Party and its “silent majority” of disaffected whites and conservative ex-Dixiecrats, Nixon was also deemed a liberal in some quarters for his efforts to desegregate Southern schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency, and end the draft.

The son of devout Quakers, Richard Nixon (not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy) grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. Through high school and college, in the navy and in politics, Nixon was constantly leading crusades and fighting off enemies real and imagined. He possessed the plainspoken eloquence to reduce American television audiences to tears with his career-saving “Checkers” speech; meanwhile, Nixon’s darker half hatched schemes designed to take down his political foes, earning him the notorious nickname “Tricky Dick.” Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts, Thomas’s biography reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal.

A deeply insightful character study as well as a brilliant political biography, Being Nixon offers a surprising look at a man capable of great bravery and extraordinary deviousness—a balanced portrait of a president too often reduced to caricature.

Praise for Being Nixon

“Terrifically engaging . . . a fair, insightful and highly entertaining portrait.”The Wall Street Journal

“Thomas has a fine eye for the telling quote and the funny vignette, and his style is eminently readable.”The New York Times Book Review
Evan Thomas is the author of nine books: The Wise Men (with Walter Isaacson), The Man to See, The Very Best Men, Robert Kennedy, John Paul Jones, Sea of Thunder, The War Lovers, Ike’s Bluff, and Being Nixon. John Paul Jones and Sea of Thunder were New York Times bestsellers. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for thirty-three years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years (1986–96) as Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, where, at the time of his retirement in 2010, he was editor at large. He wrote more than one hundred cover stories and in 1999 won a National Magazine Award. He wrote Newsweek’s fifty-thousand-word election specials in 1996, 2000, 2004 (winner of a National Magazine Award), and 2008. He has appeared on many TV and radio talk shows, including Meet the Press and The Colbert Report, and has been a guest on PBS’s Charlie Rose more than forty times. The author of dozens of book reviews for The New York Times and The Washington Post, Thomas has taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton, where, from 2007 to 2014, he was Ferris Professor of Journalism.
Product Details ISBN: 9780804194969
ISBN-10: 0804194963
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Pages: 880
Language: English
“A biography of eloquence and breadth . . . No single volume about Nixon’s long and interesting life could be so comprehensive.”—Chicago Tribune

“Terrifically engaging . . . a fair, insightful and highly entertaining portrait of the thirty-seventh president . . . Being Nixon should be read by anyone with a more open mind about the oddest man ever to occupy the Oval Office.”—Max Boot, The Wall Street Journal

“[A] fully rounded portrait, carefully pairing each indictment of Nixon with a mitigating perspective . . . Thomas has a fine eye for the telling quote and the funny vignette, and his style is eminently readable.”The New York Times Book Review

“From Nixon’s hardscrabble California childhood to his post-presidential exile, Thomas proves an amiable and fair-minded tour guide. . . . The result, in Thomas’s rendering, is a man of intertwined threads, in some ways the personification of the contending passions of American life of the period.”The Boston Globe

“How self-aware are the great men of history? That’s the fascinating question at the heart of Evan Thomas’s new book on Richard Nixon. . . . Here in one sharp and briskly written volume is what you really want to know about the great and horrible thirty-seventh President: How could someone so wise about the world be so utterly clueless about himself? . . . [Nixon] is revealed in Thomas’s hands as awkward, striving, victimized and alone—strange habits for a man who opted for such a public life, and traits that carried the seeds of his destruction.”Time

“Ambitious . . . Thomas’s book is filled with anecdotes that humanize Nixon. There are pages suggesting real insight and, especially, how the president was seen by those around him. . . . There are well-crafted word-pictures of Nixon throughout the narrative, from his legendary awkwardness to his catastrophic frustration and vindictive rage.”—Carl Bernstein, The Washington Post

“A well-written and balanced account . . . gracefully written and highly readable . . . [Thomas’s] interest goes to the man himself, like most of us a man of contradictions, a man with a dark and light side, with the dark side often leading to disastrous decisions, encouraged by his increasingly tight circle of self-serving advisers.”The Washington Times

“[Nixon’s] oddity, more than any policy choices or impeachable crimes, is the subject of this book, which is marked by unexpected and startling empathy. . . . One feels for Nixon.”The New Yorker

“[A] glossy, armchair-ready biography . . . [a] book in tune with our time. It’s a trick of fate that Nixon, a sitting president who experienced a version of supersize public shaming, might have appreciated for its futuristic appeal. Instead of being passively read, Being Nixon invites argument.”The New York Times