Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character

By Fawn M. Brodie | Go to book overview
Save to active project

III

The Punishing Father

I did some of the big things rather well. I screwed up terribly on
what was a little thing that became a big thing, but I will have
to admit I wasn't a good butcher
.

RICHARD NIXON, ON FIRING HALDEMAN AND EHRLICHMAN 1

RICHARD NIXON BEGAN HIS MEMOIRS, "I was born in a house my father built." He described Frank Nixon as "a man of ambition, intelligence, and lively imagination." That he was also punishing and often brutal we do not learn from this son. The worst Nixon would admit was that his father had a hot temper and was "sometimes impatient and—well—rather grouchy with most people," that he had "temptestuous arguments" with his brothers Harold and Don, and that "their shouting would be heard all through the neighborhood." 2 In a film made to promote the 1968 election campaign he said somewhat ambiguously, "There were times when I suppose we were tempted to run away and all that sort of thing. None of us ever did, but on the other hand, it was a happy home." He remembered that his father "didn't use very good grammar, but he was a self-educated man and a very intelligent man," adding defensively if illogically, "He was intelligent because he worked so hard." 3

Frank Nixon, as we have seen, had been a streetcar motorman, farmer, carpenter, and grocer. He had also, in the Nixon Market, been a butcher. 4 One niece, who worked for him, remembered with distaste his refusal to change his shirts, bloodstained from cutting up the slabs of meat, oftener than once a week. "What's the use," he would say, "Jes' get mess all over them." Thomas Bewley, long a friend of the family, said, "I think Nixon felt sometimes he should apologize for his father." 5 The son, however, became adept not so much at apology as at covering up. Although

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Richard Nixon: The Shaping of His Character
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 574

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?