Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents

Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents

Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents

Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents

Synopsis

The first book to present America's most controversial president in his own words across his entire career, this unique collection of Richard Nixon's most important writings dramatically demonstrates why he has had such a profound impact on American life. This volume gathers everything from schoolboy letters to geostrategic manifestos and Oval Office transcripts to create a fascinating portrait of Nixon, one that is enriched by an extensive introduction in which Rick Perlstein puts forward a major reinterpretation of the thirty-seventh president's rise and fall.


This anthology includes some of the most famous addresses in American history, from Nixon's "Checkers" speech (1952) and "Last Press Conference" (1962), to the "Silent Majority" speech (1969) and White House farewell. These texts are joined by campaign documents--including the infamous "Pink Sheet" from the 1950 Senate race--that give stark evidence of Nixon's slashing political style. Made easily available here for the first time, these writings give new depth to our understanding of Nixon.

Excerpt

Rick Perlstein

In the fall of 1967 Richard Nixon, reintroducing himself to the public for his second run for the presidency of the United States, published two magazine articles simultaneously. The first ran in the distinguished quarterly Foreign Affairs, the review of the Council of Foreign Relations. “Asia after Viet Nam” was sweeping, scholarly, and high-minded, couched in the chessboard abstractions of strategic studies. The intended audience, in whose language it spoke, was the nation's elite, and liberal-leaning, opinion-makers. It argued for the diplomatic “long view” toward the nation, China, that he had spoken of only in terms of redbaiting demagoguery in the past: “we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations,” he wrote. This was the height of foreign policy sophistication, the kind of thing one heard in Ivy League faculty lounges and Brookings Institution seminars. For Nixon, the conclusion was the product of years of quiet travel, study, and reflection that his long stretch in the political wilderness, since losing the California governor's race in 1962, had liberated him to carry out. It bore no relation to the kind of rip-roaring, elitebaiting things he usually said about Communists . . .

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