Nixon Reconsidered

Nixon Reconsidered

Nixon Reconsidered

Nixon Reconsidered

Synopsis

Joan Hoff argues that Watergate and foreign policy successes overshadowed Nixon's domestic accomplishments, including reforms in welfare, civil rights, economic and environmental policy, and reorganization of federal bureaucracy.

Excerpt

You can see why I believe so deeply in the American dream.... The American dream has come true [for me].

—Nixon, acceptance speech for presidential nomination, August 9, 1968

Some years ago, when I was considering writing this book, a friend said that the notion of Nixon without Watergate was impossible, and went on to describe that well-known contemporary cartoon showing Nixon emerging from a sewer, just barely lifting his head above the manhole. The caption read: "There he comes now." Yet I became more and more fascinated by the possibility of writing this almost a full generation after Nixon's resignation, when the dust has settled and tempers have cooled somewhat, when the principal of this story was in his eighties and appeared in the New York Times surrounded by five grandchildren, three of whom bear the name Eisenhower. It is time to look coldly at the five and a half years of Nixon's administration, to determine how they might have been written about if Watergate had not dominated our interpretation of the man since 1974, and to suggest how he will be interpreted in the textbooks of the next century.

In the 1990s there is much to be said in favor of some of the actions of the thirty-seventh president that is long overdue. It is even possible at this late date to understand the almost cataclysmic forces that bore in . . .

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