There is no question but that Khrushchev wants to rule the world.
— KONRAD ADENAUER TO NIXON, 1959
I should love to have been by your office and shaken hands, and I would love to have talked to you and found out how to run the world.
— NIXON TO HIS WHITE HOUSE STAFF, THE LAST SPEECH, AUG. 9, 1974 1
JAMES BASSETT was fond of telling a story of how Nixon, as vice-president in 1960, in a manic mood after a few drinks, told several of his staff who were Catholics how much he would like to be the pope. "He spent an altogether extraordinary but irrecoverable twenty minutes elaborating on how well he would run the Vatican," Bassett said. "I wish to God I'd had a tape recorder." 2 It was rare for Nixon to open any kind of window into the wilder aspects of his fantasy life, but there was no doubt among his friends and newsmen that from 1952 onward Nixon's determination to be president had been no mere fantasy but a controlled and consuming ambition which occupied the greater part of his waking life. The solid surge of popularity as a result of his "ordeal" in Latin America had taught him that he might even overcome the common vague distaste for his image and win the respect of a majority of Americans as a man of fortitude under fire. That his preoccupation was with power and not people, Leonard Hall sensed early. "He loved power, but power to sit in that Oval Office and just issue orders, not to meet with people. ... He was a complete loner." 3
After Dulles resigned as secretary of state on April 15, 1959, Eisenhower assumed full control of U. S. foreign policy, and set