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From Vietnam to the Southern Strategy, from the opening of China to the scandal of Watergate, Pat Buchanan--speechwriter and senior adviser to President Nixon--tells the untold story of Nixon's embattled White House, from its historic wins to it devastating defeats. In his inaugural address, Nixon held out a hand in friendship to Republicans and Democrats alike. But by the From Vietnam to the Southern Strategy, from the opening of China to the scandal of Watergate, Pat Buchanan--speechwriter and senior adviser to President Nixon--tells the untold story of Nixon's embattled White House, from its historic wins to it devastating defeats. In his inaugural address, Nixon held out a hand in friendship to Republicans and Democrats alike. But by the fall of 1969, massive demonstrations in Washington and around the country had been mounted to break his presidency. In a brilliant appeal to what he called the "Great Silent Majority," Nixon sent his enemies reeling. Vice President Agnew followed by attacking the blatant bias of the media in a fiery speech authored and advocated by Buchanan. And by 1970, Nixon's approval rating soared to 68 percent, and he was labeled "The Most Admired Man in America". Then one by one, the crises came, from the invasion of Cambodia, to the protests that killed four students at Kent State, to race riots and court ordered school busing. Buchanan chronicles Nixon's historic trip to China, and describes the White House strategy that brought about Nixon's 49-state landslide victory over George McGovern in 1972. When the Watergate scandal broke, Buchanan urged the president to destroy the Nixon tapes before they were subpoenaed, and fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, as Nixon ultimately did in the "Saturday Night Massacre." After testifying before the Watergate Committee himself, Buchanan describes the grim scene at Camp David in August 1974, when Nixon's staff concluded he could not survive. In a riveting memoir from behind the scenes of the most controversial presidency of the last century, Nixon's White House Wars reveals both the failings and achievements of the 37th President, recorded by one of those closest to Nixon from before his political comeback, through to his final days in office. Includes a bonus PDF of the Appendix, which includes handwritten notations on presidential memos


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From Vietnam to the Southern Strategy, from the opening of China to the scandal of Watergate, Pat Buchanan--speechwriter and senior adviser to President Nixon--tells the untold story of Nixon's embattled White House, from its historic wins to it devastating defeats. In his inaugural address, Nixon held out a hand in friendship to Republicans and Democrats alike. But by the From Vietnam to the Southern Strategy, from the opening of China to the scandal of Watergate, Pat Buchanan--speechwriter and senior adviser to President Nixon--tells the untold story of Nixon's embattled White House, from its historic wins to it devastating defeats. In his inaugural address, Nixon held out a hand in friendship to Republicans and Democrats alike. But by the fall of 1969, massive demonstrations in Washington and around the country had been mounted to break his presidency. In a brilliant appeal to what he called the "Great Silent Majority," Nixon sent his enemies reeling. Vice President Agnew followed by attacking the blatant bias of the media in a fiery speech authored and advocated by Buchanan. And by 1970, Nixon's approval rating soared to 68 percent, and he was labeled "The Most Admired Man in America". Then one by one, the crises came, from the invasion of Cambodia, to the protests that killed four students at Kent State, to race riots and court ordered school busing. Buchanan chronicles Nixon's historic trip to China, and describes the White House strategy that brought about Nixon's 49-state landslide victory over George McGovern in 1972. When the Watergate scandal broke, Buchanan urged the president to destroy the Nixon tapes before they were subpoenaed, and fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, as Nixon ultimately did in the "Saturday Night Massacre." After testifying before the Watergate Committee himself, Buchanan describes the grim scene at Camp David in August 1974, when Nixon's staff concluded he could not survive. In a riveting memoir from behind the scenes of the most controversial presidency of the last century, Nixon's White House Wars reveals both the failings and achievements of the 37th President, recorded by one of those closest to Nixon from before his political comeback, through to his final days in office. Includes a bonus PDF of the Appendix, which includes handwritten notations on presidential memos

30 review for Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    The title of this book intrigued me. I came across this quote by historian and biographer Sam Tenenhaus: Buchanan begot Trumpism as his former ally William F. Buckley, Jr. begat Reaganism. Between the two I just had to read the book. Personally, I am a moderate middle of the roader politically. In my humble attempt to understand the issues, I read books from both sides of the isle. This is the fifth White House remembrance by a Nixon speechwriter. The first one was Before the Fall written in 1975 The title of this book intrigued me. I came across this quote by historian and biographer Sam Tenenhaus: “Buchanan begot Trumpism as his former ally William F. Buckley, Jr. begat Reaganism.” Between the two I just had to read the book. Personally, I am a moderate middle of the roader politically. In my humble attempt to understand the issues, I read books from both sides of the isle. This is the fifth White House remembrance by a Nixon speechwriter. The first one was “Before the Fall” written in 1975 by William Safire. The book is now considered a classic. I discovered that it was Buchanan who created the phrase “The Great Silent Majority”. The book is supposed to be about Nixon but in my opinion, it is a memoir of Buchanan’s time in the Nixon White House. Buchanan’s ultra-right-wing philosophy is presented throughout the book. He discusses the causes of division that Nixon inherited such as the Vietnam war, school busing, civil rights, ethnic communities and what Buchanan calls liberal judiciary. He also stated that all media is liberal. Buchanan states he tried to swing Nixon to protectionism to help save American jobs. I noted that Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in spite of Buchanan’s advice. The book is well written. I was amazed that Buchanan wrote in such detail. He must have kept a detailed diary. I noted he also did the usually type of research of material such as reviewing the materials at the Nixon Library. The book does provide an in-depth behind the scenes view of the Nixon presidency. The author writes that Nixon was a Wilsonian idealist and a utopian Quaker pacifist. I found it difficult to understand Buchanan’s absolute belief that his opinion is correct and the only path for the country to follow. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is almost eighteen hours long. Arthur Morey does an excellent job narrating the book. At times, I thought it was Richard Nixon speaking. Morey did an excellent job portraying Nixon. Morey is an actor, voice over artist and award-winning audiobook narrator.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    Sad! A view of the Nixon presidency, through the eyes of it's arch conservative member, Patrick Buchanan. The detail is amazing. The author must either have an incredible memory, or kept notes on everything he has done. Throughout the book, the central theme is that Buchanan's ultra conservative beliefs are the only path to success for the United States. Everyone who has a differing opinion is just wrong, and is the enemy. (Sounds eerily familiar to the current administration). It must be Sad! A view of the Nixon presidency, through the eyes of it's arch conservative member, Patrick Buchanan. The detail is amazing. The author must either have an incredible memory, or kept notes on everything he has done. Throughout the book, the central theme is that Buchanan's ultra conservative beliefs are the only path to success for the United States. Everyone who has a differing opinion is just wrong, and is the enemy. (Sounds eerily familiar to the current administration). It must be something to be so sure of oneself, and to have never an inkling of doubt of one's beliefs, or that you may sometimes be wrong. However, I think it would be a sad and lonely existence. It makes me feel bad for Mr. Buchanan.

  3. 5 out of 5

    The American Conservative

    Had Richard Nixon confined himself to a single term and stepped down in January 1973, Patrick J. Buchanan writes of the man he served for eight years as senior adviser, speechwriter, confidant, and friend, he now would rank as one of the great or the near-great presidents. Writing in his 13th book (and his third on the Nixon presidency), the feisty commentator and former presidential candidate adds that, while he opposed some of his mentors domestic policies and foreign initiatives, he believes Had Richard Nixon confined himself to a single term and stepped down in January 1973, Patrick J. Buchanan writes of the man he served for eight years as senior adviser, speechwriter, confidant, and friend, he now would rank “as one of the great or the near-great presidents.” Writing in his 13th book (and his third on the Nixon presidency), the feisty commentator and former presidential candidate adds that, while he opposed some of his mentor’s domestic policies and foreign initiatives, he believes that “Nixon’s first term was undeniably one of extraordinary accomplishment.” He’s right, and this book makes the case with the author’s characteristically muscular and vivid prose. When Nixon assumed office in 1969, he took command of a nation wracked by race riots, burning cities, assassinations, campus turmoil, and trembling university administrators living in fear of various New Leftists who, when they weren’t tearing down the campuses, made them centers of their disruptive operations. The unrest was fueled in great part by the Vietnam war and its increasingly mindless escalation, a gift to the new administration from two preceding Democratic presidents and their think-tank advisers—the so-called Best and Brightest. http://www.theamericanconservative.co...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* Woo-boy! Ok, so a couple of disclaimers up front. I am definitely a left leaning person politically (if not a bit more than leaning) and was honestly mostly interested in this book to learn more about Watergate. That being said, I also just have a fascination with history and have been trying to learn more about all the presidents since I discovered the Washington Posts Presidential *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* Woo-boy! Ok, so a couple of disclaimers up front. I am definitely a left leaning person politically (if not a bit more than leaning) and was honestly mostly interested in this book to learn more about Watergate. That being said, I also just have a fascination with history and have been trying to learn more about all the presidents since I discovered the Washington Post’s Presidential podcast a few months back. I also have heard people compare the current White House to being most similar to Nixon’s so I was curious about that as well. All of this is leading to say I hated this book so much. I genuinely wanted to learn from this book. I wanted to know more about Nixon than just the scandals. I wanted to hear a well thought out justification for some conservative policies that I generally find abhorrent. Unfortunately, it seems the primary purpose of this book is for Buchanan to simultaneously take a victory lap for being the genius that got Nixon elected and was behind every move that could be conceived of as good by him and at the same time bemoan how unfairly Nixon and therefore he was treated throughout the presidency. Again this is ok. I get it he is telling his part of the story and naturally most people make themselves more of the protagonist in their own stories, but it gets very tiresome after a while to hear that if Nixon just followed his advice he would be seen as the greatest post-war president. However, even this is not what drives me to dislike this book. For that, I have to credit Buchanan’s abilities to take political potshots at current politicians and situations in a book about the Nixon years. At one point he brings up Bill Ayers and the Weathermen and cannot resist the urge to bring back the attack on President Obama from 2008 that he was friends with him. He also does not ever explain why his conservative views (which he is very proud of being the rightest of right wingers in the administration) were correct, but instead just insists that the idea of the silent majority proves that these views are politically worthwhile. Again, he brings up current events by saying that the only people who are still allowed to be discriminated against are white males (I almost threw my kindle) and then proceeded to say that the rise of Donald Trump shows this is true. To be fair to him, his goal was probably not to explain his views in the book and it reads a lot more like political strategy than actual political theory, however, I think it makes it very hard to engage anybody who does not share his views since the book is so aggressive and sanctimonious about how correct all his political ideas are without offering much justification. It was somewhat fascinating to read someone actually try to defend Nixon when it came to Watergate. Again he casts himself as a hero, saying that if he was listened to Nixon would not have been forced to resign. He also makes the point that the whole investigation was started over leaks which are also illegal which sounds eerily similar to arguments being made now about investigations into the current administration. Again, to give the book some credit it was fascinating to read someone have these views and also to see the inner workings of a White House that hated the press, especially since Buchanan was tasked to deal with this in a lot of ways. My advice to you would be if you can overlook his hack-y, conservative-cable-news style that this book is kind of an interesting read. If not, stay away. Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    I was pretty excited to read this book. Pat Buchanan is one of my favorite authors and he had an inside view of the Nixon administration, who I've always viewed as the more interesting presidents. My guess is this will be the last book written by Nixon by an insider that was there. Buchanan was critical but fair and the details he had was incredible. Highly recommend this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Locky

    There has never been a more consistent political intellectual than Patrick J. Buchanan. For decades, 'Uncle Pat' has been the voice of reason and common sense not only in the Whitehouse, where he was considered the 'token conservative', but also as a political pundit and author. He was ahead of his time, calling for much needed immigration reform and non interventionism, long before one Donald Trump successfully ran for president using the same policies. My heart does goes out to Mr. Buchanan. There has never been a more consistent political intellectual than Patrick J. Buchanan. For decades, 'Uncle Pat' has been the voice of reason and common sense not only in the Whitehouse, where he was considered the 'token conservative', but also as a political pundit and author. He was ahead of his time, calling for much needed immigration reform and non interventionism, long before one Donald Trump successfully ran for president using the same policies. My heart does goes out to Mr. Buchanan. He's spent his entire life fighting the good fight, yet society has degraded to almost unrecognizable conditions. What Nixon struggled with in the 60's and 70's (a hostile media, entertainment and political environment) has grown into monstrous proportions in the current age. As for the book itself, it's unofficially a sequel to 'The Greatest Comeback', the story of Nixon's path from 'political has-been' to president. The high intelligence and keen perceptive abilities of Buchanan are obvious to the reader and one comes away with an appreciation of his political chess game. To class Buchanan as 'just a speechwriter' is borderline defamatory as his guidance in regards to Nixon was top class information. Definitely read this book if you want a first hand example of the life within the president's trusted few. To be honest, I'm a little down after reading this book as I think this might be Pat's final work. He's one of the authors and pundits who got me on the right path I can't express my gratitude enough for that. God bless you, Mr. Buchanan.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Pat Buchanan is a great writer (which is one of the reasons he got his job with Nixon) and this book takes a look at the White House years, and the inside goings-on between various staffers and the media at the time. It is a very interesting behind the scenes tale about the Nixon White House and his staff. A great read and probably the last book to come out from a former Nixon staffer. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I have been reading books about the late 1960s, Watergate, and President Nixon ever since I listened to political commentators compare 2016 to 1968 last November. Since I was born in 1965, I didn't live through these events in the same way that some of my older friends did but I have scattered memories of some of the events. I find reading about the same events described from different points of view is interesting. That said, I find this book a bit difficult to rate. It is well written and I have been reading books about the late 1960s, Watergate, and President Nixon ever since I listened to political commentators compare 2016 to 1968 last November. Since I was born in 1965, I didn't live through these events in the same way that some of my older friends did but I have scattered memories of some of the events. I find reading about the same events described from different points of view is interesting. That said, I find this book a bit difficult to rate. It is well written and extremely detailed. At the same time, it is very one-sided. Buchanan is convinced that he is right and that his extremely conservative positions are the only correct ones. He uses this book to argue that Nixon's biggest mistake was not the illegal activities and cover up of Watergate but his failure to take conservative enough positions on many issues. Buchanan does not limit his criticism of Nixon to his positions on domestic issues, he also criticizes his foreign policy. The book is more of an account of Buchanan's time working for Nixon than a history of the Nixon White House or an examination of the forces that ended up destroying his presidency. I listened to this book instead of reading it. I had a difficult time personally with some of Buchanan's more extremely conservative policy positions and his unrepentant racism. I found the repetition of information distracting and actually checked a couple of times to see if I had put in the correct CD because I found myself listening to a repeated reading of a paragraph I had already read. Some tighter editing would have helped the book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Silliman

    There are parts of this book where Buchanan is just saying "if everyone had only listened to me," but you also get, again and again, Buchanan's analysis of the politics of the Nixon years. It's bracing how Machiavellian he is. He never exerts any effort deciding what's right; he always focuses on how the politics will play out to give him and Nixon power. Buchanan does it all: wedge issues, identity politics, spin, changing the story, choosing your enemy, and more. Here, he recounts how he did There are parts of this book where Buchanan is just saying "if everyone had only listened to me," but you also get, again and again, Buchanan's analysis of the politics of the Nixon years. It's bracing how Machiavellian he is. He never exerts any effort deciding what's right; he always focuses on how the politics will play out to give him and Nixon power. Buchanan does it all: wedge issues, identity politics, spin, changing the story, choosing your enemy, and more. Here, he recounts how he did it, bluntly and with historical memos. Buchanan can be shocking. He defends racial segregation without the typical whine about it really being about the limitation of government power. No, for him, it's about white people not having to live with black people. He also argues--apparently seriously--that the economic plight of white men in the rust belt and coal belt is due to affirmative action. He says that newspapers publishing leaked government information (like the Pentagon papers) is as bad or worse than the Watergate burglaries. He says, apparently without hesitation and certainly without irony, that Nixon should have burned the White House tapes. It's insane. He's racist. The man's moral compass is scary. There's a lot to learn here, about history and about politics. Buchanan really is Donald Trump's John the Baptist. I would recommend this book, but with the warning, you're going to have to spend time in Pat Buchanan's brain.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell Kaufman

    A good insight into the Nixon White House, the ups and the downs, but rather self-serving. Another book that indicates that Watergate was the result of staffers who didn't understand that Nixon would rant and then calm down and give reasonable instructions taking his first statements seriously. Another book contradicting John Dean, but make no mistake, Buchanan wants you to know what he did and how things would have been much better if people had just listened to him.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Lawson

    NIXONS WHITE HOUSE WARS documents, in great detail, the battles among top White House staffespecially the struggles for conservative causes. The author, Patrick J. Buchanan, kept detailed records and his correspondence with the president and other top officials. Richard Nixon asked for and welcomed my missives. It became our primary means of conversation. Over the Nixon White House years, I would send him a thousand. This book is designed specifically for political junkies who really like all the NIXON’S WHITE HOUSE WARS documents, in great detail, the battles among top White House staff—especially the struggles for conservative causes. The author, Patrick J. Buchanan, kept detailed records and his correspondence with the president and other top officials. Richard Nixon “asked for and welcomed my missives. It became our primary means of conversation. Over the Nixon White House years, I would send him a thousand.” This book is designed specifically for political junkies who really like all the nitty-gritty details about the Nixon presidency. If you are fascinated by reading detailed memoranda arguing for or against certain political causes, you will likely enjoy this book. I generally skipped over the memos. It’s easy to see how the author came to such a high position at such a young age (barely 30!). Buchanan writes well, and argues fervently for his conservative beliefs. Coming into the White House, the author had high hopes that Nixon would advance true conservative causes. He soon discovered, however, that Nixon was not nearly as dedicated as Buchanan. The author laments Nixon seemingly embracing “Great Society” extensions in the tradition of LBJ. Right after Nixon took office, “My fears that this was not going to be the conservative administration I had envisioned during my three years with Nixon were confirmed. “ If you read nothing else, don’t miss the chapter on Nixon’s historic visit to China. I thought this chapter was the most interesting part of the book; it also shows the author’s dismay with the administration’s lukewarm embrace of conservative principles. After the visit to China, for example, the author is disgusted at what he saw as a complete sell-out of our Taiwan friends. On the flight back, Buchanan stands up to Henry Kissinger, who negotiated the “Shanghai Communique.” Kissinger asked Pat what was wrong with the document, and tried to defend it. Buchanan would have none of it: “Though sitting in a window seat , I stood up, leaned over, put my face about eighteen inches from his, and shouted, “Bulls**t!” The latter part of the book covers the whole Watergate mess—all the way from the first reports of a break-in, to Nixon’s resignation. I did not know that Buchanan had actually testified about his peripheral role in Watergate. Similarly, I had no idea that the author’s brother had been falsely accused of money laundering during that same time period. (Cronkite’s network had to issue an apology.) The author includes the transcript of a light-hearted testimony before Senator Sam Ervin. The author also includes voluminous copies of memoranda sent to the president. Perhaps the most interesting was the one recommending that Nixon burn the tapes. This book is quite serious, as is the author. There are a few lighthearted moments, however. In China, Buchanan describes the drinking bouts: “One problem we all had that night was the drinking. The mao-tai the Chinese served for toasts— I still have four bottles—tasted as one imagines gasoline might taste. It was awful. The only thing that made it tolerable was that the more we consumed the more we began to ignore the taste.” Another funny moment describes the author and Henry Kissinger poolside: “Henry, wearing his bathing suit and working on a tan, repaired to his chaise, beside which lay papers and files. As we talked, he bemoaned the fact that though he was national security adviser to the most powerful man on earth and had secret papers lying all about him, no beautiful women had tried to seduce him.” So all in all, I found NIXON’S WHITE HOUSE WARS to be an interesting book, documenting one of the most turbulent political periods in recent times. I liked seeing the author’s perspective on the Nixon years—especially the visit to China. Prior to reading this book, I did not realize how controversial this trip was, and how it angered the conservatives in the White House. The whole time I was reading this book, I kept thinking, “Buchanan was barely 30?” Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher. See also Bassocantor.com

  12. 4 out of 5

    David Hines

    Richard Nixon is the most fascinating figure of 20th century politics, and I have read many, many books on him, and to put it bluntly, this one is among the best. Conservative activist Pat Buchanan who worked with Nixon for nearly a decade, has penned a fascinating insider's account of Nixon's hot and cold presidency that in many ways still affects us today. What most struck me about this book was the unexpected--having read Pat's The Greatest Comeback, a largely laudatory account of Nixon's Richard Nixon is the most fascinating figure of 20th century politics, and I have read many, many books on him, and to put it bluntly, this one is among the best. Conservative activist Pat Buchanan who worked with Nixon for nearly a decade, has penned a fascinating insider's account of Nixon's hot and cold presidency that in many ways still affects us today. What most struck me about this book was the unexpected--having read Pat's The Greatest Comeback, a largely laudatory account of Nixon's successful 1968 campaign, I expected this book to be as laudatory. Instead, I found a book that was quite critical of Nixon, because in Pat's views, in many ways, Nixon failed to deliver a conservative program. As Pat says in the book, he wanted Nixon to be the president Reagan actually became. More than just an account of Nixon's presidency from the deep inside, this book also provides a wonderful political history of the late 1960s and early 1970s as only someone in the game could have written. No historian, no matter how studied, could ever provide the anecdotes and actual thoughts of someone who was there like Pat can, and Pat, whether you agree with him or not, is a wonderful writer. Pat also quotes from and speaks about many recent books on Nixon, which just adds to the value of this read. Some parts of this book just further reinforced much of what is known about Nixon-- his extreme isolation from his own staff; his henchmen Haldeman and Erlichman who he thought were his chief administrators, but who in reality, enhanced his isolation, harmed his relations with other staff, and who ultimately did him in with Watergate; and Nixon's bizarre habits of spending hours writing and reading long memos, well explained in the excellent book President Nixon Alone in the White House by Richard Reeves, but which worked to Pat's advantage because he was a writer, and for many years Nixon devoured Pat's memos. While Pat obviously over-exaggerates some of his roles, it is fascinating to read of the pivotal moments in history he personally observed. Another thing I learned was his close collaboration with Vice President Spiro Agnew, the only man in American political history to rise higher and fall further than Nixon. As Pat acridly notes, had Agnew left the corrupt bribery practices of Annapolis in Annapolis, he would have gone on to be the conservative president Reagan later became. Instead, Agnew barely avoided jail and when he died, his small sad funeral was attended by less than 100 people, with Pat the biggest name there. Until you realize it was documented in the Watergate hearings, it seems like Pat's account that he was first offered the job of overseeing the "plumbers" who later ruined Nixon's presidency might be an exaggeration, but he turned down the job. That decision literally changed history, because it is impossible to believe Pat would have ever allowed that debacle to happen. Despite his admiration for Nixon, Pat's account of Watergate is direct and blunt. He explains how he himself easily handled the Watergate hearings, but says he has no clue why Nixon lied about the smoking gun tape that ended his presidency. He also makes it clear he told Nixon to destroy the tapes before they were called as evidence. This book is an important political and presidential history that is exceptionally well written, engaging, and informative. Whether you like Nixon, or detest Nixon, whether you are liberal or conservative, you will benefit from reading this book, even if you smile at some of Pat's exaggerations and frustrations. Combined with Pat's earlier book, The Greatest Comeback, this might the best insider's account of the Nixon administration with the possible exception of Nixon's own memoirs. Highly recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alan Braswell

    I got the audio portion of this book, not because of the author whom I blame for the defeat of President George H. W. Bush in 1992 presidential election more than the presence of the liberal Ross Perot with whom made jokes about the crazy aunt in the basement. For it was Patrick Buchanan who received close to three million votes in the primaries and tried to do a McCarthy style defeat of a sitting president in the white house. Buchanan ran again in 1996 against the same person who Buchanan I got the audio portion of this book, not because of the author whom I blame for the defeat of President George H. W. Bush in 1992 presidential election more than the presence of the liberal Ross Perot with whom made jokes about the crazy aunt in the basement. For it was Patrick Buchanan who received close to three million votes in the primaries and tried to do a McCarthy style defeat of a sitting president in the white house. Buchanan ran again in 1996 against the same person who Buchanan helped to defeat President George H. W Bush. I liked Nixon. That is the only reason I listed to the CD. The CD offered zero new insights in the timed when Nixon was president. I found it strange that when Buchanan went to the White House on that first day, following the inauguration, that he saw a man who he had never seen before. Strange because if someone, like Buchanan worked for Nixon before Nixon became president, surely he would have either saw the name or person of the chief of staff Bob Haldeman and Ron Erlickman who had worked with Nixon back in 1950's. There is rarely any mentioned of the other speech writers, except that liberal Ray Price. Buchanan seemed several times to wonder about the conservative movement. He never mentions the fact that Nixon had said that when you run for president one runs not as a conservative but as a moderate. If only they listened to me. That whinny voice says constantly on the CD. This would not have happened. I would've slapped him and told your not the boss. Your here to make suggestions and following in line. On the domestic he couldn't understand how the conservative movement not going anywhere. This from a man who doesn't understand how things work. It is Congress, not the president who makes the rules. He keeps alluding to President Reagan who increased federal spending and added to the national debt more than did Nixon. When Nixon's future son-in law asked what was this secret plan to end the war in Vietnam, back during the presidential campaign of 1968, in which then candidate Nixon had repeatedly said to the press. He told his future son in law that first he was going to Moscow than to China. Buchanan completely missed this quote. All Buchanan did was whined about giving in to the commies and those countries were the ones that were helping the North Vietnamese. They didn't after Nixon went to those countries. I said the same word that Buchanan told to Kissinger on the plane going back from China when Buchanan said that Reagan won the cold war. No Buchanan. The Soviet people had grown tired of living under communism and the soviet empire was already on the verge of collapse. At a celebration dinner for the life of President Nixon, Buchanan made a speech praising Nixon's domestic and foreign policy. He was followed by Kissinger, who is the other inside the Nixon white house I've read, Kissinger said this is the first time I've ever heard Buchanan say anything nice about President Nixon's foreign policy. To those those who have never read any of the plethora of material about the Nixon White House I would suggest you read some of the other accounts.

  14. 5 out of 5

    E

    This book was fascinating. An intriguing review caught my interest, which is good, because I likely would never have picked up this book on my own. Sure, the author comes out smelling like a rose, but he was in fact for the most part right on with his advice and strategies during the 5.5 years that Nixon was in the White House. Buchanan was Nixon's advisor well before his 1968 run, and remained Nixon's confidant up until the 38th president's death. Buchanan tells a gripping tale of how Nixon went This book was fascinating. An intriguing review caught my interest, which is good, because I likely would never have picked up this book on my own. Sure, the author comes out smelling like a rose, but he was in fact for the most part right on with his advice and strategies during the 5.5 years that Nixon was in the White House. Buchanan was Nixon's advisor well before his 1968 run, and remained Nixon's confidant up until the 38th president's death. Buchanan tells a gripping tale of how Nixon went from a president elected with 43% of the popular vote to one who one 61% and carried 49 states. And rightfully so, since Buchanan was behind much of Nixon's strategy to reach out to the "silent majority" that was sick and tired of east coast elites, anti-war radicals, domestic terrorists, forced integration, and so much more (sound familiar? PJB definitely wrote this book with 2016 in mind, and it's uncanny how much of this stuff has come full circle, placing a man many would view as Buchanan's ideological heir in the White House). The book bogs down in the last 100 pages for the obvious reason of Watergate, but thankfully Buchanan doesn't take us through every twist and turn (I personally find Watergate-mania to be incredibly boring). Buchanan relies heavily on the memoranda that he wrote regularly for the president, and they provide great insight into Nixon's efforts to appease conservatives (which he never truly was, and thus left a lot of reform on the table, and a lot of idiocy on the Supreme Court--except for Rehnquist). In bringing this meandering review to the end, I will admit that this book is not an unbiased look at the Nixon years, but it is consistently captivating, and will give new light on a man who it is hard for me not to respect, even if many of his decisions drove me nuts.

  15. 4 out of 5

    R D F

    Nixon was an underdog. Thus was a man who's political career was considered dead. He had lost to Kennedy for President, and then lost to Pat Brown for the Governor of California election afterwards. He gave it one more shot, biding his time, regaining strength, until running at a time when the country needed him most. 1968 was a tumultuous time. On one side were radical leftist forces, Communists & Far-Left forces, threatening to destroy the nation from within. On one side White Supremacist Nixon was an underdog. Thus was a man who's political career was considered dead. He had lost to Kennedy for President, and then lost to Pat Brown for the Governor of California election afterwards. He gave it one more shot, biding his time, regaining strength, until running at a time when the country needed him most. 1968 was a tumultuous time. On one side were radical leftist forces, Communists & Far-Left forces, threatening to destroy the nation from within. On one side White Supremacist and White Seperatist forces under were doing everything they could to keep the status quo. If there was ever a time that the nation risked being torn apart by civil war, it was then. Nixon became the candidate that united America, the President who represented the 'Silent Majority', the working class of Patriotic Americans across the country who wanted 'Law and Order', who saw the chaos all around them and sought a leader who could pull them through this tumultuous time. America pulled through. Nixon helped it pull through. He was reviled, hated, disparaged, but he was without a doubt one of America's finest President's. Watergate was not his fault but the Left won what they could not win in the 1972 election. I walk away from this book admiring the miracle political comeback Nixon made and his perseverance despite all the attacks he faced from the Hard and Far Left. He wasn't a Conservative, he was a Republican leaning Centrist and a realist who wanted to heal a torn nation and restore American honor, locally and internationally. Him leaving office was a tragedy for the country nd the world. This was a long read, 400 pages of small type. It would have been better to separate this book into 4 smaller books to make it an easier read. There is a lot of information. The most exciting parts of the books are Buchanan discussing the 1968 and 1972 elections.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tim Conder

    This was an interesting book, with plenty of inside baseball. However, it does carry the sense of Buchanan trying to right the record to ensure that his positions are understood as being the correct ones in every case. Consistent with that, a repeated confusion with the authors voice is it does not make clear whether the author adopted views because they were right or because they would win power. One is left with the feeling that Buchanan has not decided whether he is a man of principal or This was an interesting book, with plenty of inside baseball. However, it does carry the sense of Buchanan trying to right the record to ensure that his positions are understood as being the correct ones in every case. Consistent with that, a repeated confusion with the authors voice is it does not make clear whether the author adopted views because they were “right” or because they would win power. One is left with the feeling that Buchanan has not decided whether he is a man of principal or pragmatism, but instead frames every choice as representing both ideals. The elephant in the room throughout is obviously Watergate, which is presented almost as though it came as a surprise. On one level Buchanan acquits himself of any responsibility by showing his ignorance of what was happening, but at the same time, in fitting with the theme that this was a presidency undermined by the media, one is left with the feeling that the administration was completely detached from the reality of the situation. It was a good read, but with a hopelessly biased narrator. However, the anecdotes alone justify the read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul Miller

    Insiders view at the Nixon presidency from the brilliant, biting, provocateur - conservative speechwriter, Pat Buchanan. Genuinely fascinating look at the staff process - heavy citation from his memos of the period. Unique look at at Nixon himself - a domestic liberal w/Moynihan as urban advisor, affirmative action, EPA, liberal Supreme Court appointees, while a global conservative - pro Israel, detente, and the visit to China. Deep look at Watergate and the political process - per Buchanan, an Insider’s view at the Nixon presidency from the brilliant, biting, provocateur - conservative speechwriter, Pat Buchanan. Genuinely fascinating look at the staff process - heavy citation from his memos of the period. Unique look at at Nixon himself - a domestic liberal w/Moynihan as urban advisor, affirmative action, EPA, liberal Supreme Court appointees, while a global conservative - pro Israel, detente, and the visit to China. Deep look at Watergate and the political process - per Buchanan, an easily remedied problem had Nixon addressed decisively early. I was floored w/the number of historical events during the period - Kent State, Agnew, Vietnam, McGovern and Muskie, etc… If you enjoy American history and politics, a truly engrossing read because of the time period and the heavy use of original material.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ronald J.

    History by a man who was there, from 1966, with Richard Nixon, from his first term to his second. He wrote a lot of memos on strategies, and speeches (for Nixon and vice president Agnew), created controversy and was the voice of conservatism in a rather centrist White House. It's a long book, revolving around the memos, but the commentary is excellent, the writing breezy, and some of the stories fascinating and/or funny. He covers Vietnam, domestic policy (busing, quotas, etc.), as well as the History by a man who was there, from 1966, with Richard Nixon, from his first term to his second. He wrote a lot of memos on strategies, and speeches (for Nixon and vice president Agnew), created controversy and was the voice of conservatism in a rather centrist White House. It's a long book, revolving around the memos, but the commentary is excellent, the writing breezy, and some of the stories fascinating and/or funny. He covers Vietnam, domestic policy (busing, quotas, etc.), as well as the historic visit to China (he was against the visit), to the final days of Watergate, and even on the post-presidency and his move to the Reagan White House. Well worth the read if you have an interest in presidential history.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Flowergarden24

    This is an interesting insight into the Nixon Buchanan relationship but I do not think it is an objective assessment of how great Nixon was. There is no mention of the Chennault affair which shows Nixon to be more interested in himself than peace in Vietnam and the lives of thousands of US soldiers. I wonder if Buchanan didn't know, doesn't know now, or refuses to acknowledge the very dark sides of that presidency which would not put Nixon on such a pedestal. I am glad I read this anyway because This is an interesting insight into the Nixon Buchanan relationship but I do not think it is an objective assessment of how great Nixon was. There is no mention of the Chennault affair which shows Nixon to be more interested in himself than peace in Vietnam and the lives of thousands of US soldiers. I wonder if Buchanan didn't know, doesn't know now, or refuses to acknowledge the very dark sides of that presidency which would not put Nixon on such a pedestal. I am glad I read this anyway because there are many viewpoints which should be heard. Many books reveal the motives behind many of Nixon's decisions and the tapes and records are available to all. Buchanan has an interesting life for sure.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Teddy Dodger

    'Had Nixon followed my advice and burned the [non-subpoenad] tapes, he would have saved his presidency and served out his term, and his reputation and place in history would not be what they are today' page 329 Not too sure about that chief. And generally there is a lot of 'Nixon followed my advice and it worked out great/Nixon didn't follow my advice and it worked out terribly' which is typical for an administration tell all. But a very enjoyable read nontheless. If this story, of Pat as the 'Had Nixon followed my advice and burned the [non-subpoenad] tapes, he would have saved his presidency and served out his term, and his reputation and place in history would not be what they are today' page 329 Not too sure about that chief. And generally there is a lot of 'Nixon followed my advice and it worked out great/Nixon didn't follow my advice and it worked out terribly' which is typical for an administration tell all. But a very enjoyable read nontheless. If this story, of Pat as the Davey Crocket for Nixon's Alamo, is the tragedy, than the farce of 2020, which is looking like Trump's 1974 not his 1972, seems the best time to reread it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    At the end, Buchanan calls this among the last to be written by a confidant who served in that White House from it first to its final days. The book is wonderfully written and includes numerous references and quotes from other Nixon era books, as well as White House memos and tapes. The book is must reading for anyone who is interested in knowing more about the hard scrabble world of politics at the very highest level. Great history and great politics. Thank you Pat Buchanan for sharing this At the end, Buchanan calls this among the last to be written by a confidant who served in that White House from it first to its final days. The book is wonderfully written and includes numerous references and quotes from other Nixon era books, as well as White House memos and tapes. The book is must reading for anyone who is interested in knowing more about the hard scrabble world of politics at the very highest level. Great history and great politics. Thank you Pat Buchanan for sharing this with us. If you read only one book about Richard Nixon, this is the one. Jim

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ricky

    Patrick Buchanan painstakingly recalls inner White House discussions before and after, but mostly during, the Nixon administration. While referencing his memos, Buchanan provides an in-depth, behind the curtains, and honest - but not modest - look at President Nixon and "All the Presidents Men." While the story begins before Nixon's presidency and continues after Nixon left office, the most enthralling discussions involve the time from Pentagon Papers to Nixon's resignation.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Harrison

    Very grateful to Pat Buchanan for this work. Anyone who truly wants to understand Nixon and the inner workings of the White House needs to read H.R. Haldemann's diaries and Pat Buchanan's works on Nixon. I was especially impressed with Buchanan's political strategies as they came through in his recommendations to the presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. His understanding of the political landscape is amazing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Particularly significant at this time in our nation's history. For those who remember those years, this will bring back a lot of memories - but also add a lot to them and correct some of them. For those too young to have lived through those times, it will be a remarkable story. And who knew Sen Blumenthal of Connecticut worked in the Nixon White House? Now on to "Devil's Bargain"...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ricky Nelms

    Another great one! Another great book buy the author Ive read the most from - Patrick J. Buchanan! In the era of Trump this is a must-read not because Trump is another Nixon in the bad sense, but to see how the news media and the political left operated then as compared with now - which is to destroy America as we know it. Excellent history and a page-turner! Another great one! Another great book buy the author I’ve read the most from - Patrick J. Buchanan! In the era of Trump this is a must-read not because Trump is another Nixon in the bad sense, but to see how the news media and the political left operated then as compared with now - which is to destroy America as we know it. Excellent history and a page-turner!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Yosef Shapiro

    An inside look at the behind the scenes work and machinations that went on during Nixon 's White House years.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jim Ogle

    Buchanan has a unique perspective I've never read before.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Love to read PJB's prose. Very nice to finally get his firsthand take on so many monumental events. Parallels to current events are predictably eerie.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Walter Mack

    Past Wisdom; Valuable Today Mr. Buchanan has much to say today to stimulate our discussion That politics sometimes overwhelms principle unless good people get busy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ewsussek

    Excellent

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