Nixon, Volume 3: Ruin & Recovery 1973 - 1990
Stephen E. Ambrose
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In Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990, Stephen E. Ambrose completes his acclaimed biography of the man many historians call the most fascinating politician in American history: Richard Milhous Nixon.
Rarely before on the stage of global politics has one man, respected and reviled, blessed and cursed, held us in such rapt attention. Using Nixon’s own words, private writings, and tape-recorded conversations, Ambrose captures the man and all his contradictions as he faces the ordeal of Watergate and its aftermath, the long road back to public life.
Watergate is a drama with high stakes and low skullduggery, of lies and bribes, of greed and lust for power.
At its center is the obsession of the country and much of the world with President Richard Nixon himself. It is a remarkable play of foolhardy heroism as Nixon risked everything trying to maintain dignity and his job, when he alone had the power to determine the outcome of the scandal, whether by resigning,...
for example, he had wanted to fly to Orlando on a JetStar but was told he could not because of inadequate communications. But he did save some fuel by ordering that the backup plane stay home. “I don’t need a backup plane. If this one goes down, it goes down—and then they don’t have to impeach.” The audience tried to laugh. After some short questions and long answers on the energy crisis, the session finally, mercifully, came to an end.22 It had been an ordeal, for Nixon, for the editors, for
After Reagan’s election, Nixon got on the telephone, calling senators, Reagan aides, anyone with influence with the President-elect. Six weeks after the election, Reagan called him to say he had all but decided to name Haig Secretary of State. What did Nixon think? Nixon thought it was a brilliant choice.11 In Haig’s confirmation hearings, Democratic senators on the Foreign Relations Committee wanted to know what role Haig had played in arranging a “deal” for the Nixon pardon by Ford. Haig
Race on Land, on Sea, and in the Air,” Parade, 10/5/80. 38. Anson, Exile, 230. 39. New York Times, 9/8/80; Anson, Exile, 228. 40. Anson, Exile, 236. 41. Greene, Cheeseburgers: The Best of Bob Greene, 142-59. 42. New York Times, 10/30/79. 43. Anson, Exile, 235. 44. Introduction to the Warner Books edition of The Real War (1981). 45. Washington Post, 12/19/80. CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX 1. Baumgold, “Nixon’s New Life in New York. 2. Richard Reeves interview. 3. Baumgold, “Nixon’s New Life in
party.” So Nixon’s subcommittee had gone to work. “We got it done. We got the evidence, we got the typewriter, we got the Pumpkin Papers. We got all of that ourselves. The FBI did not cooperate. The Justice Department did not cooperate.” Nixon went on to admit that he had thought executive privilege wrong in the Hiss case, but “now this [the demand for Dean’s testimony] is another matter.” Dean thought that if they could stall, the problem would disappear. “The public is bored with this thing
guilty than he ever would admit. And the full extent of his guilt was on those tapes. He knew he had not been joking when he said he could raise the million dollars, he knew he had ordered the payment of hush money, he knew he had ordered a cover-up back in June 1972 and kept it in operation for the past year. He knew the truth. By building his tape library, he had constructed both scaffold and noose, and his ultimate defense. To release or not release the tapes? What if he released selected