Richard Nixon: The Life by John A. Farrell. PART 2 of 4.


Author: (Vice President Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev speak as the press looks on in part of what came to be known as the Kitchen Debate, July 24, 1959.


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Richard Nixon: The Life by John A. Farrell. PART 2 of 4.

“Beautifully written and deeply insightful . . . A bracing portrait of a man untethered from principle and ideology, driven throughout his life to win at any cost and thereby palliate his deep-seated insecurities . . . Nixon was not an easy man to understand. And even now, his failures and accomplishments are not easy to classify. In Farrell’s capable hands, however, we see Nixon in his entirety—and we can’t help but wonder what he means for our politics today.”

—William Howell, San Francisco Chronicle

"[Nixon is] an electrifying subject, a muttering Lear, of perennial interest to anyone with even an average curiosity about politics or psychology. The real test of a good Nixon biography, given how many there are, is far simpler: Is it elegantly written? And, even more important, can it tolerate paradoxes and complexity, the spikier stuff that distinguishes real-life sinners from comic-book villains? The answer, in the case of Richard Nixon, is yes, on both counts.”

—Jennifer Senior, The New York Times

“A stack of good books about Nixon could reach the ceiling, but Farrell has written the best one-volume, cradle-to-grave biography that we could expect about such a famously elusive subject. By employing recently released government documents and oral histories, he adds layers of understanding to a complex man and his dastardly decisions . . . Outstanding.”

—Aram Goudsouzian, Washington Post

"With a mix of morbid fascination and deep empathy, Farrell humanizes Nixon, but he doesn't let him off the hook . . . The dichotomy between brooding schemer and extroverted leader has long defined the Nixon dynamic. But with Richard Nixon, Farrell has etched those history-shaking contradictions into the most vivid—and the most startling—relief to date."

—Jason Heller,

“An extremely valuable introduction to the life and times of one of our most consequential presidents. Farrell gives us a Nixon rich in both character flaws and great accomplishments, the latter fueled by his transformational vision. It’s a worthy look at a fascinating president.”

—Ray Locker, USA Today

“Though there have been many previous books about Nixon, Mr. Farrell’s comprehensive, one-volume biography is welcome . . . In lively, vigorous prose, he takes readers through Nixon’s career, offering incisive judgments and revealing details along the way.”

—Robert K. Landers, Wall Street Journal

“Superb . . . the most formidable attempt yet made to put Richard Nixon in perspective.”

—Steve Donoghue, Christian Science Monitor

“Farrell is an exceptional writer . . . It may not have been Farrell’s intent to produce a cautionary tale about the dangers of a presidency run aground on lies, paranoia, prejudices, and delusion, but that’s what he’s accomplished.”

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Farrell’s blockbuster portrait of Nixon is revelatory—filled with fresh reporting shedding new light on the roots of our own dark political moment. He shows that dirty tricks, October Surprises, and anti-elitist resentment were among the gifts Nixon bequeathed to our own presidential politics.”

—Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

“John A. Farrell has once again delivered a rich, precisely written portrait of the past to help us understand the present. He traces the origins and turning points of one of the most complex, complicated and fascinating presidents of the modern age with flair and narrative skill. Each page is a joy to read, on the way to a very satisfying whole.”

—John Dickerson, moderator of...

Jul 15, 05:08 AM
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