Though it resulted in a foreign relations coup and ultimately opening China provided a huge benefit for the average Chinese citizen, how could Nixon shake hands with one of the worst monsters in world history -- Mao Zedong? He makes a good case, but regardless of the ultimate blame, even Nixon admits to making poor judgment calls in responding to the crisis.
The book covers and describes with interesting detail several historical personalities - Brezhnev, Khrushev, Sadat, Golda Meir, DeGaulle, Gandhi, and others all make their appearance.
The vast bulk of Nixon's book focuses on his presidency. Perhaps one Nixon's reasons to move past the Vice Presidency is due to his strained and awkward relationship with Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower refused to touch McCarthy lest his hands get dirty and he be accused of being political, so Nixon was the emissary from the White House. Eisenhower refused to tell Adams to his face that he must resign, so he repeatedly dumped this unsavory task on Nixon. In his section on the 1968 presidential election, Nixon, while repeatedly saying that Lyndon Johnson did not appear to order a bombing halt in North Vietnam only days before the election only for political gain, says exactly that by coming back to the subject again and again. As one might expect, most of the last quarter of the book deals with Watergate and the subsequent unraveling of Nixon's presidency. Perhaps when one realizes that Nixon's career has already been ruined, his legacy forever tarnished, and with the tape recordings ultimately being made available for people to listen to, that admitting to some unsavory things is not as forthright of an action as it first appears. Interspersed periodically in the book are copies of hand-written letters that Nixon wrote to people such as Jackie Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.
His downfall was brought on by the "cabal in congress" and by the "jackals in the media." In other words, those who hated him. This book has stirred up my feelings of support for President Nixon while, at the same time, stirring up the old feelings of antipathy, anger, and outright rage for the "cabal in congress" and the "jackals in the media," i.e. the liberals!
So why would anyone want to read a book by a whiner about the tragedies of his life largely imposed on him by others? When President Eisenhowers grandson married a Nixon daughter, the former president strongly encouraged the young man to cut his hair. You get fascinating trivia about world leaders who were in power at the time, and the small section devoted to the 1973 Yom Kippur war and the escalation of that war into something almost nuclear will fascinate you. But things got pretty hot and dicey in Israel in the fall of 1973, and Nixon insists the U.S. came closer to nuclear war with the Soviets than most people realize. So does Nixon have a valid point when he insists the press and the House and Senate were largely against him during the Watergate era? He points out factually enough that the young staffers who helped manage the hearings that summer were largely Democrats. The thing that will most vividly stand out for me regarding this book is the intensity with which Nixon loved his wife and daughters. If you can approach this book from the perspective that its a memoir, and therefore will be somewhat self-serving as memoirs are, then you will find fascinating and memorable bits of information in here that will leave you with a lot to think about.
During the Second World War, he served as a Navy lieutenant commander in the Pacific, before being elected to the Congress, and then serving as the 36th Vice President of the United States in the administration of Dwight D. During the Second World War, he served as a Navy lieutenant commander in the Pacific, before being elected to the Congress, and then serving as the 36th Vice President of the United States in the administration of Dwight D. Domestically, his administration faced resistance to the Vietnam War. In the face of likely impeachment by the United States House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate for the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned. Domestically, his administration faced resistance to the Vietnam War. In the face of likely impeachment by the United States House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate for the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned.