The Nixon Defense

The Nixon Defense

What He Knew and When He Knew It

Book - 2014
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Richard Nixon's resignation four decades ago in the wake of Watergate was an event that continues to resonate in American political life, whether in the endless number of '-gate' scandals that have come after it or in the distrust - if not outright cynicism - with which many citizens have come to regard the government. Yet as deeply reported and endlessly analysed as the Watergate break-in and its aftermath have been, controversies remain, from the notorious 18#65533;-minute gap in the recordings made in the president's office to the fundamental question of what Nixon really knew and when he knew it.

Surprisingly, the primary source material for the true story of Watergate, Nixon's secret recordings, has become almost fully available, information far beyond the select material cited by government investigators and prosecutors yet hitherto totally neglected. Before now no one has attempted to catalog and transcribe all of Nixon's Watergate tapes and use them to examine and reconstruct the history of this period. The Nixon Defense is based on this unique collection, presented as dramatic narrative and dialogue drawn directly from all the Watergate conversations. John Dean, who was a key player in the unfolding of the scandal and its resolution, has transcribed all of the nearly one thousand Watergate recordings held by the National Archives and Records Administration, which represents more than double the amount of material previously published and comprises the information essential to understanding this history.

The result is an unprecedentedly detailed and fact-based account of the worst scandal in American political history. Dean presents a day-to-day record of the Nixon White House confronting the revelation of the break-in, strategizing its defense and ultimately facing its downfall because of its lies. The Nixon Defense is not only a compellingly dramatic story of Watergate itself but a revelatory portrait of Nixon and his aides (Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Colson et al.) and the cynicism, paranoia and vindictiveness that were so often the driving forces of the president and his inner circle.

The Nixon Defense will finally expose the difference between what we've come to believe about the affair and what actually happened, and as such will stand as the authoritative account of Watergate.

Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, 2014
ISBN: 9780670025367
Branch Call Number: 973.924092 DEAN
Characteristics: xxx, 746 pages ; 25 cm


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ChristchurchLib Sep 23, 2014

A former White House Counsel and one of the last surviving major figures from Watergate uses his own transcripts from hundreds of conversations as well as documents in the archives to definitively determine what Nixon knew and when he knew it. October 2014 History and Current Events newsletter.


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