Essential to anyone’s library of Nixoniana.

THE NIXON DEFENSE

WHAT HE KNEW AND WHEN HE KNEW IT

About that 18-and-a-half minutes of lost tape….

In this 40th anniversary year of Richard Nixon’s gloomy evacuation of the White House, former staffer and ever since bête noire Dean (Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches, 2007, etc.) defends himself against a category of accusation Tricky Dick frequently leveled against him: “I’m not going to fire a guy on the basis of a charge made by Dean, who basically is trying to save his ass and get immunity, you see.” Well, sure: Dean was and is no dummy, and he saw what was coming in the grim swirl of the Watergate hearings, during which frequently named figures such as Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Hunt, Liddy, Mitchell and Dean himself became household names. By the author’s account, Liddy—never likable but always honorable, in his own way—took the fall for the foiled break-in and offered to have himself shot on any street corner in Washington at the president’s pleasure; the president declined, but he schemed and maneuvered in other directions. Sometimes, Dean notes, Nixon was brilliant in that maneuvering, turning potential losses into double-edged wins, usually Pyrrhic but still damaging to the opposition. This account, drawing on notes, scrawls on legal pads and transcripts of taped conversations, makes an odd but compelling stroll down Memory Lane for those who remember the time. Dean provides deft portraits of the likes of the unctuous Kissinger, the exceedingly odd Al Haig (“he’s a little bit obnoxious and doesn’t wear well with people, which would be good from our point of view”), and Nixon himself. And as for that missing tape, the one about which so much was made at the Watergate hearings? It would spoil the surprise to tell it here, but Dean has the answers.

Essential to anyone’s library of Nixoniana.

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-670-02536-7

Page Count: 784

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

  • National Book Award Winner

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more