A mostly evenhanded (from this great distance) consideration of a president from one of his closest advisers.

THE GREATEST COMEBACK

HOW RICHARD NIXON ROSE FROM DEFEAT TO CREATE THE NEW MAJORITY

The populist conservative and senior adviser to Richard Nixon tells how he helped turn the loser into a winner.

Against all odds, Nixon won the presidency in 1968, barely defeating Hubert Humphrey and reviving the moribund GOP in the process. As one of Nixon’s first young converts, then a St. Louis Globe-Democrat editorial writer fresh out of Columbia’s journalism school, Buchanan (Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?, 2011, etc.), a disappointed Goldwater supporter and one of the more hard-core young Republicans then emerging, talked his way into Nixon’s good graces as early as 1966, during the period of Nixon’s toiling in the “wilderness” of his Manhattan law firm after the crushing defeats of 1960 (against JFK for the presidency) and 1962 (for governor of California). The same sore loser who had made his unfortunate “You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” morning-after speech had two qualities that saved him, Buchanan writes: loyalty to his party and a fighting spirit. Indeed, restoring the party base was a key element to his ultimate success, since the GOP had lost both houses by 1954 and was fatally split by 1964 between the John Birch Society-Goldwater hard-liners and the more moderate Republicans represented by New York’s Nelson Rockefeller and Michigan Gov. George Romney. Nixon—as well as Buchanan and other important “advance men”—threw their energy into courting the conservative press and laying down a strategy for helping the GOP recoup losses in the midterm election of 1966. This strategy included reasserting law and order, endorsing Rockefeller (whom they loathed) for governor, and fashioning a new Republican Party of the South that rested on human rights and not bigotry. Buchanan was privy to all kinds of secret conversations and memos regarding Vietnam, LBJ, RFK and many unsung politicians and newspapermen who shaped the debate.

A mostly evenhanded (from this great distance) consideration of a president from one of his closest advisers.

Pub Date: July 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-553-41863-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Crown Forum

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

more