NIXON IN NEW YORK

HOW WALL STREET HELPED RICHARD NIXON WIN THE WHITE HOUSE

From the Law, Culture, and the Humanities Series series

An engaging and well-written book that illuminates Nixon through the exploration of the midpoint of his career.

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A biography of Richard Nixon focuses on his years at a New York law firm before running for president.

In this debut history book, Li examines one of the less famous periods of Nixon’s professional life, from his loss in the 1962 election for governor of California through his political rehabilitation and his successful run for president in 1968. The work focuses on Nixon’s tenure at the Wall Street law firm that was renamed Nixon Mudge when he joined, drawing high-profile clients and repairing his public persona. Li shows how formative Nixon’s law firm years were, giving him the opportunity to build the relationships necessary for a national campaign and also introducing him to colleagues like Leonard Garment and John Mitchell, who became important figures during his presidency. The work concludes with a brief overview of Watergate and its effect on Nixon Mudge alumni and the story of the firm’s decline in the ’80s and ’90s. Drawing on both primary sources and previous scholarship, Li brings a lawyer’s perspective to this analysis of Nixon’s career, going into detail about his argument before the Supreme Court in a First Amendment case that involved Time Inc. and Life magazine. The author employs an informed historical viewpoint, tracing the connections between Nixon’s path and the careers of other presidential aspirants. The prose is solid, flavored by Li’s taste for metaphor (“If Kennedy was Camelot, then Nixon seemed to represent Prince John from ‘Robin Hood’ ”), balancing analysis with substantial quotations from the principals involved. The book also does an excellent job balancing its particular focus with the need to provide readers with sufficient background, resulting in a solid overview of the time period and the political climate surrounding Nixon Mudge. Li approaches Nixon and the volume’s other notorious characters with open eyes, acknowledging their strengths while pointing out the flaws that eventually led to crimes, convictions, and resignations. The author presents readers with well-rounded portraits of key figures in U.S. law and politics in the second half of the 20th century.

An engaging and well-written book that illuminates Nixon through the exploration of the midpoint of his career.

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68393-000-6

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

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

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

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