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

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NIXON IN NEW YORK

HOW WALL STREET HELPED RICHARD NIXON WIN THE WHITE HOUSE

From the Law, Culture, and the Humanities Series series

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

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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

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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

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