Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990 by Stephen E Ambrose - review by Anthony Lee

Anthony Lee

Tricky Saint Dicky

Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990


Simon & Schuster 672pp £9.99 pbk order from our bookshop

In 1988, NBC TV’s John Chancellor asked Richard Nixon how history would remember him. ‘History will treat me fairly. Historians probably won’t because most historians are on the left.’ Sadly, Stephen Ambrose does not include this illuminating exchange in the final volume of his three-part Nixon biography, but I hope that its subject is suitably munching his words, for his biographer achieves as even-handed an appraisal as Tricky Dicky is likely to see in his over-eventful lifetime.

‘I have loved writing this book,’ says Ambrose in his foreword, but it is the fervour neither of fan nor assassin. The more anyone studies Richard Nixon, the harder it is not to admire his tenacity, if not his tone. By 1990, Nixon the embattled President and unindicted Watergate co-conspirator

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