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The title of this book intrigued me. I came across this quote by historian and biographer Sam Tenenhaus: “Buchanan begot Trumpism as his former ally William F. Buckley, Jr. begat Reaganism.” Between the two I just had to read the book. Personally, I am a moderate middle of the roader politically. In my humble attempt to understand the issues, I read books from both sides of the isle.
This is the fifth White House remembrance by a Nixon speechwriter. The first one was “Before the Fall” written in 1975 by William Safire. The book is now considered a classic. I discovered that it was Buchanan who created the phrase “The Great Silent Majority”.
The book is supposed to be about Nixon but in my opinion, it is a memoir of Buchanan’s time in the Nixon White House. Buchanan’s ultra-right-wing philosophy is presented throughout the book. He discusses the causes of division that Nixon inherited such as the Vietnam war, school busing, civil rights, ethnic communities and what Buchanan calls liberal judiciary. He also stated that all media is liberal. Buchanan states he tried to swing Nixon to protectionism to help save American jobs. I noted that Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in spite of Buchanan’s advice.
The book is well written. I was amazed that Buchanan wrote in such detail. He must have kept a detailed diary. I noted he also did the usually type of research of material such as reviewing the materials at the Nixon Library. The book does provide an in-depth behind the scenes view of the Nixon presidency. The author writes that Nixon was a Wilsonian idealist and a utopian Quaker pacifist. I found it difficult to understand Buchanan’s absolute belief that his opinion is correct and the only path for the country to follow.
I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is almost eighteen hours long. Arthur Morey does an excellent job narrating the book. At times, I thought it was Richard Nixon speaking. Morey did an excellent job portraying Nixon. Morey is an actor, voice over artist and award-winning audiobook narrator.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Despite some initial skepticism, I purchased this book and was rewarded with one of the most engrossing and entertaining historical memoirs I've ever encountered. Having lived through the turbulent times portrayed in this fascinating narrative I was especially interested in the many insider accounts of those times and the momentous decisions that were made and that still affect this country today. Pat Buchanan's well reasoned and wonderfully articulated conservative assessment of those decisions are nothing if not highly thought provoking and compelling.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful