Richard M. Nixon: In the Arena, From Valley to Mountaintop


Luke A. Nichter, PhD
Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Killeen, Texas, US

Series: First Men, America’s Presidents
BISAC: HIS036060

In the twenty years since Richard Nixon’s death, both his achievements and his failures remain hotly contested. His domestic achievements included revenue sharing, the end of the military draft, new anticrime laws, and a broad environmental program. In terms of foreign policy, he opened relations with the People’s Republic of China, signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with the Soviet Union, and ended the war in Vietnam. For these achievements, he was re-elected in 1972 by one of the largest margins in American history, defeating Democratic candidate Senator George McGovern.

In the 20th century, the only comparable victories were Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 and Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The shadow of Watergate continues to hang over Nixon’s presidency, and is often the first thing most people associate with Richard Nixon. Fairly or unfairly, there remains much to learn about Watergate and Nixon’s presidency due to the large number of records and White House tapes still being opened. In addition, as subsequent presidential scandals have occurred, Watergate fades slightly, although it does not completely disappear. Only gradually have scholars turned their attention to subjects other than Watergate, observing the plea by President Clinton in his eulogy of Nixon that we judge the 37th president on his full record, and not just his shortcomings. As more records from his presidency are opened, he will continue to receive fuller biographical treatment. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Barbara Bennett Peterson


Chapter 1 – Early Life (pp. 1-4)

Chapter 2 – World War II and Public Office (pp. 5-10)

Chapter 3 – Rising Star (pp. 11-14)

Chapter 4 – Wilderness and Renewal (pp. 15-18)

Chapter 5 – The 1968 Election (pp. 19-22)

Chapter 6 – Reassuring Allies (pp. 23-40)

Chapter 7 – Nixon and Charles de Gaulle (pp. 41-60)

Chapter 8 – West Germany and Ostpolitik (pp. 61-76)

Chapter 9 – The Anglo-American ―Special Relationship (pp. 77-90)

Chapter 10 – Why Nixon Taped Himself (pp. 91-102)

Chapter 11 – Vietnam and the Nixon Doctrine (pp. 103-110)

Chapter 12 – Domestic Policy (pp. 111-114)

Chapter 13 – Triangular Diplomacy (pp. 115-126)

Chapter 14 – Trouble on the Subcontinent (pp. 127-154)

Chapter 15 – The 1972 Election (pp. 154-158)

Chapter 16 – Watergate (pp. 159-164)


Appendix A: Key Cabinet Members

Appendix B: Biographies of Key Cabinet Members

Appendix C: Presidential Timeline

Appendix D: Primary Source Excerpts


About the Author


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