President Nixon Alone in the White House
By: Richard Reeves
In this review on Richard Nixon Alone in the White House I will hit on some key points. I will begin with a short two paragraph summary of the book, while showing emphasis on the authors theme of the book. That will be followed by further elaboration of the author’s theme by using some cited illustrations from the book as backing for my findings. There will then be a personal analysis of the book with an insight as how it pertains to the course. This review will end with end with an overall assessment of the book as to its usefulness to the course U.S. History Since 1877.
In the book Richard Reeves gives a detailed account, an almost minute by minute overview of what Nixon was thinking, his actions, and his decisions. Reeves lets you know “what he knew and when he knew it and what he actually did.”(13) The way that he does this is through interviews, and also using tapes and paper trails which were left behind by Nixon’s administration. The book is not so much a book of what Nixon did or did not do, but rather more of what Nixon was like as a man, and also what it was like to be around Nixon. It as though you are in the room with him knowing his every thought. This book is chalked full of memos that he wrote, many of which were to himself, as to what he wanted to accomplish both politically and personally. I feel that Reeves is trying to portray two themes pertaining to Nixon, first of which is that Nixon had an obsession for secrecy which led to his isolation; this is where the title Alone in the White House comes from. He did not trust hardly anyone; this was transferred throughout the administration. Nobody trusted anyone, they were all recording their phone calls, stealing each other’s papers and even bugging their own office. This led to his uneasiness with people; he would memorize his every remark even for the most casual occasions. Secondly was his need to use his...
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