"John A. Farrell narrates this story with punch and insight...the best one-volume, cradle-to-grave biography that we could expect about such a famously elusive subject. By employing recently released government documents and oral histories, he adds layers of understanding to a complex man and his dastardly decisions."
-- The Washington Post
"Confirmation of Nixon's meddling in Johnson’s peace efforts is the … news that “Richard Nixon” breaks. But startling revelations are hardly the only criterion for a good Nixon biography. He’s an electrifying subject, a muttering Lear, of perennial interest to anyone with even an average curiosity about politics or psychology. The real test of a good Nixon biography ... is far simpler: Is it elegantly written? And, even more important, can it tolerate paradoxes and complexity, the spikier stuff that distinguishes real-life sinners from comic-book villains? The answer, in the case of “Richard Nixon,” is yes, on both counts."
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Richard Nixon: A Life has received starred reviews, reserved for books of exceptional quality, from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist.
"Farrell skillfully revisits Richard Nixon's long political career in this history of American politics from the postwar period through his resignation as president in 1974. Farrell, an exceptional writer, examines both minor anecdotes and Nixon's world-altering choices to illuminate his fundamental and contradictory qualities: a mixture of intelligence, ambition, insecurity, paranoia and deviousness: all put in service to great success and catastrophic failure.....It may not have been Farrell's intent to produce a cautionary tale about the dangers of a presidency run aground on lies, paranoia, prejudices and delusion, but that's what he's accomplished." - Publishers Weekly
"John A. Farrell has once again delivered a rich, precisely written portrait of the past to help us understand the present. He traces the origins and turning points of one of the most complex, complicated and fascinating presidents of the modern age with flair and narrative skill. Each page is a joy to read," writes John Dickerson, moderator of CBS's Face the Nation and author of Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History.
"Richard Nixon's political career has all the nooks and crannies of an English muffin: the red-baiting of the early campaigns; Checkers; the Great Debates of 1960; the comeback in '68; the inheritance and horror of Vietnam; the historic opening to China; the shame of Watergate," says Chris Matthews, the host of Hardball, and author of Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Post-war America. "In Richard Nixon, John A. Farrell is tough and unyielding, yet gives his subject a fair hearing through each gripping episode. `I'm not a quitter,' Nixon once protested, and this grand, indispensable book proves him right, right to the end."