*Includes pictures. *Includes Nixon's most famous quotes. *Includes footnotes and a bibliography for further reading. I leave you gentleman now. You will now write it; you will interpret it; that's your right. But as I leave you I want you to know.... just think how much you're going to be missing. You don't have Nixon to kick around any more... - Richard Nixon, 1962 A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. Best known as the 37th President of the United States, and the only president in American history to resign his office, Richard Nixon's lengthy political career would put him, during various times, at the center of regional, national and international politics for several decades. It was to be a career filled with unexpected twists and turns, high-profile defeats and unlikely resurrections, in which he made exhaustive efforts to reinvent himself in the public eye. From humble beginnings filled with disparate influences, Nixon's extraordinary intellect, strategic brilliance and imposing style of confrontation saw him through a stellar academic career at Duke Law School to seats in both the House and Senate, the vice-presidency and finally, the presidency, where he was and is considered by many to be among the strongest foreign policy presidents in the history of the United States. Of course, Nixon's presidency is an enigmatic one, given the alternating of previously unimaginable accomplishments in foreign relations with scandals at home. They began long before he became president too. When his name was bandied about for vice president on the Eisenhower ticket, Nixon had to worm his way out of serious trouble. America has seen more than its fair share of slick politicians, including those who manage to navigate out of political trouble through charm, but even though Nixon was notorious for not being a warm individual, he managed to orchestrate the infamous Checkers speech, which not only saved his political career but effectively worked to force Eisenhower to keep him on the ticket. By 1972, Nixon appeared to be well on his way to reelection, and sure enough, he enjoyed one of the biggest landslides against George McGovern that year. However, despite the fact that Nixon's reelection seemed a cinch, the seeds of his destruction were being sown in the months leading up to the election. Increasingly and mistakenly viewed as a single scandal within the United States government, what is commonly referred to as the Watergate scandal serves as an overarching term for a series of scandals beginning in 1971 and extending through 1974, although more than any other, it refers to the specific break-in at the Watergate Hotel and office complex in Washington, D.C. The crisis, originating in a secretive battle between the two major political parties, the Nixon White House's paranoia, and the ensuing conflict concerning the release of confidential information to the public, induced senior government officials into committing crimes (most notoriously petty burglary) and coverups for the purposes of character assassination and inter-political espionage. Ultimately, Watergate resulted in the first and only resignation of a sitting American president, but only after Nixon had tried at seemingly every turn to hinder investigations and coverup crimes committed by senior officials in his own administration. American Legends: The Life of Richard Nixon examines the life and legacy of America's most controversial president.
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