"The problem with vice is not so much the sin, as the character of the people one meets to practice it."
Len Garment, counselor to President Nixon, quoting Oscar Wilde on Nixon's involvement with the coverup of the Watergate Burglars.
Rumpole has read "Richard Nixon The Life" by John A Farrell and pronounces it a very satisfactory, if a bit too short biography of the 37th POTUS. Farrell's distinction is that this is the first major biography after the successful lawsuit in 2007 to release over 37,000 hours of white house tapes. The writing is crisp and at times superb. For example: "It was that spring, with little note, that Truman dismissed Franklin Roosevelt's qualms about aligning the US on the wrong side of an anti-colonial war of independence and approved the first multimillion dollar aid package for French Indochina."
Thusly, the spectre of Vietnam, which came to define Nixon, was subtly introduced.
"Nixon moved to New York in June 1963 to lay him down and bleed awhile" in discussing Nixon's loss of the 1962 race for governor in California.
And ... in discussing 1968...
"As the world went mad around him, Nixon had shown touch and timing in his campaign to claim the Republican nomination."
All of this relevant to those of us who believe (unlike the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) that those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.
And while we remember but do not honor the birth of the greatest war criminal of the 20th century on April 20th- a man who under the banner of German nationalism led his nation to ruin and a world to war, we also remember on April 22, the death of Richard Milhous Nixon- who in 1994 ended a remarkable life with a career filled with Shakespearean or Grecian like tragedies, triumphs, defeats, and ultimately a comeback of sorts and some peace.
The 37th POTUS was a remarkable and complex man whose life is well worth much study.
From Occupied America, where "Only Nixon could go to China", and a deposed president once, incredibly, told David Frost "If the President does it, it means that it is not illlegal", Fight The Power.
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