Cover image for Arrogance of power : the secret world of Richard Nixon
Arrogance of power : the secret world of Richard Nixon
Summers, Anthony.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 640 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E856 .S86 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E856 .S86 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E856 .S86 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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In this major new investigative work, acclaimed biographer Anthony Summers examines the public life and private affairs of a man whose record and legacy continue to be fiercely debated nearly three decades after he resigned from the presidency. From Nixon's early career in California through his turbulent days in the Oval Office, Summers traces his rise, fall, and reinvention as "great statesman." With research that is both impeccable and unparalleled in scope (more than a thousand interviews were conducted for the book), Summers produces compelling new evidence of Nixon's addiction to intrigue and to money. Here at last is the fullest examination yet of a personality that embraced political brilliance and vindictive, criminal behavior.The Arrogance of Power will destroy forever the image of Nixon as a tarnished statesman, presenting in its place a stark portrait of a man whose personal torments had a major impact on fifty years of American history.

Author Notes

Investigative journalist and author Anthony Summers has written Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, Goddess: The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe and Not in Your Lifetime, a book about the Kennedy assassination. Summers received the British Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award for Non-Fiction in 1980 for Conspiracy.

(Bowker Author Biography) Anthony Summers is the author of the best-selling biographies "Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe" & "Official & Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover."

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A lot of people are talking about this expose, billed as the "first full-scale investigative book on Nixon's life and career." And he thought it was over. --Bonnie Smothers

Publisher's Weekly Review

Summers's hefty, well-researched and unrelentingly negative biography seeks to make one thing perfectly clear: something was wrong with Tricky Dick all along, and the misdeeds that marked his presidency flowed naturally from his flawed character. Nixon, he argues, became a captive of his own pride and ambition, driven to demonstrate "guts" and keep his power, no matter whom he hurt. Summers paints the Nixon of the '50s as racketeer-influenced: he supports his claims with material on early adviser Murray Chotiner, presidential pal Bebe Rebozo, crime boss Meyer Lansky, eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes and other shady affiliates. Nixon's outwardly tranquil marriage to Pat drove her to secret chain-smoking, Summers writes, and nearly to alcoholism. In the Oval Office, Summers notes, Nixon was sometimes "rendered unstable by fatigue, alcohol and medication," such as the psychoactive drug Dilantin. His White House cabal pulled off more and stranger dirty tricks than the public record has shown; and flights of irrational belligerence led him to order off-the-cuff "acts of war"Dorders his aides had to scramble to intercept. After news of Watergate broke, Nixon's incoherence grew worse; top aides shielded him even while questioning his sanity. Summers (Official & Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, etc.) talked to hundreds of sources, some previously untappedDamong them Nixon's sometime confidant and psychotherapist, Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker. Though he sometimes construes as nefarious schemes what others might call normal politics, Summers's impressive research largely backs up his condemnatory attitude. With almost 150 pages of carefully spelled-out documentation and notes, the volume is no hit-and-run job; it's the most thorough case against Nixon yet, reminding us both how complex our 37th president was and how much damage he ultimately did. 32 pages b&w photos. First serial to Vanity Fair (Aug. 28) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Summers's reputation as the controversial biographer of Marilyn Monroe (Goddess) and J. Edgar Hoover (Official and Confidential) is furthered by this investigation into the lies and life of Richard Nixon. Summers divides Nixon's career into liesÄMafia connections, illicit campaign contributions, murky relations with eccentric billionaire Howard HughesÄand BIG liesÄplanning the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the murder of Fidel Castro, advising South Vietnam's President Thieu to boycott peace talks while Lyndon Johnson was a lame duck president because President Nixon would assure South Vietnam a better deal, Watergate, and the author's most controversial claim, that Nixon severely beat his wife, Pat, after his unsuccessful 1962 election campaign for California's governor. This may be the most negative book about Nixon written to date and contrasts sharply with such sympathetic works as Irwin Gellman's The Contender (LJ 8/99), Joan Hoff's Nixon Reconsidered (LJ 7/94), and Stephen Ambrose's three-volume biography, Nixon (LJ 10/15/91). Many of Summers's conclusions derive from interviews with Nixon's psychiatrist, Arnold Hutschnecker, and from many other interviews compiled by Summers and his researchers. The narrative is bogged down by an overabundance of detail, and the bombardment of interviews gives the book a "he said, she said" feeling. Public libraries should purchase if interest warrants.ÄKarl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.