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"The Nixon Tapes", a new book by Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter

Douglas Caddy

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The August 2014 issue of Vanity Fair came in the mail today. I immediately read the eagerly-awaited article, “Nixon Unbound”, by Douglas Brinkley and Luke A. Nichter. Their article is adapted from their new book being published this month, The Nixon Tapes, which draws up 3,700 hours of Nixon White House tapes. The bulk of the tapes in Vanity Fair are devoted to Nixon and his inner circle discussing global affairs. Frequently the discussion is between Nixon and his national-security adviser, Henry Kissinger. Kissinger comes off as the classic ass-kisser. He almost invariably agrees with any foreign policy opinion expressed by Nixon. If he strays off the reservation in these discussions, he quickly retreats from his own opinion and loses no time in embracing Nixon’s.

The Vanity Fair article runs from pages 68 to 76. There are no great bombshells revealed in the article. For example, Nixon’s opinions on homosexuality and gays have been broadcast before, so there is nothing new here.

I look forward to reading the authors’ new book that will be in the bookstores by month’s end. Undoubtedly there will be insightful and valuable material in the book that is not covered in Vanity Fair.

As an aside, I am writing an article based on Nixon’s and John Ehrlichman’s discussions in the Oval Office on June 21, 1972, and July 19, 1972, about me. These discussions can be found in Prof. Stanley Kutler’s book, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes, published in 1997. My article will make a new and major revelation about Watergate, based on the Nixon-Ehrlichman Oval Office discussions.


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