Award-winning journalist-biographer John A. Farrell reveals the inside story and startling revelations about a career politician who first became familiar to Californians in “Richard Nixon: The Life” (Doubleday, $35, 752 pages). Farrell will appear Wednesday, April 26, for The Sacramento Bee Book Club.
Nixon represented the Golden State in the House of Representatives and the Senate in the 1940s and ’50s, and in 1962 made a failed bid for the governorship.
As the 37th president, Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency and opened diplomatic ties with China, among other historic achievements. But his presidency spiraled into paranoia, delusion, lies and dirty tricks, dividing the nation and culminating in the wrenching drama known as the Watergate scandal. By 1974, the world knew his name as the only U.S. president to resign from office.
Farrell discovered evidence that ties Nixon and his campaign team to an attempt to secretly “monkey wrench” the 1968 peace negotiations between Lyndon Johnson’s White House and South Vietnamese leaders.
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“As (presidential aide) Bryce Harlow said, ‘Nixon went up the wall of life with his claws,’ ” Farrell said by phone recently. “(Nixon national security adviser) Henry Kissinger once said, ‘What would this man have been if someone had loved him?’ And (Nixon cabinet member) Elliot Richardson replied, ‘He would never have been president.’
“It was his driving anger that gave him his initiative,” Farrell said. “Harlow also said, ‘After insulting the cannonier, Nixon stuck his head into the mouth of the cannon.’ ”
Farrell has reported on Congress, the Supreme Court and every U.S. presidential campaign from 1980 through 2012. He’s a contributing editor to Politico magazine and a contributor to The Atlantic magazine. Previously, he was the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the Denver Post. During his years at the Boston Globe, he was its White House correspondent and member of the investigative Spotlight team.
Farrell’s has written two other biographies – “Clarence Darrow: Attorney For the Damned” and “Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century.”
Visit him at www.jafarrell.com.
Sacramento Bee Book Club
John A. Farrell will appear for The Sacramento Bee Book Club at 6 p.m Wednesday, April 26, in The Hive at The Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St., Sacramento. He will be in conversation with Jack Ohman, the Sacramento Bee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist.
Tickets to the event are $20 for seven-day-a-week subscribers, $10 for students and $25 for general admission. Buy tickets online at www.sacbee.com/events. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. Parking is free. Barnes & Noble will be on site, selling “Richard Nixon: The Life” for 30 percent off the list price (Doubleday, $35, 752 pages).
All proceeds benefit The Bee’s News In Education program, bringing news and information to more than 20,000 students in the region.
“Richard Nixon: The Life” also will be offered for a 30 percent discount through April 26 at these bookstores: in the Sacramento area at the five Barnes & Nobles, Avid Reader at the Tower, Underground Books, Time Tested Books and Sac State’s Hornet Bookstore; in Davis at Avid Reader; in El Dorado Hills at Face in a Book; and in Grass Valley at The Bookseller.