Americans may soon know more about Richard Nixon's personality and escapades than they do about Paris Hilton's. At least, Americans who read will. Books on the disgraced but unsinkable 37th president just keep on coming. Recently, Margaret MacMillan examined Nixon's most fruitful political achievement in Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World. Nixon also figures prominently, albeit without star billing, in Jim Newton's Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made. The four new books here continue the presidential probing, buttressed by a wealth of White House tapes, insider diaries and eyewitness accounts.

Elizabeth Drew's Richard M. Nixon, part of Times Books' American Presidents series, offers the widest view of his administration. Drew covered Nixon for the New Yorker while he was still in office and thus brings a reporter's summarizing directness to her account. Although she acknowledges Nixon's intelligence, doggedness and occasional successes, she ultimately concludes that his personality made him unfit to lead the country.

comments powered by Disqus