cover image One of Us: Richard Nixon and the American Dream

One of Us: Richard Nixon and the American Dream

Tom Wicker. Random House (NY), $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-394-55066-4

New York Times columnist Wicker examines the formative influences on Nixon's character and personality, recounts the traumas and triumphs of his public life, and finds much to admire about the man. He lauds Nixon's devotion to his gentle Quaker mother (proving himself worthy of her grace, Wicker believes, has always been a prime motivator); he praises Nixon's ``underrated and unrecognized'' domestic achievements while questioning his supposed mastery of foreign affairs. Wicker eschews retelling the Watergate saga but details the events leading up to it, offering explanations as to why Nixon didn't immedately expose--instead of attempt to cover-up--an illicit plan he hadn't authorized. With a wealth of new material obtained in interviews with longtime Nixon associates and from his own perceptive observations, Wicker succeeds in humanizing Nixon to a remarkable degree in this notably fair and evenhanded portrait of the public and private man. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Mar.)