Marvin Kalb: Diminishing Nixon
Marvin Kalb, a distinguished journalist and longtime director of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard, is currently a visiting fellow at the Center for the National Interest. He is co-author of "Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama," to be published by Brookings in late May, 2011.
“No event in American history,” Richard Nixon once wrote, “is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.”
With a generous heart, one could say pretty much the same thing about Richard Nixon himself. He was misunderstood, misreported and misremembered. He was, in fact, a great president, many of his friends—and a few others—still believe. Who better in foreign affairs, for example? A mistake or two, yes, but who hasn’t made one? Moreover, Watergate was a contrived conspiracy, according to some of his supporters, a concoction of the liberal media, which “accused and vilified” the president and his “pals.”
“So unfair,” lamented blogger Anne Walker, wife of Chairman Ron Walker of the Nixon Foundation. The pals were “convicted of perjury, not wrongdoing,” she wrote, with apparent seriousness, and “end[ed] up in prison.”
Unlike most other presidents, Richard Nixon seems never able to rest in peace. Apparently, not even at the Nixon Library...
comments powered by Disqus
- Election results are in for the American Historical Association
- Nial Ferguson warns Obama’s bet on Iran has low odds of success
- Sven Beckert’s List of the Ten Books on Slavery You Need to Read
- Jonathan Zimmerman says homosexuality is not alien to Africa
- Historian Howard Segal says the cost of paying for expensive commencement speeches is diverting funds from where they’re most needed