Scott Galupo: Getting Nixon Right
Scott Galupo is a writer and musician living in Virginia.
Un homme serieux. The phrase, found in a Newsweek column written by Joseph Alsop after Richard Nixon’s second inauguration, recurs frequently in Thomas Mallon’s engaging new historical novel, Watergate. Alsop believed that Nixon was un homme serieux in at least three senses:
The literal meaning is, of course, ‘serious man.’ Less literally, but more accurately, it means a man who has to be taken seriously. Less literally still, but more accurately in terms of the President’s thinking, it means a tough man, a hard man, a man not to be pushed around.
Each of these shades of meaning was intensely present in Nixon. He was a man of high intellect, an accomplished statesman—also something of, well, a crook.
What accounts for this whiplash-inducing quality of Nixon’s—this ability to mingle high purpose with common thuggery?..
comments powered by Disqus
- Senate has a secret book of rules
- How the Vikings Saved Europe and Got a Terrible Reputation
- Hard Hats On: Members of the Media Tour Exhibits under Construction at the National Museum of American History
- Shaman dancers, coolies and suffragettes: rare photos of 1900s Beijing discovered from Austrian archive
- England's King Richard III died painfully on battlefield
- Pro-Israel groups going after federal support of Middle East Studies
- 100th Anniversary of Beard's 'An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution' commemorated
- University of Illinois Bigwig to Native American Studies scholar Jean O’Brien: Drop Dead
- 2 of 21 MacArthur Fellows for 2014 are historians
- Ken Burns electrifies Jon Stewart show