Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever
From Vietnam to the Southern Strategy, from the opening of China to the scandal of Watergate, Pat Buchanan—speechwriter and senior adviser to President Nixon—tells the untold story of Nixon’s embattled White House, from its historic wins to it devastating defeats.
In his inaugural address, Nixon held out a hand in friendship to Republicans and Democrats alike. But by the fall of 1969, massive demonstrations in Washington and around the country had been mounted to break his presidency.
In a brilliant appeal to what he called the “Great Silent Majority,” Nixon sent his enemies reeling. Vice President Agnew followed by attacking the blatant bias of the media in a fiery speech authored and advocated by Buchanan. And by 1970, Nixon’s approval rating soared to 68 percent, and he was labeled “The Most Admired Man in America."
Them one by one, the crises came, from the invasion of Cambodia, to the protests that killed four students at Kent State, to race riots and court ordered school busing.
Buchanan chronicles Nixon’s historic trip to China, and describes the White House strategy that brought about Nixon’s 49-state landslide victory over George McGovern in 1972.
When the Watergate scandal broke, Buchanan urged the president to destroy the Nixon tapes before they were subpoenaed, and fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, as Nixon ultimately did in the “Saturday Night Massacre.” After testifying before the Watergate Committee himself, Buchanan describes the grim scene at Camp David in August 1974, when Nixon’s staff concluded he could not survive In a riveting memoir from behind the scenes of the most controversial presidency of the last century, Nixon’s White House Wars reveals both the failings and achievements of the 37th President, recorded by one of those closest to Nixon from before his political comeback, through to his final days in office.
Hardcover, 448 pages
Patrick Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and the nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.
Born in Washington, D.C., Mr. Buchanan was educated at Gonzaga High School where he was graduated first in his class in 1956. He attended Georgetown on a full academic scholarship, and was graduated with honors in English and Philosophy in 1961, and inducted into the university’s Gold Key Society. He received a master's degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia in 1962. At 23, he became the youngest editorial writer on a major newspaper in America: The St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
After arranging a meeting with former Vice President Richard Nixon in December of 1965, Mr. Buchanan became the first full-time staffer in his legendary comeback. He traveled with the future President in the campaigns of 1966 and 1968, and to the Middle East, Africa, and Israel in the immediate aftermath of the Six Day War. From January of 1969 to August of 1974, he was a Special Assistant to President Nixon, and worked with the president on the Cambodian invasion speech and with Vice President Agnew on many of his speeches on the media and student disorders.
Mr. Buchanan was a member of the official US delegation to the Peoples Republic of China in 1972, and attended the Moscow-Yalta-Minsk summit of 1974. After President Nixon’s resignation, Mr. Buchanan served President Ford until October of 1974.
After leaving the White House, Mr. Buchanan became a nationally syndicated columnist, and in May of 1982 began as a panelist on NBC’s “The McLaughlin Group” and a co-host of CNN’s new show “Crossfire.”
In 1985, Mr. Buchanan returned to the White House as Director of Communications. He accompanied President Reagan to his Geneva summit with Mikhail Gorbachev and was with President Reagan in Hofde House at Reykjavik which has been described as the decisive summit of the Cold War. On leaving the White House in 1987, Mr. Buchanan returned to journalism, his syndicated column, and to “The McLaughlin Group,” “Crossfire,” and began hosting a new show, “Capital Gang” on CNN.
In December 1991, Mr. Buchanan challenged President George H. W. Bush for the Republican nomination and almost upset the President in New Hampshire, winning 3 million votes in the GOP primaries. In August 1992, Mr. Buchanan opened the Republican convention in Houston with his speech on the “culture war” which is now ranked among the most controversial in convention history. In 1996, he ran a second time for the GOP nomination, won the New Hampshire primary, and finished second to Sen. Dole, again, with three million Republican votes.
After winning the nomination of the Reform Party in 2000, Mr. Buchanan retired from politics and became again an author, columnist, and a commentator on MSNBC for almost a decade.
Mr. Buchanan has written 14 books, including seven straight New York Times bestsellers: A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong, State of Emergency, Day of Reckoning, Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War, Suicide of a Superpower and The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority. His newest book is Nixon’s White House Wars.
Mr. Buchanan is currently an author, columnist, chairman of The American Cause foundation, and an editor of The American Conservative. He is married to the former Shelley Ann Scarney, who was a member of Richard Nixon’s vice presidential staff from 1959-61 and a member of the White House Staff from 1969 to 1975