Nixon book coming next year claims to dig up fresh secrets from National Archive documents and tapes
No president has left a legacy of voyeuristic fascination quite like Richard Nixon. There seems no end to the flow of his presidential and personal secrets. Don Fulsom spent a good part of his career following Nixon as a White House reporter for United Press International (he also covered presidents Johnson, Ford, Reagan and Clinton) and in recent years has continued to research the Nixon era. He has been signed on by Thomas Dunne Books to write “Nixon’s Greatest Secrets,” which Fulsom says in an email is a compendium of the “ever-increasing details of Richard Nixon’s most notorious cons, capers, crimes and cover-ups.”
Now in his 70s, Fulsom has rooted through transcripts of other presidents and politicians and newly released Nixon tapes and documents at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. He claims to have made several discoveries which he will pour into the book. These include the erasure of a phone conversation between the president and a New Jersey mobster at the start of the Watergate cover-up and Nixon’s insistence, on one of his newest tapes, that the Warren Commission Report was a hoax.
“The book paints a picture of a racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, homophobic chief executive who dwelled in a world of dishonesty, paranoia and secrecy and whose darkest clandestine maneuvers are only now coming to light, 15 years after his death, and -- ironically -- through his own words,” Fulsom says.
The National Archives is gradually releasing Nixon tapes and documents. In January, it opened about 280,000 pages of materials, 12 hours of recordings, and 7,000 images. A batch of 154 hours of tapes was released in June of last year, pushing the total number of hours available to the public to more than 2,300. Another 700 hours are still to come.
Fulsom says he has interviewed scores of presidential aides, Secret Service agents and members of Congress from the Nixon era, read voluminously about the 37th president and closely tracked the release of tapes and declassified documents. As an adjunct professor at American University, he teaches a course called “Watergate: A Constitutional Crisis.”
“Nixon’s Greatest Secrets” is tentatively planned for publication next year.
Steven E. Levingston
March 2, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Brace Yourself | Tags: nixon's secrets; nixon tapes; revelations from nixon's secret tapes
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