The Conviction of Richard Nixon The Untold Story of the

The Conviction of Richard Nixon The Untold Story of the FrostNixon Interviews If you're looking for objectivity you won't find it here If you saw FrostNixon the play or the movie then you might enjoy this book about how the interviews were conducted Reston was a character in the play and in these pages he shows how close the character was to the man Reston despised Nixon and wanted the Frost interviews to be a hit piece There is little new information here One gets the feeling that with the release of the play Reston decided to dig out some old notes and capitalize on the play's success I was a little disappointed in this book I picked it up after reading Nixon A Life It has a very biased view which was not expected It however did five good insight into the FrostNixon interviews This is a good primer for the movie It is a short book that can easily be completed in a couple of days This was written 30 years ago but only recently published and the fervor and emotion of the time is still very apparent It wasn't as good as I'd hoped but it was an interesting peek into Nixon post resignation and into the mindset of the people who were still very personally angered by Watergate This is the story behind the remarkable FrostNixon interviews It is INSANE what went down I can't even believe half of the injustices caused by this craptastic administration However this book is an excellent read on Nixon's character a smart and strange man who was no fool but definitely was a crook He was shady crafty and a complicated weirdoNixon appeared in the kitchen doorway David was friendly as ever and asked him if he had a nice weekend Nixon nodded noncommittal'And how about you?' The president returned 'Did you drink much?' David's love for Pouilly Fuisse had become a matter of increasing curiosity for Nixon David chuckled'And' said Nixon 'Did you fornicate?'WTF NIXON WtfI see a ton of parallels between now and then considering abuse of power and illegal activity the tax uestions the above the law mentality corrupt and crappy politicians using our tax dollars to pay for their lifestyle And I can't believe Ford pardoned Nixon And Diane Sawyer started as Nixon's press aideTo uote Lisa Simpson the whole damn SYSTEM IS WRONG Bound Miami SunPost 122508httpmiamisunpostcomarchives2008Christmas with NixonThis Year Celebrate With a GhostBy John HoodFace it Not everybody’s peachy keen on all this Christmas stuff — the wining and the dining the giving and the receiving the Merry Ol’ this and that which insists that no matter how you live it It’s a Wonderful Life Add the long list of folks who don’t even have someone to celebrate with in the first place and you come up with uite a crowdBut rather than suggest that the Humbugs and the Lonelies get together and make their own kinda Merry I’ve come up with the perfect way to spend the holidayHave Christmas with NixonYeah I know the disgraced statesman shuffled off this mortal coil back in ‘94 but that doesn’t mean for a minute that you can’t get intimate with the man especially if your line on intimacy includes the sordid details of his checkered yet monumental lifeThe facts are all well known Cali born uaker congressman senator VP under Ike lost to JFK for prez lost to Pat Brown for gov then president — twice Nixon was there behind the scenes before Vietnam became a uagmire; he was at the head of the table for its humiliating end He also oversaw détente with the Soviet Union rapprochement with China as well as the creation of the EPA DEA and OSHA reallyThen of course there was Watergate perhaps the single most colorful scandal in modern US political history and just the place to begin your holiday immersionFirst you’ll wanna get with James Reston Jr’s The Conviction of Richard Nixon The Untold Story of the FrostNixon Interviews Three Rivers Press 1395 As the subtitle suggests this book is a behind the scenes account of what went down before Sir David faced off against Tricky Dick for an audience of some 50 million a spectacle that was at once an act of hubris on both parts as well as historyReston whose byline has appeared everywhere from Vanity Fair to The New Yorker and who’s currently a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center also happens to be the son of the late great New York Times man James “Scotty” Reston and a one time assistant to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall In other words this scribbler knows his way around a story as well as the corridors of power Good thing too because as point man for Frost before the face off his capacity to tell one and navigate the other became the basis for the “interrogation strategy” that left Nixon knocked beyond redemptionAs the subtitle also suggests Reston’s work served as inspiration for Peter Morgan’s play FrostNixon Faber and Faber 14 round two of your day with the dead ex prez Reston actually wrote The Conviction back in ‘77 right after the interviews aired and didn’t dust it off till Peter Morgan came calling which makes the two integral to each other Since the play’s long closed and you’ll be by yourself for the reading I suggest you do your best to summon your inner Proteus Reston’s nickname for Nixon and shape shift both parts aloud And while there’s no way you’ll nail it like Frank Langella Nixon or Michael Sheen Frost if you bounce back and forth between seats while you’re re enacting the scenes you might come close to achieving the play’s inner grace and utter turmoilWhen you’ve concluded your little play acting it’s time to hit the cinema for Ron Howard’s adaptation and see how close you came to the staging — and how close the flick comes to the play Already nominated for five Golden Globes including best script for Morgan and best lead for Langella it’s a cinch you’ll dig what’s up on the screen though whether you dig it as much as Roger Ebert four stars or The Herald’s Rene Rodriuez only two will be up to you But since it’s a vital component of your holiday euation — not to mention one of the most talked about movies of the season — skipping it is not an optionNow it’s time for the fourth and final round of your Christmas with Nixon Yes you guessed it that means Oliver Stone’s 1995 epic ode to the man who made peace — and who would be pilloriedConceived under the rubric “The Beast” a metaphor for the dark forces that conspire beneath us and starring Anthony Hopkins as the president and Joan Allen as his wife Pat Stone’s magnum opus may not have been granted the box office it deserved but it remains one of the best bio pics ever lensed Ebert dug this film too and lauded the way it took “on the resonance of classic tragedy” while the aforementioned Rodriuez claims this as his choice of Nixon flicks The “Director’s Cut” adds 28 minutes to the original proceedings which means three hours and 33 minutes of total Tricky and a wild eyed way to end your holiday A pretty fast read but then I remember much of what happened At first I thought it would be mostly revenge seeking pointed fingers but it was thoughtful and deliberate I really enjoyed reading about the task these reporterswriters faced and its final outcome The final stages of Nixon’s downfall on prime TV Frost setup a dream team and offered Nixon the financial incentive to take part in the interviews Nixon saw it as a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the public and probably thought he was bigger than life but he was dismantled over the days of the interviews Reston’s memoir of the event is a very interesting read on politics negotiations ethics and hubris just to name a few The breaking of Richard Nixon was indeed a pleasure to me This uote best summarizes Reston's attitude throughout the book as he chronicles the behind the scenes story of the FrostNixon interviews It's clear that Reston is concerned with his own personal vendetta calling it a uest for justice But instead of justice it's clear Reston only wanted to see Nixon burn throughout the interviews that he bills as the conviction Nixon never got By the end Reston claims to feel pity for Nixon but continues to add personal jabs and even goes so far as to try to cast doubt on the famous apology Worst of all the book is overtly self serving Reston has no problem in crediting himself fully for finding the most crucial pieces of information used against Nixon in the interviews and then laments that Frost simply didn't go far enough and if of his ideas would have been used by Frost in the final sessions the interviews would have been even powerful and effective in condemning Nixon The most interesting piece in the book is Reston's use of an extended metaphor comparing Nixon to the ever changing ever beguiling god of the sea Proteus This is perhaps one of the most apt and clever descriptions of the embattled former President and complicated man Overall see the film inspired by Reston's work FROSTNIXON and save yourself some time The Watergate scandal began with a break in at the office of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel on June 17 1971 and ended when President Gerald Ford granted Richard M Nixon a pardon on September 8 1974 one month after Nixon resigned from office in disgrace Effectively removed from the reach of prosecutors Nixon returned to California uncontrite and unconvicted convinced that time would exonerate him of any wrongdoing and certain that history would remember his great accomplishments—the opening of China and the winding down of the Vietnam War—and forget his “mistake” the “pipsueak thing” called WatergateIn 1977 three years after his resignation Nixon agreed to a series of interviews with television personality David Frost Conducted over twelve days they resulted in twenty eight hours of taped material which were aired on prime time television and watched by than 50 million people worldwide Nixon a skilled lawyer by training was paid 1 million for the interviews confident that this exposure would launch him back into public life Instead they sealed his fate as a political pariahJames Reston Jr was David Frost’s Watergate advisor for the interiews and The Conviction of Richard Nixon is his intimate behind the scenes account of his involvement Originally written in 1977 and published now for the first time this book helped inspire Peter Morgan’s hit play FrostNixon Reston doggedly researched the voluminous Watergate record and worked closely with Frost to develop the interrogation strategy Even at the time Reston recognized the historical importance of the FrostNixon interviews; they would result either in Nixon’s de facto conviction and vindication for the American people or in his exoneration and public rehabilitation in the hands of a lightweight Focused driven and committed to exposing the truth Reston worked tirelessly to arm Frost with the information he needed to force Nixon to admit his culpability In The Conviction of Richard Nixon Reston provides a fascinating fly on the wall account of his involvement in the Nixon interviews as David Frost’s Watergate adviser Written in 1977 immediately following these celebrated television interviews and published now for the first time The Conviction of Richard Nixon explains how a British journalist of waning conseuence drove the famously wily and formidable Richard Nixon to say in an apparent personal epiphany “I have impeached myself” From the Hardcover edition Jon Stewart has made the argument in the past that he shares a legacy of satirist who over the years have had the uniue position to ask the uestion that others can't This is the thought that continued to creep up time and time again while I read this marvelous tale of an event that I knew hardly about but that meant so much to the American people in a time when answers were scarce from their former Commander and ChiefJames Reston Jr's recollection of the months prior to this interview of disgraced former President Richard Nixon is ripe with intrigue drama and a retelling of the perils of underestimating an opponentTime and again I wished that today's best satirist like Stewartwould take on the challenge that current members of the journalistic community seem unable to take To ask the hard hitting uestions to draw out truths with wit and seek candor from political figures who make a career from obscuring itI marvel at the height from with President Nixon fell but understand that he is not alone in sharing disgrace The better story is how Frost and his team helped the President realize truths that perhaps he had never seen beforeA terrific read for our time

About the Author: James Reston Jr.

James Reston Jr born 1941 New York City is an American author and journalist His father was the American journalist James RestonReston was raised in Washington DC He earned his BA in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill UNC while on a Morehead Scholarship At UNC he was an All South soccer player and retains the single game scoring record for the university 5

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