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Evan Thomas Humanizes President Nixon in New Biography

The thirty-seventh president is more than a stick figure, an ogre, or a Hollywood villain.


Author of Being Nixon: A Man Divided, Evan Thomas, joined the Federalist Radio Hour to share what complex layers he found in studying the thirty-seventh president. He tells the Federalist some of the more telling anecdotes he found while researching Nixon and explains some of the difficult moments of his life and presidency.

“He’s a difficult guy to pin down ideologically,” Thomas said. “He’s confusing because on one hand he’s appealing to conservatives, his rhetoric is conservative, but he’s passing a lot of liberal legislation.”

Thomas and Domenech discuss some of quiet good that Nixon did–his effort to integrate schools in the South, his opening of the door to China, and being the first president to visit Moscow and personally negotiate an arms deal.

Thomas explained how he found that Nixon resisted any analysis of himself. “I’m doing what people have done for thousands of years–I’m studying hubris and power,” he said. “I’m trying to human him and make him a human being. Not a stick figure. Not an ogre. Not the Hollywood version. But an actual person.”

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