Online Archive  
Issue 17 - December 1973
Book Reviews
Clifford Irving

This is a must for everyone's Xmas box; what a lovely book! Although it's fiction (with a firm factual basis) it's so good that you wish it could be the real thing. The book purports to be extracts from Nixon's diaries, from his defeat in the 1962 California election up till his re-election as President in 1972. One fault is that it may be a bit difficult to follow unless you have at least some knowledge of the events of Nixon's career, but the comments will probably intrigue you enough to make you look them up anyway. How about Nixon being stowed into a hospital for standing at street corners on top of other people's cars soliciting funds for a memorial statue to President Eisenhower ...? What's so odd about that? ... "But Eisenhower isn't even dead yet, Mr Nixon. Please take the pills."

It's not just funny, though. There's lots of shrewd guesswork, and I suspect a fair bit of inside information. And it's also a good guide as to what led up to Watergate, which seems to have been two or three years in the making. There's all the story of Nixon's involvement in the MacCarthy 'witch hunts', and some very clear pictures of his treatment of America's wars in S East Asia. It's a wee bit on the pricey side at 50p, but compared with Smiths, it's very good value. It's available by mail order from Books, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds.