Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate – Book Salon Preview

By: Sunday October 26, 2014 8:38 am

“The break-in at Watergate and the cover-up that followed brought about the resignation of Richard Nixon, creating a political shockwave that reverberates to this day. But as Ken Hughes reveals in his powerful new book, in all the thousands of hours of declassified White House tapes, the president orders a single break-in–and it is not at the Watergate complex. Hughes’s examination of this earlier break-in, plans for which the White House ultimately scrapped, provides a shocking new perspective on a long history of illegal activity that prolonged the Vietnam War and was only partly exposed by the Watergate scandal.”

 

Come Saturday Morning: This and That

By: Saturday October 25, 2014 6:45 am

The Chicago Sun Times used to be owned in part by Bruce Rauner. Apparently, it still is, as it certainly seems to act that way.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes John Dean, The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It

By: Saturday August 30, 2014 1:59 pm

I have been fortunate to get to know John Dean over the last number of years. We travel the country presenting seminars, mostly for lawyers, on the lessons and legacy of Watergate. [The Legacy of Watergate @ www.watergatecle.com]. Our particular focus is on John’s role as inhouse lawyer for the White House. What are a lawyer’s professional ethical duties when confronted with organizational fraud or crime? Watergate, we teach, changed legal ethics for the good – it is one of Watergate’s few remaining positive legacies. Most lawyers in most states are required every year or two to take an ethics course because of Watergate.

During our travels, I talked with John about his massive undertaking to transcribe and understand the Nixon tapes with regard to Watergate. How did this crisis ruin a presidency? What critical mistakes were made? Could the situation have been salvaged?

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Rick Perlstein, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

By: Sunday August 17, 2014 1:59 pm

It’s an honor to moderate today’s discussion of Rick Perlstein’s new book, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. For American history buffs and scholars alike, Rick’s work needs little introduction. He’s the acclaimed author of three major works on the rise of conservatism in the postwar United States (Before the Storm, Nixonland, and now The Invisible Bridge), whose journalism, criticism and writings on history have appeared in The Nation, Rolling Stone and countless other publications.

Not just do his books hit the best-seller lists and make the end-of-year best-book roundups, they have become part of the canon, required reading for aspiring American political historians—appearing on the syllabi for graduate seminars, a necessary part of the rite-of-passage hazing ritual for graduate students known as the comprehensive exam, and thus filtering down into the undergraduate lecture courses that introduce the college students of this country to twentieth-century American history.

Nixon’s Treason Now Acknowledged

By: Friday August 8, 2014 8:16 am

A George Will column this week, reviewing a book by Ken Hughes called Chasing Shadows, mentions almost in passing that presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon secretly sabotaged peace talks that appeared likely to end the war on Vietnam until he intervened. As a result, the war raged on and Nixon won election promising to end the war.

Will treats the matter as a technicality, citing the law against private diplomacy rather than the principle that one shouldn’t undermine a government’s attempts to halt an episode of mass-murder.

Late Night: Hey Joe, All Things Being Equal

By: Tuesday March 18, 2014 8:00 pm

Tomorrow packs a double whammy: It’s the Feast of St Joseph–patron saint of confectioners, carpenters and cuckolds, along with fathers and real estate sales–and the Spring Equinox. St Joseph’s also the patron of saint of Sicily, and the Feast of St. Joseph’s Day is a big deal in New Orleans which has a large Sicilian/Italian population (muffalettas!). Altars are laid out with lemons for new love. Fava beans represent the drought in Sicily which ended after prayers to St. Joe statues of the Holy Family (plus additional saints if you’re so inclined) candles, flowers and food, with an emphasis on seafood, round out a traditional altar.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Andrew J. Bacevich, Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country

By: Sunday December 22, 2013 1:59 pm

Andrew Bacevich’s “Breach of Trust: How Americans failed their Soldiers and their Country” is a post-mortem on the professional standing army that the US has sent to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bacevich argues that the citizens’ standing army created by the draft in WW II and after had been highly successful militarily in Europe and Korea and had been a profound expression of individual buy-in and shared national sacrifice.

Late Night FDL: Times of Illusion

By: Thursday April 25, 2013 8:00 pm

On the rather surreal occasion of the opening of something solemnly called the George W. Bush “Library,” I was inexorably drawn not to my personal Bush Library of 92 infuriating volumes, but the somewhat smaller 60 or so in the Nixon section.  As I listened to snippets of Village homilies and President Obama predictably joshing chummily about the “clubhouse,”  I was reminded of Jonathan Schell’s masterful recounting of the Watergate era, The Time of Illusion. 

DHS Says FBI “Possibly Funded” Terrorist Group

By: Thursday February 21, 2013 10:46 am

Someone at the Department of Homeland Security website dedicated to studying terrorism thought they should do their job and really describe terrorist groups, including one funded by the FBI. The Secret Army Organization was involved in domestic bombings, break-ins, and assassination, while one of its top leaders

George McGovern, RIP (A Personal Reflection on a Political Hero)

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 6:45 am

George McGovern, a political hero of my early adult years has passed away at age 90. It was obvious from news reports early last week of McGovern being admitted to hospice and being unresponsive that this was only a matter of time. Yet there is a pain to this.

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