One Man Against the World -- The Tragedy of Richard Nixon by Tim Weiner by Henry Holt '15, $30, 369 pages, ASIN #1627790837. Index, notes, judgments, unillustrated.
"Richard Nixon saw himself as a great statesman, a giant for the ages, a general who could command the globe, a master of war, not merely the leader of the free world but 'the world leader," writes author Tim Weiner in Chapter One of his latest work. "Yet he was addicted to the gutter politics that ruined him. He was -- as an English earl once said of the warlord Oliver Cromwell -- 'a great, bad man.'
"In Nixon's first State of the Union speech, he said that he was possessed by 'an indefinable spirit -- the lift of a driving dream which has made America, from its beginning, the hope of the world.' He promised the American people 'the best chance since World War II to enjoy a generation of uninterrupted peace.'
"But Richard Nixon was never at peace. A darker spirit animated him -- malevolent and violent, driven by anger and an insatiable appetite for revenge. At his worst he stood on the brink of madness. He thought the world was against him. He saw enemies everywhere. His greatness became an arrogant grandeur."
Author Tim Weiner has written five books, including Legacy of Ashes, his history of the CIA, which won the National Book Award. His journalism on secret government programs received the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.
The Rise of Germany -- 1939--1941, The War in the West, Volume l by James Holland, Grove Atlantic '15, $30, 692 pages, ASIN #080212397X. Index, selected sources, notes, timeline, appendices, glossary, several groupings of b&w and color glossy images.
In a brief Q&A, author James Holland discusses the writing of his new book:
Q.. MYTH: We already know everything there is to know about this conflict. With so many books, films and documentaries on World War II, why do we need another general history?
A. The answer is simple: because for the past few decades, our understanding of the war has followed an old and tired narrative that no longer stacks up. The reality of World War II is far more nuanced, more interesting and even dramatic than most might think.
Q. MYTH: Hitler was a military genius.
A. He was not. He was a gambler. He bet big with the invasions of Poland and France and won, but then was driven to bet again. His greatest gamble loomed, Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union.
Author James Holland is a historian, writer, and broadcaster. Besides his bestselling nonfiction narratives, he has also written many works of historical fiction. He has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum.