9780465032198 / 0465032192

In Search of Nixon: A Psychohistorical Inquiry


Publisher:Basic Books



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About the book:

Who was the real Richard Nixon and why did he behave the way he did? In this innovative work, a distinguished historian, trained in psychoanalysis, unravels the riddle of Nixons singularly opaque political personality. Neither a political biography nor a clinical psychoanalysis, at the time of its initial publication, In Search of Nixon launched a new genre of scholarshipthe psycho-historical inquiry. Bruce Mazlish offers insight into the subtle interplay between Nixon the man and Nixon the public figure.

Why, for example, did Nixon have such personal difficulties in making decisions? Knowing how the young Nixon learned to cope with the problems of his childhood, what can we infer about his unpredictable decisions on Communist China, inflation, and the Supreme Court? Mazlish applies psychoanalysis to history in order to understand Nixons behavior, decisions, and political stance. He explains why Nixon characteristically projected personal crises onto the political arenaas in the famous Checkers speech, or in the Haynsworth-Carswell affair. And he examines why, conversely, political questions such as pacifism, abortion, and subversion had a peculiarly personal meaning for him.

Renewed interest in Nixon, coupled with publication of a number of major books on this enigmatic figure, makes publication of this new paperback edition especially timely.

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