Posted:  Feb. 11, 2015

The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New MajorityAfter suffering stinging defeats in the 1960 presidential election against John F. Kennedy, and in the 1962 California gubernatorial election, Nixon's career was declared dead by Washington press and politicians alike. Yet on January 20, 1969, just six years after he had said his political life was over, Nixon would stand taking the oath of office as 37th President of the United States. How did Richard Nixon resurrect a ruined career and reunite a shattered and fractured Republican Party to capture the White House?

In The Greatest Comeback, Patrick J. Buchanan--who, beginning in January 1966, served as one of two staff members to Nixon, and would become a senior advisor in the White House after 1968--gives a firsthand account of those crucial years in which Nixon reversed his political fortunes during a decade marked by civil rights protests, social revolution, The Vietnam War, the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King, urban riots, campus anarchy, and the rise of the New Left. Using over 1,000 of his own personal memos to Nixon, with Nixon’s scribbled replies back, Buchanan gives readers an insider’s view as Nixon gathers the warring factions of the Republican party--from the conservative base of Barry Goldwater to the liberal wing of Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney, to the New Right legions of an ascendant Ronald Reagan--into the victorious coalition that won him the White House. How Richard Nixon united the party behind him may offer insights into how the Republican Party today can bring together its warring factions.

The Greatest Comeback is an intimate portrayal of the 37th President and a fascinating fly on-the-wall account of one of the most remarkable American political stories of the 20th century.

This is a fabulous book about not only the rise of Nixon from the political death to being elected to the Presidency, but also a look at the sixties and the goings on during those years. Still there are names that are in the news today, Romney, not Milt, but his father, Rockefeller, who might have gotten an nomination but during the convention after Nixon gave a speech bringing all the Republicans together and stop fighting, Nelson Rockefeller got up and did as he always di and attacked his own party and the ones who make the decisions. After this convention Nixon was back. Mr. Buchanan, takes you back through his defeat to Kennedy, and how people listening to that debate on the radio thought Nixon won, but if you watched it on TV Kennedy did. Yes the times were changing. By 65 when Johnson was elected President the Democrats held 295 seats in the House and 68 in the Senate. Since Ike had first taken office the Republicans controlled both Houses and now their strength had been cut to less than one-half of the Democratic Party. Mr. Buchanan, started working for Nixon in 65 and would continue to work with or for him until the day he resigned from office, so as you can see you are actually being told a story by someone who was actually their and at the back of the book there are copies of memos as well which I found to be fascinating. Now not everyone likes Nixon, I on the other hand grew up in a home that talked politics and Nixon was not a bad guy, all politicians are humans so they have good and bad that is what you get when they are elected. Back to the book. In 65 and leading up to the election of 66 which were all midterm elections Nixon was traveling to 35 states visiting 80 congressional districts, after the election the republicans picked up 47 seats in the house 3 in the Senate, 8 new governorships, and for states GOP 540. This was after losing seats from 58,60,62,64. It changed and people were crediting Nixon this all would come back to help him in 68, because people remember what he did for them in 66 and how he brought the party back. He then takes you through what went on to not only get the nomination but to win in 68 and again in 72. I people still think of water gate, but Nixon did do good he created the Environmental Protection Agency that everyone seems to love, the occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Cancer Institute, I am glad for that one. Plus some others. Theses book would be a good read to get a feel for the 60’s and is a good political story of someone coming back for a third time. Well written and a good book. I got this book from net galley.  5 Stars.

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