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markk

markk

Currently reading

Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483-1521
Martin Brecht
Progress: 236/543 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 94 out of 384 pages.

One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon - Tim Weiner

While I am learning a good deal about the Nixon presidency from Weiner's book, it wasn't until I reached this point that I realized what was missing from it, which is historical context. There's no denying that Nixon had a breathtakingly expansive view of the power of the presidency which Weiner criticizes. Yet that view did not begin with the 27th president, but stretches back to his Cold War predecessors, and indeed back to Andrew Jackson and even George Washington. Weiner's failure to acknowledge this has the dual effect of magnifying Nixon's transgressions while ignoring the underlying factors that made his attempt to do so possible. It's not as if Weiner needed to do so if he wanted to argue that Nixon acted in an unconstitutional manner, as his archival digging yielded up more than enough evidence for him to make his case.