Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage

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9781451676945: Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage
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Shortlisted for the 2015 Plutarch Award for Best Biography, “the most humanizing portrait of the Nixons we’re likely to have” (Douglas Brinkley) is a sweeping depiction of the turbulent fifty-three-year marriage of Richard and Pat Nixon.

When Americans remember the controversial Nixons, they usually focus on the political triumphs, the turbulent White House years, and the humiliating public downfall. But a very different image of the polarizing president emerges in this fascinating portrait of his relationship with Pat. Now, the couple’s recently released love letters and other private documents reveal that as surely as unremitting adversity can fray the fabric of a marriage, devotion can propel it to surmount disgrace and defeat.

In Pat and Dick, biographer Will Swift brings his years of experience as a historian and as a marital therapist to this unique examination of a long-misunderstood marriage. Nixon the man was enormously complicated: brilliant, insecure, sometimes coldly calculating, and capable of surprising affection with his wife.

Much less is known about Pat. With the help of personal writings and interviews with family and friends, Swift unveils a woman who was warm and vivacious, yet much shrewder and more accomplished than she has been given credit for. From Dick’s unrelenting crusade to marry the glamorous teacher he feared was out of his league through the myriad crises of his political career, the Nixons’ story is filled with hopes and disappointments, both intimate and global.

This remarkable biography shows us the couple at their most human: a wife walking a delicate line between self-sacrifice and healthy love while her husband struggles to balance global ambitions and personal intimacy. The Nixons came to represent the best and worst of American life and culture. But though their union was tested by all manner of trials, they managed to find the strength, courage, and resilience to sustain a true connection for more than half a century.

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About the Author:

Will Swift has written for more than twenty years on American leaders and British royalty of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the author of The Roosevelts and the Royals and The Kennedys Amidst the Gathering Storm. A dynamic public speaker, Dr. Swift has been interviewed about political, presidential, and royal history on prominent radio stations across the country. He has been a featured speaker at presidential libraries and on CSPAN. He is also a founding board member of the Biographers International Organization. Dr. Swift has been in private practice as a clinical psychologist and marital therapist in Manhattan for more than thirty years. Visit him on the web at WillSwift.com and 
Facebook.com/PatAndDickTheNixonsAnIntimatePortraitOfAMarriage.

Review:

"[A] fair-minded and thorough attempt to trace the long, jagged arc of the Nixons' marriage...highly intelligent and far more sophisticated than the decades' worth of quick takes...Swift's psychological paradigms serve him well." (The New York Times)

"[Swift] gives us among the most nuanced portraits of these two complex indivdiduals that we have yet seen...for all biography buffs, presidential history buffs, and those who study profiles of marriage." (Library Journal (starred review))

"The marriage of Richard and Pat Nixon undergoes sharp analysis by Swift...a nuanced portrait...a model of well-documented revisionist history." (Kirkus (starred review))

"A complicated picture of the Nixons...[a] largely sympathetic examination of one of America's most mysterious political couples...the distance from Watergate — and access to new personal documents — gives Pat and Dick a freshness to a much-considered chapter of history." (USA Today (3 out of 4 stars))

"Swift has formed an absorbing depiction of Richard and Patricia Nixon...he provides one of the best, if starkest, descriptions of Richard in love and politics." (Publishers Weekly)

"Presidential biographer Swift focuses on the spousal team of Pat and Dick Nixon, zeroing in on the incredibly strong marriage that sustained them through both personal and political triumphs and humiliations... This intimate portrait into their marriage not only humanizes their carefully constructed and often maligned public image but also illuminates the strong ties that irrevocably bound the private couple. Admire Nixon or revile him, his biggest success in life was forging a long-term marriage and fostering the devotion of his indomitable family unit." (--Margaret Flanagan, Booklist)

“With an eye for the telling detail, Will Swift deftly revises our view of the Nixon marriage, showing that the reserve the couple displayed in public masked a deep love and abiding respect. The marriage underwent strains that would test even the strongest ties, and Swift is frank in assessing these. He uses his expertise as a psychologist to compare the Nixon marriage to others—in the ups and downs, the use of varying techniques to preserve the union, and the differing needs of the two partners. Even readers who thought they fully understood “Plastic Pat” and “Tricky Dick” will be enlightened by Swift’s perspective and delighted with his vivid descriptions.” (Betty Boyd Caroli, author of First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama)

"The daunting challenge in writing a dual biography, particularly one about a president and First Lady, is composing the subjects in a comfortable balance, so that one does not eclipse the other. Swift meets this challenge brilliantly, and his Nixons--equally fascinating--illuminate each other. The result is an insightful and engaging book."

(Daniel Mark Epstein, author of The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage)

“Will Swift, a superb researcher and an insightful psychologist, has written the first dual biography of Pat and Dick Nixon. This intriguingly fresh and lucid portrait of these two epochal figures will be the standard reference work for many years.”  (Irwin Gellman, author of The Contender: Richard Nixon, The Congress Years)

"Will Swift's Pat and Dick is the most humanizing portrait of the Nixons we're likely to have. Based on first-rate research, clear writing and smart analysis Pat and Dick triumphantly sets the historical record straight in these illuminating pages. Highly recommended."  (Douglas Brinkley, author of Walter Cronkite and The Great Deluge)

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9781451676952: Pat and Dick: The Nixons, an Intimate Portrait of a Marriage

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Shortlisted for the 2015 Plutarch Award for Best Biography, the most humanizing portrait of the Nixons we re likely to have (Douglas Brinkley) is a sweeping depiction of the turbulent fifty-three-year marriage of Richard and Pat Nixon. When Americans remember the controversial Nixons, they usually focus on the political triumphs, the turbulent White House years, and the humiliating public downfall. But a very different image of the polarizing president emerges in this fascinating portrait of his relationship with Pat. Now, the couple s recently released love letters and other private documents reveal that as surely as unremitting adversity can fray the fabric of a marriage, devotion can propel it to surmount disgrace and defeat. In Pat and Dick, biographer Will Swift brings his years of experience as a historian and as a marital therapist to this unique examination of a long-misunderstood marriage. Nixon the man was enormously complicated: brilliant, insecure, sometimes coldly calculating, and capable of surprising affection with his wife. Much less is known about Pat. With the help of personal writings and interviews with family and friends, Swift unveils a woman who was warm and vivacious, yet much shrewder and more accomplished than she has been given credit for. From Dick s unrelenting crusade to marry the glamorous teacher he feared was out of his league through the myriad crises of his political career, the Nixons story is filled with hopes and disappointments, both intimate and global. This remarkable biography shows us the couple at their most human: a wife walking a delicate line between self-sacrifice and healthy love while her husband struggles to balance global ambitions and personal intimacy. The Nixons came to represent the best and worst of American life and culture. But though their union was tested by all manner of trials, they managed to find the strength, courage, and resilience to sustain a true connection for more than half a century. Seller Inventory # BZV9781451676945

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