Draws on recently declassified documents to chronicle one of the most disastrous presidencies in U.S. history, presenting a portrait of a brilliant man overcome by his deep insecurities and his distrust of his cabinet, Congress, and the American people. Here is the first history of President Richard Nixon covering all of his secret tapes and documents, many declassified in the past two years. Award-winning journalist Tim Weiner presents a devastating portrait of a tortured and tormented man, showing how, in Nixon's mind, the conflict in Vietnam and the crimes of Watergate were one war, fought on two fronts. He trusted no one--not his Cabinet, not his closest advisers, not the American people. Elected to unite a nation as discordant as it was at the close of the Civil War, Nixon disdained domestic policies and programs. He wanted above all to create what he called "a generation of peace"--by asking the world's leading Communist dictators to help him end the Vietnam War. He saw antiwar American citizens as opponents no less dangerous than the enemy in Vietnam. Gripped by rage and insomnia, he fought his foes without mercy. Abroad, his best weapons were B-52 bombers. At home, he used undercover agents, warrantless wiretaps, break-ins, and burglaries. Almost all his presidency is recorded on tape or preserved on paper, creating a remarkable record of the most intimate and damning conversations. Only recently, after forty years of struggle, has much of this jaw-dropping information been made public. Nixon saw himself not only as the leader of the free world but "the world leader"--yet he was addicted to the gutter politics that ruined him. His political suicide has no equal in American history. --Adapted from book jacket.