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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am amazed at the range of the reviews for Black's latest book, "Richard Milhous Nixon: the invincible quest".

Here are three reviews that span from fawning through to outright disdain.

First, Canada's own Hugh Segal is just about on his knees as he opines on "Black’s outstanding analysis..."

"This is not just a book for history buffs, political junkies or
aficionados of American history; it is more of a geopolitical
scan of a time and age shaped by the range and limitations,
intellect and emotions of the Nixonian mindset, the ensuing
worldview and the interpersonal dynamics shaped by both."
Please see (warning: PDF): http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/jul07/segal.pdf

In the middlin' range, Peter Preston is subtle in his critiques of Black's Nixon book:

"One moment Black plays scholar, the next he's a political tyro advising his beleaguered subject how to reconstruct his cabinet or lie his way out of Watergate. One moment he's the lofty press baron we used to know; the next, he's spitting at the frailties of journalism, from Cronkite, Woodward and Bernstein down. He is a peer of the realm, aspirant professor, pundit, good companion and money man. Always, in each passing persona, Black knows best. It makes for a rollicking read."

"...Nixon, the argument runs, was also a politician of great talent, and a man traduced. Black, on behalf of traduced chaps everywhere, has to come out of his corner fighting. Mere facts aren't quite enough."

"... You can't show that the real Nixon was better than this. You have to tell us so, with conviction. And Black can't pull that off all the time."

"Nixon was often a class act as streetfighter and statesman. But the sum of these parts still leaves him far short of Black's thesis."

Full review, please see: http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2120363,00.html

And finally, Bruce Wolpe tells us that this is simply a book to be avoided;

"Conrad Black's apologia for Richard Nixon is destined for the dustbin of history."

"Conrad Black has not improved a whit on our understanding of Richard Nixon,..."

"But Black has done more than simply serve as a vacuum cleaner of the scholarship and memoirs of others. Nixon fails as a simple regurgitation of what has been written; it is not only a colossal waste of time, but perverse as an instrument of history. Black distorts at regular opportunity the incontestable truths of what transpired ..."

For full review, please see: http://www.smh.com.au/news/book-rev...le-quest/2007/08/06/1186252588654.html?page=2
 

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I've always thought that Conrad and Barbara are scumbags, but they are both very talented writers. My contempt for Conrad won't keep me from enjoying his book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oooo, another bad one:

From The Times
August 25, 2007
Reviewed by Jonathan Powell:

"... Black’s book, written while he was awaiting trial on fraud charges, is well researched and well written, like his earlier biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but his contrarian approach, arguing that Nixon was right in every case and that everything was the fault of the “media mass assassination squad” becomes grating after a while, and, after more than a thousand pages, downright irritating. ..."

Please see: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/history/article2320661.ece
 

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I've always thought that Conrad and Barbara are scumbags, but they are both very talented writers. My contempt for Conrad won't keep me from enjoying his book.
Can't say as I've read even a smidgen of Black's books, although I've certainly read scattered quotes and sound-bites of his... he is indeed a quite competent writer, although one given to overly dense and bombastic phrasing. It should come as no surprise that Black should continue to elicit mixed reactions from the public. He is a larger than life fellow... even when he slips up there is a certain magnitude of presence to the man... which fact probably drives his many detractors nutty.

As for Barbara Amiel, I don't give her much credit. As a columnist, I have found her to be wily-clever but rarely profound... she manages to turn out the odd pithy gem, sure. But in her case the substance is stretched thin and tight, like a kettle drum's skin, over the dark void which lurks beneath.
 

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Man, you're really raking the muck, aren't you.
black is found guilty of in a court of law after hiring one of the most expensive legal defence teams since OJ Simpson, and I'm raking the muck?
:D :D :D

not to mention Black is being investigated for siphoning money away during his trial

as for the Babs's skills, the info. comes from someone that has first hand knowledge
oh damn, that;s gonna get me in trouble
:D
 

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If you're looking for trouble you're out of luck. You can defend your judgments any which way you wish, but it simply sounds to me like you're harbouring a double standard. A woman can give you some oral pleasure and it's fine, but if it's a columnist you despise doing the same for a powerful public figure of a man, you've got a problem with it? Pretty odd logic there.

You have plenty of ammunition to take on Black and Amiel without barging self-righteously into their bedroom and flinging crap at them for their alleged sexual habits. A cheap shot is what I call it... no matter how many grinning smilies you assign to a post, the end result is the same - hypocrisy.
 

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Max: If the grinning gorgon icon won't cut it, Spec will gussy up his thoughtless post with a giddy "thumb's up" icon. Yeeeee-haw!
 

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If you're looking for trouble you're out of luck. You can defend your judgments any which way you wish, but it simply sounds to me like you're harbouring a double standard. A woman can give you some oral pleasure and it's fine, but if it's a columnist you despise doing the same for a powerful public figure of a man, you've got a problem with it? Pretty odd logic there.

You have plenty of ammunition to take on Black and Amiel without barging self-righteously into their bedroom and flinging crap at them for their alleged sexual habits. A cheap shot is what I call it... no matter how many grinning smilies you assign to a post, the end result is the same - hypocrisy.
"money shot" would be much more appropriate
 

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Well, you certainly took awhile too cook that little gem up. At a loss for words, were you?

I guess I should be strangely honoured that you can't let it go. Ahhh well... you've got double standards and you can't admit it. Why is it that people who proudly wear their social conscience on their sleeves are usually the last to admit when they're nursing their little pet hypocritical stances? Spec - don't answer - it's a rhetorical question.
 

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Well, you certainly took awhile too cook that little gem up. At a loss for words, were you?

I guess I should be strangely honoured that you can't let it go. Ahhh well... you've got double standards and you can't admit it. Why is it that people who proudly wear their social conscience on their sleeves are usually the last to admit when they're nursing their little pet hypocritical stances? Spec - don't answer - it's a rhetorical question.
playing golf actually
 

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Moi aussi, AS - although this reminds me. I have a fine neighbour who is an avowed golf fanatic. I don't hold it against him - much - because I've been trying to be a grownup. He makes up for his deficiency in other ways, and it should be admitted that he puts up with me and my own horrible traits. This is what good neighbours do... at least in meatspace!
 

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This feels like a support group. My name is Doug, and I hate golf.

I had to exercise great patience recently while a buddy explained the trauma of accidentally breaking a graphite-shaft club during a recent game. They don't make this model anymore and I can't replace it yadda yadda yadda, bla bla blaaaaaaaaaaa...


oh wait, were people talking about some kind of book or something?
 

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LOL

My condolences, Doug. We all have to endure painful moments from time to time. My neighbour unwittingly ensnares me in these discussions as well. It always comes up when we try and make small talk... "what are you doing today, Mike? " "Oh, I'm going golfing." "Hey man, excellent." And then I have to excuse myself and fetch a beer.
 
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