One of the chief architects of the “Southern strategy,” whose name became synonymous with political dirty tricks, was also the man who worked to desegregate schools, create the Environmental Protection Agency and end the draft.
The complicated and often contradictory character and legacy of 37th President Richard Nixon will be the subject of a lecture by his newest biographer, sponsored by SMU’s Center for Presidential History (CPH).
Best-selling author, professor of journalism and former Newsweek reporter Evan Thomas will discuss his latest book, Being Nixon: A Man Divided, tonight at 6 p.m. in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. The event is part of the CPH’s Presidential Forum series and is free and open to the public.
The son of devout Quakers, Nixon – not unlike his rival John F. Kennedy – grew up in the shadow of an older, favored brother and thrived on conflict and opposition. As a result, he devoted much of his life and career to fighting off enemies real and imagined. Thomas’ new biography “reveals the contradictions of a leader whose vision and foresight led him to achieve détente with the Soviet Union and reestablish relations with communist China, but whose underhanded political tactics tainted his reputation long before the Watergate scandal,” as summarized in a CPH release.
Thomas’ book will be available for purchase and signing before and after the event. A light reception will precede the lecture beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Parking will be available on the SMU campus. FREE passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event.