tv Michael Koncewicz They Said No to Nixon CSPAN December 9, 2018 10:00pm-11:02pm EST
politics and prose and on behalf of the owners and staff, i would like to welcome all of you to your favorite bookstore for this afternoon's event. as you may know, we host hundreds of events like this all throughout the year. one such event we are doing this coming monday november 12 with david price for his new book how to get rid of a president, the guide to removing the unpopular or unfit chief executives. a little bit of housekeeping first if you could turn off or silence your cell phones we would appreciate it. for the q-and-a remember to step up to the microphone over there by the pillar so we can ensure the conversation is being recorded and everyone in the room can hear you. for those of you who want to buy the book there are copies behind the cash registers out front.
we will be doing a signing after the q-and-a so please sign up to the right of the podium and after the events we would appreciate if you could keep the chairs in place as we are going to have another event after this one. now to the main event i am honored to introduce michael the cold war collection specialist and labor archives at new york university. he's also previously worked for the national archives of the richard nixon presidential library and museum. this afternoon he's going to talk about his new book note to nixon republicans whose it up to the president abuses of power. going from unpublished and recently released material from the time in the white house, his new book uncovers for the first time those who opposed nixon and his views that he could use the power of the executive to punish those who oppose him.
this reveals the serpent in the authority that repeats the abuses of power of the nixon presidency. the reviews and their assessment of the book called the brief but scholarly in all the right ways and excruciatingly timely. [applause] >> thank you, bernard and elizabeth and everyone here. if the microphone okay? i'm going to begin with a selection the very first page of the introduction and this is taken from a conversation that
took place august 31972 captured by the secret white house taping system we will talk more about that later but august 31972 roughly six or seven weeks after the watergate break-in and this is richard nixon voicing his concerns about his inability to take over the irs. i think the trouble is that we have too many nice guys who just want to do the right thing said richard nixon august 3. sitting in the oval office with his closest advisors chief of staff hr haldeman and for domestic affairs the president vented about his cabinet's toughness. he was especially enraged over the unwillingness of the certain administration officials defended the rules to go after political enemies. nixon exclaimed we have all this power and we are not using it. who was running over to the justice department and of all of
the agencies what are we doing about the contributors? haldeman responded the answer is nothing and it makes sense that part of the problem is the bureaucracy and part of the problem is our own g. default. there must be something we can do. although he gripes about several different officials in the discussion the president specifically blamed his recently appointed secretary of the treasury. during that summer, george and the then commissioner of the irs resisted the efforts to harass and punish their opponents. he's not being political enough i don't care how nice of a guy he is or how good of an economist. we can't have this bs. he didn't say bs. the conversation wasn't isolated. he brought up his frustrations throughout the rest of the summer and into the fall of 72.
these were not tantrums provided the culmination of the struggle politicized in the bureaucracy. the president's tirades were not just expressions of his inner demons they were representatives of the increasingly sinister views particularly the power of the presidency. the white house recordings are extremely valuable artifacts that capture the president behind closed doors and show uncensored views on the range of topics. taken together they are more than just a collection of entertaining soundbites. while they do not capture the totality of the presidency for the striving of loyalty that led to the crimes of watergate. the people that are profiled in the book are people that crushed thcrushthe culture of loyalty ad people who are loyal to a culture of nonpartisan civil
service. it's not based on purely partisan politics. those who refuse to carry out the orders came from an older brand but placed a higher value on the nonpartisan analytical thinking and more ethical approach to governance. watergate wasn't simply an extension of the deep-seated division of the era. it was a very real test of the nation's democracy. the arguments are not entirely new that one gains a deeper insight into the constitutional crisis by learning about the republicans said no to nixon. it focuses on george shultz, richard nixon, the commissioner, johnny walker's. next to the watergate break-in i think it is safe to say the
enemies list is one of those famous things attached even if you have a fuzzy memory fo or yu are someone that was born after the resignation you are aware mixing had an enemies list at something that comes up in pop culture enough where people know about it. there are the high-ranking contributors and the product was never carried out. they do individual audits and there were nixon operatives embedded that were able to get certain things done and i do not want to romanticize the history of the irs and its willingness to sometimes bend the rules. the larger projects involve hundreds of individual organizations whose only crime
they did was to oppose the president in some way. that was never carried out. because in september of 1972 roughly about five or six weeks after the conversation i just read from come up with george schultz and the commissioner of the irs johnny walker's the republican from south carolina not someone you'd imagin you woo be someone who would oppose richard nixon but someone who took civil service very seriously the two of them stood united in their opposition to the project. john being the capital to the president actually delivered the enemies list in mid-septembe mid-september 1972 and walters told him no. he told him he would talk to his boss and shultz who had previously that summer came to some of the demands when it came to bringing larry o'brien or the finances when it came to the enemies list he thought this was a step too far.
remember the presidential election is weeks away is incredibly dangerous and shultz and walters who had their differences were not the best of friends but they came from different backgrounds and stood united in their opposition city said no to nixon and you can hear him on the tapes rant and rave about john shultz and john walters he doesn't want another in the irs. he's very determined if he wins a second term it looks incredibly likely that he's going to have a loyalist in charge of the irs. though this order wasn't just something that was said by john dean or hr haldeman that the order was richard nixon. that's important to know because often the nixon biographers are having a decent goal to provide a new one to take and blame some
of the underlings. while the nixon white house is not a moderate institution, we sometimes hear arguments that richard nixon was the last moderate, the last liberal and what that means is a bit fuzzy sometimes. but i shall here is the actual moderates and pragmatists inside the administration are the ones who were resisting his dark si side. johnny water is kept the list walked in a vault, to get out
and handed it over and he came out clean and got a little bit of press. the enemies list was carried out also it's important to know that it wasn't he thought that this was something that even if it was done i in previous administrations as nixon believed. it would have crossed a very dangerous line. it is one of many good government republicans i have sometimes students ask me stupid to believe the federal government can be used as a force of good. that is a broad definition but when i think of the republicans
it is mostly what is referred to as moderate republicans but some came from the conservative backgrounds. what they share shared as they e shaped by the postwar new deal liberal order. they didn't want to tear down that order. instead, they engaged with it, argued against it whenever necessary but they did not see it as a force that needed to be brought down in the 1960s or 70s. all of them adopted a nonpartisan technocratic approach to their work. they were not political creatures. whether it's george shultz or elliot richardson. people come from somewhat different backgrounds they all share this technocratic nonpartisan approach to the federal government and the approach to the civil service clashed with nixon's own cutthroat approach to politics. once again an argument that you are hearing increasingly especially during the trump administration you heard this in
previous. granted i have sympathy for the argument based on watching news 24/7 but if you look at the record and listen to the tapes, what you will see i you'll see c record is quite complicated. he's not a traditional conservative by any means. if anything he's an opportunist and most cases but what you see is when push comes to shove and he is an aged in politics, he aligns himself with the conservatives in the administration. i highlight a quote in my introduction and it's a quote that actually first appeared in an article written by the journalist historian rick perlstein. it's one of a trilogy and there is a fourth book coming out soon that involves the history of the conservative movement. at the second of these mixing land and a method key features
this quote from a conservative activist who worked for the young americans for freedom goldwater campaign someone who didn't particularly like richard nixon but he said this to rick perlstein. combine that with the fact he does resign in disgrace but he still has about 25 to 28% of the country on its side. i would be sensitive to this since i worked at the presidential library and museum for nearly four years and i saw people who tried to rehabilitate his legacy but i think that quote and those numbers do matter when explaining the curb and critical moment. george shultz who played such an important role in blocking the order also plays a role in blocking another one of the orders in 1970 after the
invasion of cambodia, richard nixon comes up with a plan to punish mit and other universities that have read the antiwar administrations. particularly at the university presidents to allow the piece to happen or even in some cases give the students a week off to go to washington, d.c. to protest against the war in vietnam and so starting with spring of 1970 he comes up with a plan to cut the funds in the defense funds to the university on the same side as the antiwar protesters want to kick the campuses, the military off campus is for very different reasons but they have the same goals. what he does is he doesn't want to demilitarize the education system he wants to move funds around and send it the funds to what he thinks are pro- nixon schools in the south and midwest. at least his advisors telling him these are good pro- nixon
schools, so they start off as a rant and doesn' it doesn't go a. it picks up spring 1972. after the bombings and the new wave of antiwar protests and more protest coming from university presidents especially the ivy league richard nixon is determined to carry out this order in the spring of 72. george shultz is the head of omb said no once again moves over td over to the treasury department and richard nixon in may 1972 after he is just concluded for inviting them into the white house, he tells hr haldeman in a conversation he says you get a hold of caspar weinberger who's going to replace him at the omb. i want these funds and i want them now. get it done.
so he says that and unlike the previous rant, she actually move this order forward. in the summer, fall and early 1973 of us could actually be done. we could start to cut the funds to mit. but nixon once the defense department funds to be cut and there is roughly about $100 billion they want to use it as a test case. stanford is on the list. one by one they try to redistribute the funds to the
products in colleges and universities. why is it not carry out? 1973 as he is working on this order, it also brought to the assistant directors of the omb. paul o'neill the name that should be familiar to some of you served as the secretary of treasury during the george w. bush administration and assistant director at the omb. when they were given this order by hr haldeman they threatened to re-sign and take the story to the press. before they do so they meet with their former boss with a identified as someone who's an independent figure within the white house, someone who could support them in their resistan resistance. they meet with george shultz and according to the two of them who at least talk about the disorder, they said he told them don't worry, i will take care of it. aside from caspar weinberger, no one is on the record in terms of
participating in the project. watergate becomes a story in the spring of 1973 and the order fades away. there is one tape where next in awkwardly jokes about it in front of shultz during a cabinet meeting. he lets it go and you never see it again in the record. nearly 20 years later after a transcript of one of the white house tapes leaked out to the press i think it was published in the post people find out the nixon wanted this to happen. he said you get a hold of weinberger and say i want the fund, i want them now. he said i have no idea what he's talking about and nixon was known to rant and rave and he essentially lied. he wasn't entirely thrilled about the project but he never stood up and said no to the
president said that's what he stood up and lied about it. the records that i have access to along with any of you show that this project was much closer to happening than anyone had thought in the 1970s, 80s or 90s and that order i think also captures nixon's own brand of conservatism. it was based on the cultural conservatism than an economic conservatism and that is important. as we have seen in recent even, it can be powerful enough of a political force especially that comes to organizing your administration. i feel it best represents the cultural resentments and provides yet another important connection to the president.
the final section of the book focuses on elliot richardson who of course is most famous for his decision to reside delete code reside in protest from the massacre. elliot richardson perhaps it's a stereotypical almost hard to an establishment figure someone from a bygone era if anyone has seen a video of him talk remember he would seem like an alien to anyone in 2018. richardson really represented the liberal establishment.
some of his advisors actually be assigned but he had his own private reservations in his own concerns and he decided to defend the president. he then became the head of the health education and welfare and in that post, he also had serious disagreements with the white house and he pushed for a more progressive school busing program and was shot down. while there were some reports in the media that were pretty minimal and publicly he aligned himself with the president. richard nixon ultimately shot this plan down and he was getting a lot of complaints from the more conservative members of the administration particularly pat buchanan who were concerned that this would bring the united states down the path of the
march to the soviet union. this is the first step towards communism if we get federal child care centers so that plan is rejected. elliot richardson decides to be a loyal soldier and if so i believe that is a description of why richard nixon chose elliot richardson in the spring of 93 to become the attorney general in the united states. watergate is a national story. in that particular moment he can't get away with taking a loyalist or someone that is known to be a loyalist. he debates whether he can pick someone like william rogers the secretary of state or john connolly or someone that she knows to be absolute loyalist but he picks someone has credibility, provides a procedure to the administration especially among the moderates and liberals in the republican party that has also proven to be loyal. sure behind the scenes he's had
some of these debates but when push comes to shove he decides and so the president is scrambling in april and may of 73 and that is why he picks elliot richardson to be his general. the previous fall when he's trying to figure out what to do with them in the second term, he says this to hr haldeman i suppose he's got to keep one person in the government that is to be interested in the people. he adds that. you will be able to the scary thing about this quote is that there is no laughter. if the president is being a little bit facetious but maybe it is 25 or 50%. it's quite serious and you don't hear any laughter. it's a quite cynical statement and i think it captures why nixon had an establishment republic like this in his administration. he felt like he had to especially in the spring so as
many of you already know, he becomes the attorney general and in less than five or six months later he resigned during the saturday night massacre and so many people ask why does this happen to simple explanations were never interested in the content and debate coach investigations because if there were not independent investigations people would have found out the truth which is that richard nixon was actively engaged in not only a cover-up, but also many different crimes coming out of the white house and this becomes very obvious and you look through the tapes. when he became attorney general he didn't know much about watergate. he wasn't even interested in following the "washington post" coverage. he was busy serving the country as the secretary defends so he comes in not knowing much about
watergate and because he has a healthy respect for the presidency he is willing to assume the president is innoce innocent. on the same day that his swearing-in ceremony, richard nixon, and this is captured once again by the taping system, dangled the supreme court appointment in front of elliot richardson's face. this is from a conversation on may 25, 1973. at first, nixon is talking about these personnel issues and the justice department that he says i think it is very important. another point i should make is they should have a close relationship with the chief justice. you will like it. if he had a problem with that?
key is a very shrewd politician. i would hope that you could spend some time with him in a proper way. this is the first time he's brought this up to bring richardson close to him. it comes up on the tape several times. they were both figures saying we are united in supporting a real investigation into watergate. they are specifically targeting elliot richardson and george shultz and he then said that this richardson is in the software has to know he's going out to prove he's the white knight said he's going to try to be sworn in as the new watergate
special prosecutor he will try to president and you know well how do you handle that. so that is also the same day as the swearing-in ceremony. and richardson and archibald cox discovered the president is going to resist any attempt to make this a real independent investigation. within a matter of weeks, nixon and others in the white house are trying to find ways to get rid of archibald cox. initially they didn't think much about him. something that doesn't get publicized is that he was eighth or ninth on the list of people they ask to have this position which kind of takes the wind out of the sails of the conspiracy theory.
what doesn't get publicized as much as they were trying to find someone to take this position in may 1973. numerous scholars turned down the position because no one knows where this is going to go. no one knows this is going to help their career in the end. that is an unknown entity. in 73 of course the nation finds out there's a secret white house taping system and the final year of the watergate saga is about the tapes but what causes the saturday night massacre. there are some details that have been glossed over in the details of the massacre. that week richard nixon, al haig and others in the white house came up with a plan as they refer to as the compromise where pro- nixon democrat from mississippi would be the person who would have access to the
tapes of archibald cox is asking for the fall. they were subpoenaed in the court and he wants access to them. we would have access and be in charge of providing transcripts to the team of lawyers at the justice department. the problem with this he's a pro- nixon democrat and he's in his 70s and people in their 70s have good hearing. he doesn't accept the compromise and it shows how much of a moderate both were that fall especially richardson.
they didn't want to give up on negotiations and they were actually going to continue to talk to the nixon white house and come up with some kind of compromise but once they reject the compromise he says enough is enough and that is when he demand the firing. elliot richardson remember he's been a loyal switcher for the more than four years he'd been in the administration. he writes note after note weighing up the pros and cons of resigning or staying on board and he is a great team to try to figure out what to do. his deputy sees it as a simple position. he says it gets down to me is going to resign in protest. it's a very interesting contrast between the two figures but in the end, he decides for the good of the country is going to resign because he cannot carry out this order.
it is just an act by the white house and the third person in the line someone who didn't even know until that very week was robert bork would be the solicitor general trait of the order and archibald cox inspir inspired. it is a wave of outrage across the country for the first time the polls show a plurality of the voters now support the idea of impeachment and this than ten months later richard nixon resigns. so the massacre is an important moment. it gets the coverage that it should get the dat it should ale seen as the extension of all of these othe other behind the sces battles involving moderate civil servants clashing with a approach to politics. so i started this project in
2011 granted perverse and was an issue but i wasn't particularly thinking about just donald trump in 2011 but over the last seven years, this project has kind of become a little bit more relevant i guess now that i've gotten more interest about it and that is because of everything that has happened in the last two years. you can go from donald trump's actual relationship with richard nixon in the 1980s they were not close friends but they were acquaintances and they could go to social events in new york city in the mid-to late 1980s that what people are justifiably focus, the parallels between the nixon era and everything that has happened. nixon and trump are connected in meaningful ways through their shared view of politics and the
presidency. sure they have their policy differences but both are defined by what they oppose a submitted his own kind of approach to conservatism that is linked in an important way even if the ideology might be a little bit different so that is why it is connected to the ongoing legacy. they still look pretty low poll numbers when somebody is asked about richard nixon i would ask for for fifth graders to take schooschools worse what do you w about richard nixon and i they would say watergate, i know he did something bad. so that is still there and lingering. but you've seen this in the last several in the attempt to defend donald trump in the middle of the russia investigation, and you are seeing some people
reevaluate the nixon years. it's not just people like buchanan who said i stol i stilo this day think that he was right to do what he did during the massacre of hundreds of people in the crowd into this very awkward if you could watch the video online. you could sense from the crowd of people are not sure whether it is appropriate to clap for this. the author of the best-selling book that's to defend donald trump and the russia investigation is a hoax and he's a news anchor he was on sean hannity and said that the decision to fire archibald cox he basically told sean hannity that is what donald trump should do with rob rosenstein. so these things that i saw on
the ground at the nixon library is becoming more of a public thing in the last year or two and i think that is significant because even though the poll numbers are still low, i do like the american public hasn't fully confronted what has happened or what did happen during the watergate era. but we conclude with a final passage from the last page of the book. it's worth noting very few would have expected resistance from republicans in the nixon administration with the new archival records we now know the full scope of their actions. george shultz, paul o'neill, richardson and many others said no to the president because they were all dedicated to solving these preserving a service within the federal government. if the culture that shaped their
careers and they felt was necessary to protect while nixon didn't see any strength in those that resisted hiboththe resistir stand was powerful enough to block the president's attempt to institutionalize abuses of power. they chose integrity over loyalty and as a result, nixon was presented to the prevented from expanding his powers. nixon often complained there were too many principled man in his administration did just enough nice guys to stop them from undermining constitutional democracy. thank you. [applause] it looks like we have about 25 minutes or so for question. and if you can use the microphone right over there. but we thank you for a conversation your thought
provokes certain questions if they decide to preemptively and unilaterally what happens with the republican party as it happens right now or if he is under tremendous pressure and he brings a lot of pressure to bear, but the republican party at this point decide enough is enough. it is to provoke people to get an answer. it seems the constitution
suffers from the time that it s to be uncertain namely the imbalance between the so-called checks and balances while we see what is happening with checks and balances it is in the balance or a check etc. it seems to me at this point in time you have a presidency that is becoming extremely which many people say he should have been or could have been impeached but they thought it was too close. in a sense that didn't happen
you have tax breaks into these kind of things, confront the congress and make sure you have someone that understands what you are doing. how do you see these things playing out at this point in time and do you believe that it is any hope the republican party will be pushed back in a different direction or more or more becoming polarized. thank you very much. >> i'm not going to fully be able to answer all of those questions. there's a lot of questions there of course. i'm not naïve and i don't have much hope in terms of the new response to the republican party but granted those are two different areas we are talking about and there is a
reason-based decide to stand up to nixon. it's the evidence and the tapes but it's also the political culture and we live in a different political culture however i cannot predict the future so we will see. i know it's not a great answer to that is the ultimate answer in terms of saying what is going to happen next in the trump presidency. as of right now i do not expect republicans either in congress or inside the administration to offer up any acts of resistance. i don't believe in anonymous op-ed while it's reassuring to a certain extent i believe we should expect more from the civil service.
as i said i'm not going to fully answer all of the questions. the other is coming from the line but no, i do not have much hope in terms of what's going to happen next. i will say one thing though without the tapes, richard nixon probably never would have had to resign. while we should note there are significant differences between the nixon and trump era we should also point out partisanship wasn't just created out of thin air in the last two years. it was never that he was going to resign it seems like a 45 years later but one could imagine that without the tapes were these specific moments
richard nixon maybe could have been impeached but could have survived and gotten enough support in the senate and survived and served out a better second term but a full second term that is important to know we shouldn't romanticize the nixon era but also know there are very significant differences and there' there is very little incentives for the republicans today to stand up to the current president. i apologize for not addressing all of your thoughtful points. >> do you think he suffered from a personality disorder in this notion because in reading about and observing him over the years, one could make that assumption.
>> it's hard not to psychoanalyze the president. i tried not to do that in the book this is technically not a nixon biography so i don't see that as the mission of this bo book. the taping system captured the conversations and roughl endlest 3,000 are accessible to the public. the next largest tape is $700, sizable but pales in comparison to because we have unprecedented access and because he had a fairly unique personality compared to the other presidents, you can't help but try to guess what is nixon's state of mind. he didn't act well during the
times of crisis you can se coule this during the days following the invasion of cambodia at penn state and an hr haldeman's diary where he's concerned for the president's well-being and you can see it later on. i will talk about it in a few moments but there are several moments when you see that he's having some kind of a breakdown. the other one that comes to mind is during the war. the report showed the archives show accent for roughly six to 12 hour period cannot deal with being the president and henry kissinger is telling people he's in charge of october 1973. so he's shown he's been pretty heavy doses of both authors and downers. you mix that with a few drinks and that's why when you listen to the tapes you notice in
certain periods you can hear nixon's speech slurred when hr haldeman re-signs and john deane misfired it doesn't take much for his speech to slurred. i'm kind of dancing around the main question here is the short answer is i don't know if there's a lot of stuff that you hear on the tapes that is quite concerning that is dangerously close to what you read from woodward and bernstein in the mid-70s in terms of having a breakdown and the loyalists say that they are just basing this on nothing you listen to the tapes ended thanks to this report seem quite credible. >> listening to your excerpts from the tape, what struck me was how nixon used the word geek
to describe people who were in fact strong and displaying integrity and that made me think that in our current president described jeff sessions as they beat attorney general for having recused himself and i was wondering if you had observed any other linguistic parallels in terms of how people and their behavior is characterized by both presidents. >> they are not carbon copies, they have different personalities but they are very important similarities and you have identified one of them. in addition to someone saying only if richardson is bleak you will hear the terms of your soft soft comes up quite a bit.
and it comes up quite a bit when nixon is talking about the old establishment he wants to create a new establishment. he never defines what is. it's largely defined by toughness, masculinity. and it is once again not to repeat what i said earlier but defined by what he opposes. the enemies within his own administration are not masculine enough and he believes the establishment is too permissive and you don't have to be a gender historian to figure out if he is obviously kind of protecting a bit. she was told with the fact doesn't seem masculine enough as a john f. kennedy, so without going down the road to psycho analyze nixon, someone that
comes up over and over again in the tapes i that is a crude sene of masculinity and he leads his administration was defined by the 20 masculine and a key part of the disloyalty. it is a key component of what it takes to be a man. personal loyalty. so this is where he does have an important connection where as you said donald trump is describing someone that is relatively loyal to the administration and jeff sessions i don't think we've described as kind of a resistor of the trump presidency but because he recused himself in the investigation, that is enough and it shows the ideology doesn't really matter what matters is loyalty, so what i try to show is that these figures clash with that very basic understanding of loyalty and masculinity.
>> what is your judgment of the documentary of watergate? i apologize i haven't had time to watch. i've seen the trailers. i thought it was pretty good but you know more about it than i do. the enemy list goes into some detail in your book. >> the enemies list initially started off as a list of people to not invite to the white house in 1971 and over the next 18 months or so, chuck colson, john deane and a few others get involved in this project. it's not just people to take off their list of people. but it becomes is a list to get
to the irs and that is something that you hear on the tapes. it's not something that's being done by john d dean is coming fm the oval office. whether it is the notes are the tapes or john deane's own very good memory is clear that it was coming straight from the oval office. what i try to show in the book is how in certain instances it was micromanaged by richard nixon and his key advisers. i hope you had a chance i was at a program in the national archives at of weeks ago at the 19th date election and it was like yesterday for him he remembers everything.
we show movies in the campaign and attacks took over the whole program and talked about his role in the event. had he left the white house. pat buchanan is a pretty important point here and so as i said even though there is a kind of collective sense that nixon wasn't a good president, we are talking about people who don't have enough time in a day to do research or think about mixing beyond his headlines i think the collection is that watergate was bad but pat buchanan is featured in a lot of documentaries and watergate and she also i noticed was the final say and a lot of
them. he continues to be quite an aggressive supporter of nixon and is part of the rehabilitation project to try to make people think that nixon wasn't just the president of watergate but something that a nation should be proud of daniel patrick moynihan is one of many establishment figures who were brought in and this is part of a half sincere efforts made by some of his advisers to bringing the liberals but is also part. by the end of 1969 and officially 1970, a lot of those moderates and liberals concluding daniel patrick moynihan who was kind of one of the president's favorite in that first year loses a lot of influence and i will be happy to talk with you afterwards but there may be one more question before we end.
>> i've always had a feeling it was part of the extended cover up the words back then and belittled his crimes and there was a little bit surprised to hear a critic of nixon having been. can you talk about that a bit? >> sure i will have to control myself because it's something i could talk about for another 30 minutes or so very quickly. so, we have a federal presidential library system in n the country that was created by fdr from herbert hoover to barack obama and would most likely include the current president.
this is the short version. i'm glossing over the details. richard nixon's library though because of his own unique relationship in the federal government which was not good in the 70s and 80s, his library existed outside of the federal system. its first director claims he was joking but he said anti-nixon scholars like bob woodward would be welcome there. for 17 years, the library existed as a private facility. a deal with the need with the archives to bring the library into the federal presidential library system and that is what happened in 2007 and because nixon's library had this on unique history there was a bit of momentum to introduce real
history and nonpartisan public programming so i was a graduate student at the university of california irvine in 2010, and that is in i decided to become an intern and eventually i was hired to be the assistant director, and i did a lot of research work and helped in the final stages of a nonpartisan watergate exhibit that still there in yorba linda so that along with many programs we have an academic conference that both pro- nixon scholars and everyone in between so we did a lot of good work there in 2010, 2011 and 2012. i don't have time to talk about what happened afterwards that the archives backed away from that and since then they've regained more control over the public programming side and
exhibit side of the library. however, the exhibit is still there and that is when i decided to tackle the project is when i was working with my supervisors on the exhibits that there's a lot of good work that is still being done. when you walk through the library, you can actually listen to the tapes where nixon is talking about counting the number that worked at the bureau of labor statistics. school boards can now listen to the tape inside of the watergate exhibit and that is just one of many examples that sho showed it wasn't just about watergate. there's still a difference of tone in terms of but at least
there is a real history so i'm happy that it's fair. i would be happy to talk with you after the program but thank you for the question. >> that is a nice place to end. a round of applause for the author. if you have not yet purchased the book and would like to they are available at the register otherwise we would be happy to sign a write up here ...