Monday, December 6, 2010

Welcome, Maarja And "NixoNARA"

Historian Maarja Krusten, who worked with Richard Nixon's White House records at the National Archives from 1976-90, has just launched her new blog, NixoNARA, with apt observations about the struggles between dedicated federal archivists on the one hand and the former president and his men (including me) on the other:
[G]iven my background, I can say that those of us who worked on disclosure review of Nixon’s tapes were not motivated by a desire to embarrass him. Most of us were trained as historians. And it was I who trained most of the employees in how to do disclosure review. We understood the value of data and also the need for objectivity. Still, I understand now and even considered back then why Nixon’s advocates challenged the statute which led to the seizure of his records in 1974. Who wouldn’t resent having the rules changed on him in mid-game? And wouldn’t a requirement that the worst that someone did (“abuses of governmental power”) be disclosed before more positive efforts rankle anyone? But I also believe there are better ways to resolve issues related to the records of former presidents than mud slinging. That’s why I’m blogging here now.
MK's thoughtful, carefully nuanced comments have enlivened this blog since I launched it in late 2008. I'll be checking in with hers each day. Welcome and Godspeed, NixoNARA!

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