Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Looking For My Library Card!

I see Syracuse University is looking for someone to work with the papers of the late Bill Safire, Nixon aide and New York Times columnist. When the records are opened, I look forward to learning what they may reveal about his vendetta against Nixon Center president Dimitri Simes and me as well as the architecture of a Times article (published nine years ago today) in which reporter James Sterngold (who has since left the paper) seemed to take special pains to accommodate the views and interests of two of Safire's fellow former Nixon White House staffers, certain Nixon family members, and a scholar who had good cause to be hostile to us stingy Nixon foundation chiefs.


MK said...

Yes, it would be interesting to learn more about some of that, wouldn't it? You never know what you're going to get in collections that come in to archives through donor selection and restriction as opposed to regulatory records management. Let's hope he kept a lot of useful information regardless of how it reflected on him. Of course, people sometimes think something reflects well on them but don't stop and think that others might not agree. So this is a case where less self awareness might be better on the part of the donor, LOL.

Thanks for your very kind words about my Sunshine Week post. I put up part 2, with a link to my testimony, last night.

J.C. Marrero said...

No villains, no heroes here. Just part of the tragic fallout from Watergate. Taking a broad (and loose) historical perspective, when a ruler abruptly falls from power, the survivors (think of Madame Royale in France and the White Russians in Paris )will face something akin to the stages of grief. There will be blame, anger, bargaining, confusion, and hopefully, at the end, acceptance. RN's fall was regicide without a king or blood, but it was the end to a (constitutional) regime.

Contemporary historians have pretty much made up ther minds on RN. For what it is worth, for his partisans and survivors, the healthier approach might be to take the long view. If RN's legacy is come to be seen as the president who held the difficult tentpole position (between HST and RR) in the successful conclusion of the Cold War and, of course, China, his reputation will recover to some degree. And, history loves tragic figures. Louis XVI and Nicholas II would be far less intriguing if their reigns had ended like their predecessors'.

But, for the short to mid term, there will be no USS Richard Nixon.

Fr. John said...

I can buy that to a certain extent, Juan. In the wake of 1974 there have been several coups and counter-coups!

J.C. Marrero said...

You're right. It is easier to be philosophical at a distance. "He jests at scars that never felt a wound".