Kennedy & Nixon : the rivalry that shaped postwar America

by Christopher Matthews

Paper Book, 1996




New York : Simon & Schuster, c1996.


John Kennedy and Richard Nixon shared a dream of being the great young leader of their age. Starting as congressmen in the class of 1946, the two men developed a friendship and admiration for each other that would last for more than a decade. But what drove history, Matthews shows, was the enmity between these two towering figures whose 1960 presidential contest would set the nation's bitter course for years to come. In this startling dual portrait - a modern-day Amadeus, with Nixon as the talented, frustrated, always outdone Salieri to Kennedy's Mozart, the charismatic genius - Matthews shows how the early fondness between the two men (Kennedy told a trusted friend that if he didn't receive the Democratic nomination in 1960, he would vote for Nixon) degenerated into distrust and paranoia, the same emotions that, in the early 1970s, ravaged the nation. Christopher Matthews's revealing book sheds new light on this complicated relationship and the role that it played in shaping America's history.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member mattrutherford
Didn't learn much new, but no doubt it was revelatory since it was written right after the Nixon tapes were released. Still, a pleasant enough read.



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