“King Richard”, by Michael Dobbs

king richard

In January 1973, Richard Nixon was inaugurated after winning re-election in an historic landslide. By April his presidency had fallen apart.

I was familiar with the Watergate Scandal, but mostly through the film “All The President’s Men” and various documentaries over the years.

When I listened to a podcast by acclaimed author Michael Dobbs, about his book “King Richard” on these shocking events, I had to read it.

Michael Dobbs is the author who gave us the “House Of Cards” trilogy. Who better to take a fresh look at the political cover-ups, coercions and scandal?

Richard Nixon himself was a fascinating character.

The son of poor Quaker parents, he had to fight tooth and nail to reach the heights of the White House. He never forgot where he came from, because he wasn’t allowed to.

He had a particular problem with the affluent John F Kennedy, who came from a wealthy and politically powerful family.

We see Nixon as a devoted family man, but also has desperate to hang on to power.

And that’s where it all began.

“If you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats. But if you take no risks, you win no victories.” Richard Nixon

Dobbs describes the unravelling of his presidency in great detail. He is more than adept at giving this a Netflix-series feel of what went on.

The bribes, the scandal and the illegal actions are interspersed with the personal and the human side of the people involved.

Once they were in it was very difficult to back out. Before you know what’s happening it’s every man for himself and even dodgier deals begin to take place.

“King Richard” is a fascinating book and as you read about it all falling apart, the egos, panic and ramifications come thick and fast.

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Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!