[BOOK] Preview: Nixon Tapes and Transcripts

Nixon oval office

The Nixon Tapes 220x333Coming this August, on the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, a new book, “The Nixon Tapes by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter. From the Amazon description, here’s a preview:

President Nixon’s voice-activated taping system captured every word spoken in the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and other key locations in the White House, and at Camp David — 3,700 hours of recordings between 1971 and 1973. Yet less than 5 percent of those conversations have ever been transcribed and published. Now, thanks to professor Luke Nichter’s massive effort to digitize and transcribe the tapes, the world can finally read an unprecedented account of one of the most important and controversial presidencies in U.S. history.

The Nixon Tapes offers a selection of fascinating scenes from the
year Nixon opened relations with China, negotiated the SALT I arms agreement with the Soviet Union, and won a landslide reelection victory. All the while, the growing shadow of Watergate and Nixon’s political downfall crept ever closer. The Nixon Tapes provides a never-before-seen glimpse into a flawed president’s hubris, paranoia, and political genius.

[Look for the Kindle edition of The Nixon Tapes, or pre-order the hardback book from Amazon]

Nixon could never have imagined that people with home computers and smartphones would someday have instant access to a digitized library of audio and transcripts, representing thousands of hours of his White House recordings. Here’s the introduction from nixontapes.org:

nixontapes.org has the most complete, digital collection of the Nixon tapes in existence, which includes approximately 2,950 hours of the nearly 3,000 hours of tapes currently declassified and released by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In addition, we have transcribed approximately 3,000 pages of conversations on many topics, from conversations dealing with the installation of the taping system in February 1971 to Cabinet Room conversations recorded in July 1973.

Due to pending publication plans, we have posted only a fraction of the transcriptions that we have created, although additions continue to be made regularly. The end goal will be to make all of the tapes and transcripts available in a variety of formats: by subject, date, topic, participants, and taping location. For all files on this site, the approximate file sizes are indicated in order for you to make an informed judgment as to your expected download time. We encourage visitors to this site to listen to the audio while reviewing any transcripts.

From their Amazon author page:

Douglas Brinkley is Professor of History at Rice University and a Fellow at the James Baker III Institute of Public Policy. He has published several New York Times bestselling titles: The Wilderness Warrior (2009), The Reagan Diaries (2007), The Great Deluge (2006), The Boys of Pointe du Hoc (2005), Tour of Duty (2004), and Voices of Valor (2004, with Ronald J. Drez). The Great Deluge, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Prize and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and American Heritage, as well as a frequent contributor to the New York TimesThe New Yorker, and the Atlantic.Luke Nichter is an Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University – Central Texas. He is a noted expert on the Nixon tapes as a result of his efforts to digitize the nearly 4,000 hours of recordings he makes available online as a public service, and he is the author of an ongoing petition before the District Court for the District of Columbia to open Watergate-related government records still sealed in the National Archives. Nichter’s work has been reported on by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press.

A catalogue of audio files at nixontapes.org:

The following are the audio files and transcripts currently available:

Conversations based on primary participant (other than President Nixon):
George H.W. Bush
Charles W. Colson
Anatoly Dobrynin
John W. Dean III
Gerald R. Ford
Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
Richard M. Helms
J. Edgar Hoover
Lyndon B. Johnson
Edward M. Kennedy
Fritz G.A. Kraemer
Henry A. Kissinger
John D. Lavelle
Robert S. McNamara
Leon Panetta
Ray Price
Ronald W. Reagan
Donald H. Rumsfeld
George P. Shultz
Thematic Material:
-February 16, 1971 – February 23, 1971: The origin of the Nixon tapes: First recorded conversations from the Nixon tapes which discuss the installation and maintenance of the Nixon taping system
-February 26, 1971 – July 24, 1972: “[W]e’re going to give Allende the hook”; The Nixon Administration’s Response to Salvador Allende and Chilean Expropriation
-February 27, 1971 – January 25, 1973: DCI Richard M. Helms and President Nixon
-April 6, 1971 – February 23, 1973: President Nixon and the Presidents: former President Johnson, House Minority Leader Ford, Governor Reagan, and Ambassador Bush
-April 6, 1971 – February 27, 1973: Complete audio file collection of Henry Kissinger’s phone conversations assembled for the first time
-April 9, 1971 – September 7, 1972: nixontapes.org contributes to “Teddy: In His Own Words”, a new HBO film that honors the life of former Sen. Ted Kennedy
-April 17, 1971 – April 11, 1972: Nixon and Hoover: Partners in Power; Nixon Tapes Demonstrate Similar Thinking on Issues of the Day
-May 27, 1971 – June 14, 1971: Nixon Had His Eye on Leon Panetta; Young Republican HEW Aide Critical of Nixon’s Civil Rights Program
-August 9, 1971 – March 31, 1972: Superpower Relations, Backchannels, and the Subcontinent: Using the Nixon Tapes to Examine the 1971 India-Pakistan War
-February 1, 1972 – December 5, 1972: Nixon Recognized Importance of Space Program; Space Policy had Broader Role in Nixon’s Foreign Policy; Nixon Tapes Capture Apollo XV, XVI, and XVII Crews
-May 15, 1972: The White House reaction to the shooting of Alabama Governor and Democratic Presidential Candidate George Wallace
-November 3, 1972 – November 19, 1972: Chuck Colson and the 1972 presidential election
-March 13, 1973 – March 21, 1973: “John W. Dean III and the Watergate Cover-up, Revisited”
-March 13, 1973 – April 16, 1973: Selected Watergate material, as featured inThe New York Times
Chronological Tape Releases:
Cabinet Room Tapes: 223 hours of tapes released by the National Archives between 1997 and 2002; recordings were made during February 1971 and July 1973
Chronological Release 1: 443 hours of tapes released by the National Archives during 1999; recordings were made between February 1971 and July 1971
Chronological Release 2: 420 hours of tapes released by the National Archives during 2000; recordings were made between August 1971 and December 1971
Chronological Release 3: 425 hours of tapes released by the National Archives during 2002; recordings were made between January 1972 and June 1972
Chronological Release 4: 240 hours of tapes released by the National Archives during 2003; recordings were made between July 1972 and November 1972
White House Telephone Conversations (WHT): July 18, 1972 – November 3, 1972
Camp David Study Table (CDST): August 11, 1972 – October 30, 1972
Camp David Study Desk (CDSD): August 15, 1972 – October 30, 1972
Camp David Hard Wire (CDHW): July 21, 1972 – October 30, 1972
Executive Office Building (EOB): July 19, 1972 – November 2, 1972
Oval Office (OVAL): July 1, 1972 – November 1, 1972
Chronological Release 5.1: 11.5 hours of tapes released by the National Archives on July 7, 2007; recordings were made during November 1972
Chronological Release 5.2: 198 hours of tapes released by the National Archives on December 2, 2008; recordings were made between November 1972 and January 1973
Chronological Release 5.3: 154 hours of tapes released by the National Archives on June 23, 2009; recordings were made between January 1973 and February 1973
-Chronological Release 5.4: 265 hours of tapes released by the National Archives on December 9, 2010; recordings were made between February 1973 and March 1973
-Chronological Release 5.5: 339 hours of tapes released by the National Archives on August 21, 2013; recordings were made between April 1973 and July 1973
Other Tapes Related Content:
“It’s a bad rap for him”; Protective-Reaction, John D. Lavelle and the Nixon Tapes
Alexander M. Haig, Jr. and the Nixon Tapes; Former Secretary of State Urged Study of Nixon White House Recordings
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Nominated for Oscar; nixontapes.org was Consultant for Nominee for Best Documentary Feature
New Evidence Confirms Pentagon Stole and Leaked Top Secret Documents from Nixon White House; Consequence of Pentagon’s Isolation from Decision-Making in Vietnam, China, Detente
The Forty Years War Probes Obscure Pentagon Official; Ideology of Fritz Kraemer at the Heart of Wartime Policy from Vietnam to the Present
New Theories Related to Watergate Continue to Capture Public Imagination; Latest National Archives Work Focuses on Elusive 18 ½ Minute Gap
Flawed FRUS? Pitfalls with the Nixon Tapes and How to Avoid Them
-Former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara captured on tape in 1971-1972 meetings with President Nixon and Henry Kissinger
-John Dean Slams “Revisionists” and Nixon Foundation in Talk at Library: However, 1989 Interview Tape Provides New Details
John Dean’s Simon and Schuster editor calls Dean’s claim that his editors inserted false information in Blind Ambition a “lie”; never before heard recording available here
In New Finding, John Dean Argues that the Origin of Watergate was “a Tip” Received by President Nixon; However, Dean withheld that he appears to have been the one who received the “tip” first
-Thomas A. Schwartz’s SHAFR Presidential Address: “‘Winning an election is terribly important, Henry’: Thinking about Domestic Politics and U.S. Foreign Relations”
-nixontapes.org’s Richard Moss featured in May 2008 edition of State Magazine

3 Comments on “[BOOK] Preview: Nixon Tapes and Transcripts”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet Coming this August, on the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, a new book, “The […]

  2. […] [BOOK] Preview: Nixon Tapes and Transcripts (punditfromanotherplanet.com) […]

  3. […] [BOOK] Preview: Nixon Tapes and Transcripts (punditfromanotherplanet.com) […]

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