Nicholas von Hoffman is a columnist for The Huffington Post.

The Fly on Nixon’s Wall

Even when, during the period of their power, they called the author and his chief collaborator, H. R. Haldeman, “the German shepherds,” it was bruited about that Ehrlichman was the nice one who might give you two sniffs and a lick. He was the one of this pair of guardians …

Know Thy President

Every president since Franklin Roosevelt has been put to the hundred-day test, so Ronald Reagan got measured by the same standard. Articles were duly written putting his first hundred days in the White House up against the fabled first one hundred days of the New Deal. Reagan regularly gets likened …

Seize the Day

Soon to be a major motion picture let’s hope, for now it is a minor book. Oh Abbie, Abbie, all who lived through the Sixties will neither forget you nor be able to recompense you for your enraged nuttiness. You were the Street Groucho, you could kill ’em by kiddin’ …

Morning of the Jackal

Here is a well-told story of murder, mystery, mistresses, dictators, stool pigeons, love affairs, foreign agents, that ends in the best possible way—the FBI gets its man. The only sour note is that the story is true and the victims are real. Former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his assistant, …

Gong Ho

Among all the Watergate confessional literature this book is far and away the best. It is the only entertaining one, the only funny one, although it isn’t always clear when the jokes are intended. By the end, you may still not have formed a settled opinion on whether G. Gordon …

Passing the Buck

Martin Mayer’s tale begins back in the happy days of Good King Ike, when Americans coursed about the globe, displaying the contents of their wallets with the same pride and to the same effect as the sons of that earlier imperial republic used to tell foreigners in their own capitals, …

Meet Mr. Right

The professional athlete in politics isn’t the same as a gladiator the emperor put in the Senate, but there is enough residual, last-century snobbism in us to squirm at the play-for-pay chaps getting into high places. It’s well enough to have the Throwin’ Samoan open up a ribs joint, if …

Red Flannel Days

“About three o’clock next morning,” Jerry Ford writes in his memoirs, “I was awakened from a sound sleep by a very wet kiss. I opened my eyes. Liberty was wagging her tail, and I knew what that [author’s italics] meant. Groggily, I slipped on my robe and my slippers, took …

The Solid Gold Cornflake

The only human being in our epoch who has been able to equal Jackie O in ink and air time was Howard Hughes. We’ve had celebrity tycoons before, some of them almost as wacky as the solid gold cornflake. In the 1890s there was Hetty Green, the Witch of Wall …

I’ll Take My Stans

Whatever Maurice Stans, Nixon’s top fund raiser, may or may not have been guilty of in the Watergate campaign of 1972, he certainly should be jailed for writing this book. It is a literary felony, the primary overt act in a conspiracy to obstruct the printed word. At the least, …

Winner Take Nothing

If you’re up for instant nostalgia (rhymes with neuralgia), do you remember “ethnic purity,” “lust in the heart,” what Betty Ford would do if her daughter had an affair, and Earl Butz’s incisive description of the three things the “coloreds” really want? That and every other detail about the 1976 …

Leakage

Residual sewer gas from the Watergate explosion has leaked to the surface. John Dean has written a book the aims of which are first to make money and second to disprove Joseph Alsop’s contention that its author is a “bottom-dwelling slug.” The book may make money. The new material in …

Unasked Questions

Instead of giving their new book a title of almost Churchillian grandeur, Woodward and Bernstein ought to have called it “Daddy Loses His Job.” Although the background for their story is the monumental marble of Washington, The Final Days is mostly about what happened to the friends and relatives when …

Money on the Brink

The distinction of being the first bank in American history to fail goes to Farmers Exchange Bank of Glocester, Rhode Island, which departed this world in the spring of 1809. The Farmers Exchange went down because it issued bank notes which it promised to redeem in gold it did not …

Just Plain Jerry

“He’s not a bit fraudulent, and we can’t find anything really nasty to say about him,” Jerry Ford’s college year-book notes. Bud Vestal comes to the same conclusion, which is an impediment in writing a book that describes itself as “an investigative biography.” Perhaps more than with most of us, …

As Good As They Come

October 7, 1963, was the date that Ernest Gruening first attacked the Vietnam war from the Senate floor. A few months later he did it again, saying on March 10, 1964, all that needed to be said: “I consider the life of one American boy worth more than this putrid …

Fiddler in the Doghouse

Long before his fall, when it seemed as if he and LBJ might roll on forever, Abe Fortas wasn’t your ordinary Supreme Court justice—not when he was gliding around Washington in his chauffeured Rolls-Royce. During the late 1960s justices of the Supreme Court were, as a rule, unseen and pedestrian—that …

Nix

Garry Wills has got Nixon’s number and it adds up to less than one. Keeping count of Nixon is so exasperatingly dull that you’d think only Nixon could do it. Will’s tally reveals that even the early Nixon possessed a meticulous determination to assemble large amounts of useless information in …