By Committee

[New York Times]

In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review — and just in time for the release of George W. Bush’s memoirs — I’ve got an essay on the crazy (but long forgotten) protests surrounding the release of Richard Nixon’s memoirs. My cast of characters includes Tom Flanigan and Bill Boleyn (pictured above), the co-founders of the Committee to Boycott Nixon’s Memoirs, and Sid and Esther Kramer, the co-owners of Westport, CT”s Remarkable Book Shop (pictured below). Really, though, it includes just about everyone living in 1978 — because RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon came with a degree of media hype achieved by no presidential memoir before or (so far) since.

For further proof of this, check out this contemporary news broadcast (YouTube) and, below, some great caricatures of Nixon as author. I also wrote a blog post for the Times about the two “deluxe” editions of Nixon’s memoirs — this phenomenon of presidential publishing also occurred with Carter’s, Reagan’s, Clinton’s, and, now, Bush’s books — and there are some images of those editions. After that, as promised, a few old newspaper photos of the Remarkable Book Shop. Sid told me that, when the RBS closed in 1993, Paul Newman called him and said, “Don’t close — you can’t close.”

The New Republic (1974)

The New Republic (1978)

Boston Globe (1978)

*  *  *

RN‘s $50 “deluxe” edition, with slip case

RN‘s $250 “numbered presentation” (and
leather-bound and gold-detailed) edition

The “numbered presentation”
edition’s certificate of authenticity

The first volume of Warner’s paperback edition ($2.95)

*  *  *

The RBS in the 1960s (Dan Woog)

New York Times (1994)

New York Times (1987)

New York Times (1994)

About Craig Fehrman

Craig Fehrman is a Ph.D. student in Yale’s English department and a freelance writer. He's working on a book about presidents and their books [more] . . .
This entry was posted in Dissertation ephemera, Features, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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