Nothing is more askew than the popular image of Nixon as an imperial President barking orders at cowed subordinates. Nixon hated to give direct orders—especially to those who might disagree with him. He rarely disciplined anybody; he would never face down a Cabinet member. When he met insubordination he sought to accomplish his objective without the offender's being aware of it. Over time this led to a fragmented Administration in which under pressure almost every member looked out for himself. In the sense of isolation this produced...

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