Books: A Regular Guy: RICHARD NIXON AND HIS AMERICA

by Herbert S. Parmet; Little, Brown

RICHARD NIXON AND HIS AMERICA

by Herbert S. Parmet; Little, Brown

755 pages; $24.95

Making Richard Nixon seem ordinary is no easy task, but Herbert Parmet almost pulls it off. A respected historian, he spent six years burrowing into various archives and interviewing just about every living soul who has encountered the 37th President -- as well as the man himself, a feat few Nixon biographers can match. Unfortunately, it yielded no major scoops.

Parmet's Nixon is not the driven, tortured, fascinating schemer of popular memory or Watergate fame. In fact, that career-ending scandal merits only six pages at the book's...