BOOKS: RICH MAN, POOR MAN

DESPITE OBVIOUS DIFFERENCES, J.F.K. AND NIXON HAD MUCH IN COMMON. A NEW BOOK EXAMINES THEIR UNEASY FRIENDSHIP

Squares rule the world. This axiom is usually inviolate, but in 1960 a hipster was elected President. Richard Nixon was the very prototype of squareness, yet his rival, John Kennedy, whose amorous adventures infuriated Nixon, defeated him. Warren Beatty once observed--post Gary Hart, pre Bill Clinton--that every American boy could either decide to be President (be square) or have fun (in the Warren Beatty sense of the word). Kennedy managed both, and that puzzled Nixon as much as it enraged him.

One sign of a good idea is that you think it's been done before. But in Kennedy & Nixon (Simon...

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