RICHARD NIXON: The Dark Comedian

RICHARD NIXON, at 75, is still one of the funniest men in America. Only America (abysmal farce) turns out to be funnier than he

At my first interview with Richard Nixon, in his New York office in the summer of 1985, I set my tape recorder on the table beside his armchair. He stared at the machine. "That's one of those new tape recorders," he said admiringly. "They're so much better than the old tape recorders."

"Oh yes, Mr. President. These new tape recorders don't skip a minute." I did not say that. I did not even think it, caught so thoroughly off guard in the fearful comedy of his presence.

Yet it occurred to me, driving toward what was now my third interview with...

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