Political Scientist and presidential expert Lori Cox Han
has written an absorbing analysis of the many, many memos that Pat Buchanan wrote while working in Richard Nixon’s White House. Buchanan was in the Nixon White House from the very beginning until the very end, and many of his memos are now available to study at the official Richard M. Nixon Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, California. Cox Han has had an interest in these memos and Buchanan’s particular role in the Nixon White House for quite some time, and this book fits into her long-standing research stream examining presidential administrations, especially their communications structures and strategies. As Cox Han notes, Buchanan had a unique position in the Nixon White House and this also helps to contextualize these many memos and Buchanan’s thinking while working for Nixon. In her analysis of these memos, Cox Han lays out the role that Buchanan played in the Nixon White House as a strategic thinker in terms of the shifting political dimensions, especially in the Republican Party at the time and the growing conservative movement. Advising Nixon: The White House Memos of Patrick J. Buchanan
(UP of Kansas, 2019) brings together over a hundred of Buchanan’s memos, either written directly to President Nixon or to other close advisors to the president. These memos, chronologically arranged and annotated by Cox Han, provide readers and scholars with insight into not only the president himself, but the structure and processes of the Nixon Administration, from the campaign trail in 1968 through the last days of his presidency as Richard Nixon resigned amidst the Watergate scandal.
Lilly J. Goren is professor of Political Science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She co-edited the award-winning Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics
(University Press of Kentucky, 2012).