If nobody has done this yet, it should be done:
A cross-reference of books written by and about Richard Milhous Nixon, also tied in with official records, transcripts, notes on the bathroom wall, etc., indicating which claims in the various sources are true, false, in dispute, or otherwise occupied. Throw in films and documentaries, oral histories, etc. Everything Richard Milhous Nixon.
Creating such a database would be a massive undertaking. I’m not near smart enough to accomplish such a thing.
But it would be neat.
Why is this coming up now? Because of a number of factors:
2. I’m reading L. Patrick Gray II’s “In Nixon’s Web” right now, and he takes Woodward, Bernstein, Jack Anderson, and TIME magazine to task for their inaccuracies (he’s yet to mention Seymour Hirsch* of the New York Times).
3. Mark Felt, aka “Deep Throat” comes out not as a hero, but as a skunk who tried to sink Gray for his own purposes. Don’t know whether that’s factual or not, but it’s certainly interesting to read.
4. Who trusts the CIA on ANYTHING? Not me, after reading this book.
5. It would be neat.
I could also keep track of the players, and how each source brings new dimension to their character. (Pat Gray’s book certainly adds to the deflowering, for example, of John Dean, and certainly to a diminution of my opinion of AP columnist Jack Anderson and Mark "Deep Throat" Felt.)
If anyone out there is aware of something like this, please point me in its direction. I’d love to see it.
Thinking about this also makes me want to finish editing Doleful Creatures so I can get back to The Hermit of Iapetus, which features Nixon as a hallucinatory character.
*Gray never does mention Hirsch. Whether that means he was correct all along or Gray had bigger axes to grind with other characters involved isn’t clear.