The Invincible Quest

The Life of Richard Milhous Nixon

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
The Invincible Quest is an authoritative biography of one of the most accomplished and controversial leaders of the twentieth century. Beginning with Richard Nixon’s birth to Quaker parents in 1913 and ending with his death in 1994, Conrad Black traces Nixon’s career, assessing both his achievements and the evolution of popular and historical thinking about him since his death.

Drawing on recently opened tapes and documents, and on Black’s personal interviews with many of the major players in Nixon’s administration, The Invincible Quest reveals a new side of Nixon: a man who didn’t have the advantage of charisma but was surprisingly self-assured and effective; a man dogged by political scandal yet seemingly unstoppable. Opinionated, balanced, and perceptive, The Invincible Quest makes a significant contribution to re-evaluating the idiosyncratic president’s entire, eventful career.

From the Hardcover edition.


PART I: The Meteoric Rise, 1913-1953

Chapter One
One of the Common People

– i –

Richard Milhous Nixon was one of America’s greatest political leaders, and probably its most controversial president. He was both brilliant and strangely awkward, but...
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Black is a versatile and thorough biographer who brings not only sympathy but eloquent clarity to his task. The result is a vibrant narrative of personal and political accomplishment . . . Black's superb volume, incorporating much new research, is an important and worthy addition to the literature.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] literary tour de force . . . stunningly researched and evocatively written.” – Peter C. Newman in Maclean’s

“The most intellectual of our modern press barons has succeeded in writing a book that entitles him to be taken seriously as a vivid chronicler of the politics of his own era.” – Sunday Telegraph

“He is a formidable writer and historian who has taken on a formidable subject.” – Ottawa Citizen

“Like the celebrated Russian novel [War and Peace], once started, it’s compelling, hard to put down and leaves a lasting impression.” – National Post

“Conrad Black tells [Nixon’s story] with an old-fashioned sweep, confidence and unabashed simplicity that postmodern biographers rarely attempt or manage. Empathetic while clinical, alert to telling detail and unafraid of generality, he leaves us a Nixon we may still largely judge for ourselves, now on the basis of the richer, fuller perspective this work gives us.” – Globe and Mail

“[A] genuinely magnificent slab of a book . . . written with enormous wit, brio and old-fashioned flourish . . . splendid, epic, enthralling.” – Daily Telegraph

“A rollicking read.” – The Guardian

From the Hardcover edition.