John A. Farrell, award-winning journalist and author of Richard Nixon: The Life, discusses the rise and fall of former President Richard Nixon and the lasting lessons of his life.
Farrell on Nixon’s life: “This is a guy who had classic Greek or Shakespearean tragedy for a life arc. He starts out, he's smart. He claws his way up out of the backwoods of Southern California, but all along there's this tragic flaw and he sees it, and there's nothing he can do about it. Like a great Shakespearean tragic character, in the end it causes his downfall.”
Farrell on Watergate and Nixon’s downfall: “The tapes are really what doomed him. I believe that he would not have been thrown out of office – certainly would not have gotten the votes of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee – if the evidence was not on the tapes... But they captured him setting the dirty tricks in motion and then trying to cover up again at the end. And the amount of evidence is overwhelming of his personal involvement.”