The Presidents Collection

I, very understandably, have never been a big fan of Richard Milhous Nixon.  Even back when I would have considered myself a Republican, I thought that he was a terrible president.  I don’t even like the character Milhous on The Simpsons.  Even though he was an awful president and a horribly vindictive person, there is still a lot about his life worth taking a deeper look into.  Now, with this new documentary on the 37th president, there’s a new chance for us to do so.

Starting this August 26th, now available on DVD from PBS Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment comes the definitive collection of the important and pivotal American presidents of the twentieth century.  American Experience – The Presidents Collection – Nixon is ready to come into your living room and help explain why the twentieth century turned out the way it did.  Bring home this wonderful historic show today.

This DVD boxed set contains 15 DVDs and ten episodes from American Experience.  The presidents examined are, in chronological order, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, The Kennedys, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.

This film follows Tricky Dick through his whole life.  Born in Yorba Linda, California, he was always a smart and controlling child.  We follow him as he is elected to the House, then the Senate and is eventually chosen for Eisenhower’s VP.  We see his defeat at the hands of JFK and Johnson and his eventual triumph to the presidency.  His electoral win in 1972 was one of the most overwhelming victories in American political history and yet he resigned less than two years later in the ugly face of Watergate.  He was a powerful man with powerful dreams, yet he used his political power in the most nepotistic and dictatorial ways imaginable and this documentary shows us all of it.

The special features included in this DVD consist of a teacher discussion guide made to help further classroom discussion of this documentary.

Sorry, but even after watching this whole documentary, I still don’t like Nixon or even think he was that great of a president.  Yes, he got us out of Vietnam, but anyone could have done that.  It was Johnson’s misguided views which kept us in there to begin with.  Not only that, but with the Christmas bombings, Nixon certainly did some escalation of his own.  It was important and pivotal when he opened up diplomatic relations with China, that’s certain.  His presidency was marked as a period of détente with the Soviets, but after the Kennedy years, it follows that any president would have been able to accomplish that.  All in all, the positives of Nixon are overstated or were inevitable and the negatives are overwhelming.

Experience this great documentary.

This DVD and the rest of the boxed set is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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