History Podcasts

After Watergate, Richard Nixon Created the Career Path for All Ex-Presidents

After Watergate, Richard Nixon Created the Career Path for All Ex-Presidents

On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon became the first and only U.S. president to resign from office-to avoid almost certain impeachment. Utterly disgraced, he was forced to flee the White House with a small cadre of advisors and family. Richard Nixon was a completely defeated man.

Yet only a decade later, Nixon was a trusted advisor to presidents, dispensing wisdom on campaign strategy and foreign policy, shaping the course of U.S.-Soviet summit meetings, and representing the U.S. at state funerals-the model of an elder statesman. Kasey Pipes, author of “After the Fall: The Remarkable Comeback of Richard Nixon,” tells us about surprises like this:

  • How Nixon's advice on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) shaped Ronald Reagan's negotiations with Gorbachev- and changed history
  • How Nixon traveled to China after Tiananmen Square to help preserve the U.S.-Chinese relations that he had opened up years earlier
  • The Saturday morning presidential radio address: a Nixon idea
  • Nixon's surprising friendship with Bill Clinton