Evan Thomas, author of 'Being Nixon: A Man Divided'

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Nixon on the campaign trail in 1968
Richard Nixon campaigning in the 1968 presidential election.
Photo courtesy of Dirck Halstead

Was Richard Nixon a patriotic public servant who was intent on accomplishing big things or a scheming criminal mastermind? Evan Thomas says it was Nixon's excessive hatred of his enemies ultimately destroyed him.

Journalist and professor Evan Thomas is the author of the best-selling 2015 biography "Being Nixon: A Man Divided."

Fifty years ago, in August 1968, Richard Nixon was nominated for president at the Republican National Convention. He defeated Hubert H. Humphrey in November. Nixon was re-elected in 1972 and resigned while facing impeachment in 1974.

Presidential historian at NYU and Nixon Presidential Library founding director Tim Naftali interviewed Thomas at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston Nov. 2, 2015. Thanks to WBUR for recording the event.

Thomas is the author of nine books: "The Wise Men" (with Walter Isaacson), "The Man to See," "The Very Best Men," "Robert Kennedy," "John Paul Jones," "Sea of Thunder," "The War Lovers," "Ike's Bluff," and "Being Nixon."

Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for 33 years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years (1986-96) as Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, where, at the time of his retirement in 2010, he was editor at large.

To listen to their discussion, click the audio player above.