Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon

California's Native Son

Paul Carter
Foreword by Tricia Nixon Cox

448 pages
27 photographs, index


September 2023


$36.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2023


$36.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2023


$36.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

2023 Foreword INDIES Finalist in Biography
2024 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award Winner
2024 Eric Hoffer Reference Book Award Winner
2024 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Short List

Modern biographies of Richard Nixon have been consumed with Watergate. All have missed arguably the most important perspective on Nixon as California’s native son, the only U.S. president born and raised in California. In addition, Nixon was also a son, brother, friend, husband, father, uncle, and grandfather. By shifting the focus from Watergate and Washington to Nixon’s deep, defining roots in California, Paul Carter boldly challenges common conceptions of the thirty-seventh president of the United States.

More biographies have been written on Nixon than any other U.S. politician. Yet the territory traversed by Carter is unexplored, revealing for the first time the people, places, and experiences that shaped Richard Nixon and the qualities that garnered him respect from those who knew him well.

Born in Yorba Linda and raised in Whittier, California, Nixon succeeded early in life, excelling in academics while enjoying athletics through high school. At Whittier College he graduated at the top of his class and was voted Best Man on Campus. During his career at Whittier’s oldest law firm, he was respected professionally and became a chief trial attorney. As a military man in the South Pacific during World War II, he was admired by his fellow servicemen. Returning to his Quaker roots after the war, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate, and the vice presidency, all within six short years. After losing to John Kennedy in the 1960 presidential campaign, Nixon returned to Southern California to practice law. After losing his gubernatorial race he reinvented himself: he moved to New York and was elected president of the United States in 1968. He returned to Southern California after Watergate and his resignation to heal before once again taking a place on the world stage.

Richard Nixon: California’s Native Son is the story of Nixon’s Southern California journey from his birth in Yorba Linda to his final resting place just a few yards from the home in which he was born.

Author Bio

Paul Carter is an attorney with more than twenty years of experience in investigation and trial work. He is the author of the biographical map Native Son: Richard Nixon’s Southern California. Visit his website at Tricia Nixon Cox is the elder daughter of Richard Nixon.


"Carter delivers a spectacular and unbiased unveiling of a man whose life experiences are the embodiment of American values, experiences that are sure to provide a complete picture of the person he was and the life he lived that was centered around being a peacemaker."—US Review of Books

“After decades of pretentious psychobiographies of Richard Nixon’s ‘darkest side,’ Paul Carter has produced a tour de force that is the definitive portrait of Nixon’s life from his childhood until the end of his career.”—Irwin Gellman, author of Campaign of the Century: Kennedy, Nixon, and the Election of 1960

“Paul Carter is the first person to comprehensively review the records of Richard Nixon’s formative years. The result is a book that shines. It is a feat that will never be repeated.”—Luke A. Nichter, author of The Year That Broke Politics: Collusion and Chaos in the Presidential Election of 1968

Richard Nixon: California’s Native Son is remarkably well done and is the best biography of my brother that I have read. . . . Paul Carter has crafted a fascinating, lawyerly narrative, scrupulously following the evidence in his research. By shifting the focus of Dick’s life from Washington, DC, to Southern California for the very first time, the true Dick Nixon is revealed. For those who have not yet made up their mind about my brother, this will provide revelatory reading.”—Edward C. Nixon, brother of Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon: California’s Native Son is superb—there’s really nothing like it in the Nixon literature, or even in the literature of the American presidency. Ed Nixon refers to Paul Carter’s work as ‘lawyerly,’ and that captures a lot of what makes the book invaluable: the careful assembling of masses of material after exhaustive research, presented with the clarity of style and directness of argument that the best lawyers command. I’m wowed by the whole thing.”—Andrew Ferguson, author of Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America and former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush

“Paul Carter has done a brilliant job of providing an insightful and revealing portrait of Richard Nixon. Starting from his roots in Southern California and proceeding through his life in the public arena, Carter makes Nixon’s life come alive. Using source materials that have never been assembled so completely, coupled with meticulous attention to detail, the author has put together a compelling and important depiction of the life and emergence of Richard Nixon. . . . A superb portrait.”—John F. Rothmann, host of The John Rothmann Show on KGO 810 AM and lecturer on American politics at the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at the University of San Francisco

Richard Nixon: California’s Native Son is a deeply researched, highly readable account of President Richard Milhous Nixon’s life from a distinctly Californian point of view. . . . By showing that Nixon was a product of both his time and his birthplace, Carter retells this very American story in a unique way. Destined to become a classic within Nixon literature, this is a must-add to the presidential bookshelf as well as a must-read for those studying native sons of the Golden State.”—Heather Hardage Lee, author of The League of Wives: The Untold Story of the Women Who Took on the U.S. Government to Bring Their Husbands Home

“A highly readable examination of Richard Nixon’s character and career. This story is impeccably detailed, with the author utilizing a wide variety of primary historical sources to illuminate Nixon’s rise, fall, and ultimate redemption on the grandest stage of American politics. Richard Nixon: California’s Native Son portrays the highest highs and the deepest lows that any American politician ever experienced. Paul Carter’s outstanding coverage of Richard Nixon’s remarkable journey stands in a class by itself.”—Joseph Dmohowski, Whittier College librarian and Nixon family author and historian

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Tricia Nixon Cox
1. New Beginnings: 1908–22
2. Early Success: 1922–26
3. Nixonville: 1926–30
4. Depression-Era Education: 1930–37
5. Service to Community and Country: 1937–45
6. Congressional Race: 1945–46
7. National Prominence: 1947–49
8. Senator: 1949–51
9. Vice-Presidential Campaign: 1952
10. Vice President: 1953–56
11. Preparation: 1957–60
12. Presidential Campaign: 1960
13. Welcome Home: 1961
14. Governor’s Race: 1961–62
15. Wilderness Years: 1963–68
16. President: 1968–74
17. Exile and Rehabilitation: 1974–80
18. Evening: 1980–94


2023 Foreword INDIES Gold Winner in Biography
2024 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Award Winner
2024 Eric Hoffer Reference Book Award Winner
2024 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Short List

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