Fan in Chief: Richard Nixon and American Sports, 1969-1974, by Nick Sarantakes
While in office, President Nixon did a lot more than just throw out the first baseball of the season; he was a genuine baseball and football fan, and his interest and engagement in American sports had an impact on the culture of the nation. In this in-depth study, Sarantakes argues that sports are central to understanding Richard Nixon. When watching sports or attending athletic events, Nixon was his most unguarded and articulate. His interaction with sports ranged from college football to professional baseball with stops along the way in surfing, bowling, yachting and the Olympics. Consequently, Nixon was able to use sports in a way that communicated a recreational pastime, allowing him to effectively express his leadership style, values and policies to the American people.
Sarantakes has been an associate professor of strategy and policy at the Naval War College since 2008. He earned a B.A. from the University of Texas, an M.A. from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. All three degrees were in history. He is the author of five books. His most recent one is “Making Patton: A Classic War Film's Epic Journey to the Silver Screen” (2012) that a review in The Wall Street Journal called a “superb story.” He is currently writing books on the battle of Manila and the home front in World War II.
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