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                                   The Young Nixon and His Rivals
                                                     by James Worthen

"The Young Nixon and His Rivals is well researched and written in a very lively manner.  It will remain extraordinarily useful for many years to come."

  -Kevin Starr, author of Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963



"Richard Nixon began his political career in 1946 and was the last major California GOP figure to remain standing by the end of the 1950s. His main Republican rivals, Earl Warren, William Knowland and Goodwin Knight had disappeared as presidential contenders. In this book, James Worthen tells for the first time a fascinating tale of pettiness, jealousy and arrogance in which Nixon emerges at the finale as the strongest and smartest of his potential adversaries."

-Irwin Gellman, author of The Contender: Richard Nixon--The Congress Years, 1946-1952

The Young Nixon and His Rivals

During his rise to national prominence, Richard Nixon was forced to confront the political ambitions of fellow Californians Earl Warren, William Knowland and Goodwin Knight, all of whom shared in his dream of becoming president.

The simultaneous ascent of these four Republican politicians--dubbed the "four giants" by the regional and national media--led to intense personal rivalries which would affect presidential politics for more than a decade.

This book traces Nixon’s relationships with each man from 1946, when he was the least well-known of the four, until 1958, when the experienced vice president facilitated the self-destruction of his two most dangerous rivals. It is the story of a bitter competition moderated by common identity and shared party loyalty, focusing on the personal qualities which made each of these politicians so formidable--and so flawed. 

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Image Credit: Paul Arlt, "California Politics," 1955 (courtesy of Ronay Menschel), Picker Art Gallery, Cornell University

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