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Book Nook: Abraham Lincoln, by George McGovern


I collect articles related to President Richard M. Nixon. I call my collection my Nixonia. I have the things you might expect; buttons, bumper stickers, books, and photos. I also have some more unusual items like a cast iron Nixon bank, a Dick Nixon board game, and a box of Nixon bubble gum cigars from his 1960 campaign. The things I treasure most are the Nixonia items I have been able to create. Those would be the interviews I have done with individuals who are big parts of the Nixon story.

I have interviewed John Dean twice. Dean was Nixon's White House counsel and when he turned on his boss and testified before Congress about Nixon's attempts to cover up the Watergate scandal that spelled the end of Nixon's presidency.

Then there was Senator George McGovern. McGovern was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972 and he experienced the extensive employment of dirty tricks by the Nixon campaign that year. The end result was that McGovern lost in a landslide as Nixon racked up one of the most resounding victories in American political history.

I interviewed the late George McGovern twice. This is a podcast of my first conversation with him. He had just published a concise biography of Abraham Lincoln. I loved talking to him. He was one of my political heroes and I finally got to ask him what he thought about Richard M. Nixon.

This wasn't actually the first time I spoke to McGovern. If you listen to this interview you'll find out about the first time we met as I recalled that moment from back in 1972. And I spoke with him again the first time I tried to record this interview. We were having some phone issues that day and we could not record the program. I had to let my guest know about the situation. I called George McGovern on my cell phone. He was in his hotel room in Chicago. He was delighted to hear from me even though I had to tell him the interview was being cancelled. He was quite chatty. We talked for about five minutes. We did re-schedule it and this conversation is the result.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.