Book World\May 29, 1994 H. R. Haldeman: Diaries stretch between January 1969 - April 1973 Nixon comes across as everything his critics ever said he was: vengeful, egotistical, petty, bigoted. he says: never in history has there been an adequate black nation, and they are the only race of which this is true.: Kissinger looks every bit as bad: vain, paranoid, and childish, convinced Secretary of State William Rogers is doing every thing to poison him. Said Rogers was the one feeding media his affair with actress Jill St. John. Jealous that Nixon invited Roger to the Presidential yacht instead of him. MUCH WORSE, HE IS FULLY AS NAIVE AS ANY OF HIS JOHNSONIAN PREDECESSORS WHEN IT COMES TO THE PROSPECTS OF AMERICAN SUCCESS IN VIETNAM Nixon made Haldeman as chief of staff do all the firing, which created Haldemans reputation as unfelling militarist hatchetman. Kissinger threatens to quit every 40 pages, it is Haldeman who talks him out of it, When watergate closes in on the Oval Office & Haldeman clearly is involved in the cover-up, Nixon orders Press Secretary Ron Ziegler to break the news. Nixon even asked Haldeman to check around on public reaction to his dismissal speech of him. Haldeman for the first time in four years refused to comply. Haldeman kept his mouth shut and play it absolutely straight. Except in one way. Unbeknownst to anyone, he was going home every night and pouring it all into a Dictaphone. All of his experiences the ennobling and the embarrassing treated exactly alike. Haldeman's pride at being present at the historic rapprochement in Peking and the summit in Moscow in 1972 are duly recorded. And so are all the demeaning and damaging things Nixon said over the years; his comment that HEW could not be trusted to handle the war on narcotics because "they're all on drugs there anyway", HEW is the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Nixon created the DEA which legislation for the DEA happened early in Johnson presidency. His argument that a Vietnam piece settlement in October of 1972 might be ill-advised because as far as the election's concerned, we're better off to maintain the present position; his remark a few days later, that after the election we will have awesome power with no discipline. Presidential scholar & Nixon biographer Stephen Ambrose, of the diaries "the commitment to nightly record as a feat of heroic discipline and stamina. I think it is equally reasonable to see in another way - as a form of release, of self expression in the service of sanity, for a highly controlled man who was living in a swamp of human weakness and who did not, felt he could not, talk about it to anyone. It turns out Haldeman was a leaker after all and very effect one for history." Haldeman writes in a brief forward, that he kept the diaries, and eventually decided to publish them, because they "could prove to be an invaluable asset to historians and scholars." The only reason they are not a literary sensation at this very moment is that in the aftermath of Watergate, much of the seamy truth about the Nixon White House has long since come out. But Haldeman didn't know that would happen. He had to believe, as he made his entries, that Nixon would retire successfully after two terms. Had that been the case, the release of these diaries, 10, 50, 100 years after the fact, would have been absolutely devastating. It would have been the equivalent of a new book portraying FDR as Captain Queeg. Haldeman died of cancer seven months ago.