Frost, Nixon and Me- page 4 | History | Smithsonian
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David Frost (Michael Sheen) interviews Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in "Frost/Nixon." (Ralph Nelson / © 2008 Universal Studios)

Frost, Nixon and Me

Author James Reston Jr. discovers firsthand what is gained and lost when history is turned into entertainment

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(Continued from page 3)

In the end it is not about Nixon or Watergate at all. It's about human behavior, and it rises upon such tran­scendent themes as guilt and innocence, resistance and enlightenment, confession and redemption. These are themes that straight history can rarely crystallize. In the presence of the playwright's achievement, the historian—or a participant—can only stand in the wings and applaud.

James Reston Jr. is the author of The Conviction of Richard Nixon and 12 other books.

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