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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nixon, the Unexpected

Allen Barra writes at The New York Times:
In rankings of presidents, based on surveys of scholars, he has not fared well: No. 36 in a 1996 poll by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., No. 35 in a 1982 survey by the historians Robert K. Murray and Tim H. Blessing and, in his best showing, No. 33, in a 2005 survey by The Wall Street Journal. And yet, Nixon did leave some legacies that may outlast the memory of Watergate. Historians have argued that he did a great deal to desegregate Southern schools; that he defied the conservatives in his party to open relations with China; and that he had a good record on the environment. Significantly, he brought women into the world of sports, through the portion of the 1972 Education Amendments better known as Title IX, whose 40th anniversary is celebrated on June 23.