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Spiro Agnew
Final Nixon tapes reveal bid to ease tensions with Soviets
Final Nixon tapes reveal bid to ease tensions with Soviets

They were great antagonists of the Cold War, the avowedly Red-hating American president and the world's most powerful communist. Yet when Richard Nixon hosted Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev for a summit in June 1973, their private exchanges had the casual, meandering comity of old friends. Meeting his Soviet counterpart privately in the Oval Office, with only a translator accompanying them, Nixon said the world's safety hinged on their mutual trust. "Mr. Brezhnev and I have the key, and I think that our personal relationship will unlock the door," Nixon said. He did not tell Brezhnev that they were being tape-recorded. The exchange, the only known recording of a...

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