This week on Q&A, our guest is historian and author Timothy Naftali. He discusses the oral history project he conducted during his tenure as Director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. Between himself and his assistant, Paul Musgrave, there were over 140 interviews performed in various locations throughout the country. He states the goal of the project was to obtain oral histories from members of Richard Nixon’s administration as well as other prominent figures from the Nixon era. Most of the histories are available on the library’s website nixonlibrary.gov as well as c-span.org. Naftali discusses interviews with White House Special Counsel Charles Colson, Treasury Secretary George Shultz and Acting Attorney General Robert Bork, to name a few. Naftali details the challenges he faced as the first federal director of the museum which was privately run for seventeen years prior to becoming a federal facility administered by the National Archives and Records Administration in 2007.
Timothy Naftali received his undergraduate degree in history from Yale University, an M.A. in international economics from the Johns Hopkins University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He was the director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum from 2007 until 2011. He taught history at several universities. He was the director of the Miller Center presidential recordings program at the University of Virginia. He has written four books, two of them co-authored with Alexander Fursenko on the Cuban Missile Crisis and Nikita Krushchev.