Richard Nixon is remembered as a ruthless politician driven at times by fear and hatred of his perceived enemies. But a new book suggests that Nixon’s paranoia was based at least in part on his own experience. In Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture, Mark Feldstein describes the epic battle between Nixon and the muckraking syndicated columnist Jack Anderson. Feldstein follows the rise of Anderson’s investigative journalism career and explains how his decades-long face-off with Nixon would become emblematic of the relationship between the press and other politicians. In the two decades that followed, the conflict became so ferocious, Feldstein says, that Nixon ordered CIA surveillance of Anderson and his family — and White House operatives seriously considered assassinating the journalist. “They actually conducted surveillance. They followed him from his work to his house,” Feldstein says. “They staked out his house. They looked at it for vulnerabilities … [and dicussed] how they could plant poison in his aspirin bottle. They talked about how they could spike his drink and they talked about smearing LSD on his steering wheel so that he would absorb it through his skin and die in a hallucination-crazed auto crash.” The plot was ultimately called off, Feldstein says, because Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt, the two men who were supposed to assassinate Anderson, were instead tapped to break into Watergate.