The Gumshoe and the Shrink is a tale of political intrigue—a detective story and medical mystery set against the backdrop of the closest and most storied presidential election in American history. It’s the never-before-told account of how the craziest private detective in the country uncovered Richard Nixon’s most closely guarded secret—that he was seeing a psychotherapist—and how that discovery put victory out of Nixon’s reach in the 1960 election.
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At the center of the story is a manic-depressive private eye named Guenther Reinhardt, who in the fall of 1960 set out to destroy Richard Nixon. With Election Day just a few months away, Reinhardt discovered that Nixon was seeing a psychotherapist. And in those days, the only thing worse for a politician than needing to see a “shrink” was actually seeing one.
Nixon’s brilliant psychotherapist, Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker, is the other character at the center of this story. Dr. Hutschnecker tried heroically to mold Nixon into the person they both wanted him to be—a man of peace. But like the fictional Dr. Frankenstein, his experiment failed terribly and a monster was created instead.
The secret battle for the presidency detailed in The Gumshoe and the Shrink is supported by two key documents that have never been seen before: Guenther Reinhardt’s 12-page confidential report on the relationship between Nixon and Dr. Hutschnecker, and Dr. Hutschnecker’s unpublished memoirs detailing his treatment of Richard Nixon. These documents provide many fascinating insights into their “forbidden” relationship—and into Nixon’s tortured psychology.