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Paperback All the President's Men Book

ISBN: 0671646443

ISBN13: 9780671646448

All the President's Men

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Book Overview

THIS IS THE BOOK THAT CHANGED AMERICA Beginning with the story of a simple burglary at Democratic headquarters and then continuing with headline after headline, Bernstein and Woodward kept the tale of conspiracy and the trail of dirty tricks coming -- delivering the stunning revelations and pieces in the Watergate puzzle that brought about Nixon's scandalous downfall. Their explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for "The Washington Post" and toppled...

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I Never Received This Book!

Deep Throat Divulged

With the recent revelation that second-in-command FBI agent Mark Felt was indeed, as often conjectured, "Deep Throat," Woodward and Bernstein's "All the President's Men" is sure to experience a revival of interest. And why not? It is riveting writing with the cloak-and-danger stuff that would make Ian Fleming jealous. The opening words of the opening chapter lure in readers. "June 17, 1972. Nine o'clock Saturday morning. Early for the telephone. Woodward fumbled for the receiver and snapped awake. The city editor of the Washington Post was on the line. Five men had been arrested earlier that morning in a burglary at Democratic headquarters, carrying photographic equipment and electronic gear. Could he come in?" The break-neck pace never stops. Page after page-turning-page, Woodward and Bernstein offer the political detective story of the century with their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that smashed the Watergate scandal wide open. In the process, they expose the inner workings of the Washington power elite and the inner workings of a paranoid President who approves a bungling burglary to seal an election that was never in doubt in the first place. Buy it today. Or, dust off your old copy. This is water-cooler talk and you don't want to be left out. Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Martin Luther: Pastoral Care in Historical Perspective," "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming "Sacred Companions: A History of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."

A Political Detective Story

On June 17, 1972 Bob Woodward received a telephone call and was asked to cover a burglary of Democratic headquarters; he had just finished some stories on the attempt to assassinate George Wallace. All five burglars stood out against the usual suspects in police court; all had CIA connections.Page 21 tells of the investigation into McCord's activities; he worked full-time for the Committee to Re-elect the President. McCord followed orders unquestioningly, did not act on his own initiative. Two of the burglars had the name and phone numbers of Howard Hunt. This number led to Charles Colson, then to the R. Mullen Company. Pages 24-25 tell how address books and telephone numbers were used in this investigation, with off-the-record reports. While this burglary was bungled, how many others succeeded (p.26)? The purpose of the break-in was for "scandal, gossip" (p.27). [To find someone vulnerable to bribery or blackmail who could be used as a spy or saboteur.] There were too many coincidences in this story (some of these burglars were around when offices of prominent Democratic lawyers were burglarized). While a burglary usually means taking something away, it could also be used to plant incriminating papers. Days later John Mitchell resigned as manager of the Nixon campaign (p.30). Bernstein went to Miami, and found out that a $25,000 check donated to President Nixon's campaign was deposited to the bank account of one of the Watergate burglars (p.44). Page 45 gives an example of how confidential medical records are used in politics. The GAO audit determined that over $500,000 in campaign funds was mishandled (p.40). They learned about money-laundering (p.54). Page 55 explains how this is raised for protection money. Bob Woodward had a secret source ("Deep Throat") who confirmed information that had been obtained elsewhere (p.71). These reporters had different styles (pp.49-51). The big news was that Attorney General John Mitchell authorized campaign funds for apparently illegal activities (p.98)! Page 104 explains a clever denial. Both reporters had sources in the Justice Department who could confirm details (p.111). An unfair accusation in the 'Washington Post' could ruin careers. The Watergate bugging made little sense by itself, but could indicate part of a broader campaign (pp.113-4); page 116 gives an example. Page 127 tells how a faked letter could derail a successful campaign! The Nixon take-over of the Federal agencies was presented (p.130), as if it were subjecting the government and nation his personal whims. There was subversion of the electoral process (p.135). This was unprecedented in scope and intensity (p.143). Page 147 tells of an imposter who imitated the voice of a McGovern campaign official. There were other horror stories from the Muskie staffers (p.148). Control of the operations was traced to Nixon's appointments secretary, who had daily access to the President. The rest of this book covers events from 1

a pre-emptive strike against revisionism

In the sub-genre of journalistic memoir, there simply is no book better than this. It is written still in the heat of battle - as it was being put together, Nixon had not yet resigned - and conveys the sense of being under pressure from public power, from the fears and lack of cooperation of individuals, and from their own human fallibility; conveys it better than anything except, perhaps, a war diary. As writing, it has not aged. And it is worth having for one very good reason: that Watergate has shrunk in the memory. After many succeeding penny-ante scandals, artificially built up to be something they were not, it is important to remember that the President at the time did not go down for the silly raid on the National Democratic Committee, nor even for having a few outright sleazeballs in his ante-room, but - to put it bluntly - for turning the White House into a criminal association within the meaning of the act. Secret intelligence, slush funds acquired from corrupt businessmen, sabotage, slander, destruction of documents, behind-the-scenes fixing - even arson and threats of violence - were the daily bread of the Nixon camp, the way they did business. If they had a choice between a legal and an illegal way to do anything, they chose, not the legal one - nor even the one that made most sense in terms of non-moral efficiency - but the illegal one, as a sort of constitutional preference. There has never been anything like this in the White House, before or - fortunately - since: everything that may be quoted against any other President, up to and including Teapot Dome and Ulysses Grant's inglorious time in office, simply pales in front of the daily, routine criminality of the Nixon men. At the time, the Republican Party at large was quite clear that the Nixonites were an entity apart, dedicated purely to the personal power of the President. And long before the Plumbers ever broke into Watergate, Richard Nixon was in hock and virtually paying blackmail to them and to similarly unscrupulous characters for a score of illegal acts; in the end, that, more than any break-in, made the exposure of the President virtually inevitable.Just as inevitable, of course, is revisionism. I know that someone called Colodny has come up with an "alternative" account that charges that John Dean arranged for the break-in to cover up for his wife's involvement in a call-girl ring and then sold the President and his colleagues down the river to protect himself; and that Alexander Haig worked against the President and manipulated Woodward and Bernstein. The second statement is highly unlikely, in view of the fact that nobody comes out of THE LAST DAYS - the book that followed this - worse than Haig, who is shown to be a smooth careerist whose "military" career saw him go from Colonel to four-star General within six years at the White House, and who has loyalty for nobody but himself; a strange way to promote him to the public. The first only shifts the blame

...Couldn't put Nixon together again

Time has not dulled the impact of "All the President's Men". It's been thirty years, now, since the thwarted break-in at the Watergate. Most of the higher-ups in President Nixon's administration have passed away, and subsequent generations reared on Iran-Contra and Whitewater may not even remember what the fuss was about. But from the very first page of this book, history becomes life and events rush forward to the inevitable conclusion that still seems impossible today.Woodward and Bernstein's reporting is the major thrust of the first half of "President's". We watch both reporters work late into the night, interviewing reluctant and/or anonymous witnesses in an attempt to find out just why the Watergate burglars had connections with the White House, and how far up the political chain of command those men were connected. Along the way, mistakes are made and a reputations are wrongfully derailed. But the story -- the crimes and the subsequent cover-ups may have indeed been directed by the President of the United States himself! -- takes on a life of its own, and Woodward and Bernstein become witness to the defining story of an era.Much of "All the President's Men" has passed into legend, especially the unrevealed identity of Woodward's executive branch contact known only as "Deep Throat". The Watergate players to this day still debate just who Deep Throat was -- John Dean seems to publish a book on the subject every five years. Time has proven most of the accusations correct -- for an interesting exercise, try comparing Woodward's and Bernstein's discoveries with the corresponding daily entries in "The Haldeman Diaries"). The book gives so few clues as to make the exercise nearly impossible, even to those of us who've read all there is to read about Watergate and Nixon. Was it John Dean? Alexander Haig? Perpetual Nixon apologist Bill Safire? The answer will be made known in my lifetime, but I would like to think sooner rather than later.Although 30 years is a short time in American history, in politics it can be a lifetime. The meticulous triple and quadruple-checking of the Washington Post staff has given way to the unfounded accusations that support a half-dozen instant political bestsellers. Certainly no-one uses the passive voice quite as monotonously as do Woodward and Bernstein. These defects, however, are minor: the antics of Colson and Liddy and Haldeman and even the amusing capers of Donald Segretti remain fascinating in print even today.When you're done with "All the President's Men", I recommend "The Final Days" (by Woodward and Bernstein) and "The Haldeman Diaries", and then the rebuttal books put out by Nixon staffers such as Haig and Erlichman.

One of American Journalisms Finest Hours

What is largely forgotten is that in the summer of 1972, Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein were two young but complete nobody reporters assigned not to political reporting but the Washington Post's Metro section. When they were assigned to cover a "fourth rate burglary" at the Watergate Hotel, it changed the course of their careers and of American History. It is no exaggeration that had more conventional Washington political reporters been assigned to the Watergate story, it might never have been exposed in enough detail to bring down Richard Nixon. This book is an American classic. Though it lacks historical perspective on the Watergate affair, it is vital to anyone who wants to understand the greatest American political crisis of the Post World War Two era.
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