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All the President's Men

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The full account of the Watergate scandal from the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. This is “the work that brought down a presidency— perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history” (Time, All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books). This is the book that changed America. Published just two months before President Nixon’s resignation, All the Presiden The full account of the Watergate scandal from the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. This is “the work that brought down a presidency— perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history” (Time, All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books). This is the book that changed America. Published just two months before President Nixon’s resignation, All the President’s Men revealed the full scope of the Watergate scandal and introduced for the first time the mysterious “Deep Throat.” Beginning with the story of a simple burglary at Democratic headquarters and then continuing through headline after headline, Bernstein and Woodward deliver the stunning revelations and pieces in the Watergate puzzle that brought about Nixon’s shocking downfall. Their explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post, toppled the president, and have since inspired generations of reporters. All the President’s Men is a riveting detective story, capturing the exhilarating rush of the biggest presidential scandal in U.S. history as it unfolded in real time. It is, as former New York Times managing editor Gene Roberts has called it, “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time.”


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The full account of the Watergate scandal from the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. This is “the work that brought down a presidency— perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history” (Time, All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books). This is the book that changed America. Published just two months before President Nixon’s resignation, All the Presiden The full account of the Watergate scandal from the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. This is “the work that brought down a presidency— perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history” (Time, All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books). This is the book that changed America. Published just two months before President Nixon’s resignation, All the President’s Men revealed the full scope of the Watergate scandal and introduced for the first time the mysterious “Deep Throat.” Beginning with the story of a simple burglary at Democratic headquarters and then continuing through headline after headline, Bernstein and Woodward deliver the stunning revelations and pieces in the Watergate puzzle that brought about Nixon’s shocking downfall. Their explosive reports won a Pulitzer Prize for The Washington Post, toppled the president, and have since inspired generations of reporters. All the President’s Men is a riveting detective story, capturing the exhilarating rush of the biggest presidential scandal in U.S. history as it unfolded in real time. It is, as former New York Times managing editor Gene Roberts has called it, “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time.”

30 review for All the President's Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Regina

    If you like detective stories and haven’t seen “All the President’s Men,” that’s something you’re going to want to rectify right now. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and look up which of your streaming services (or libraries!) has it for you to watch this weekend. Or better yet, tonight. Non-murder detective stories may be my favorite genre. I don’t even know what the proper label is, so maybe from now on I’ll call it “NMDS.” You know the kind, where a journalist, concerned citizen or scientis If you like detective stories and haven’t seen “All the President’s Men,” that’s something you’re going to want to rectify right now. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and look up which of your streaming services (or libraries!) has it for you to watch this weekend. Or better yet, tonight. Non-murder detective stories may be my favorite genre. I don’t even know what the proper label is, so maybe from now on I’ll call it “NMDS.” You know the kind, where a journalist, concerned citizen or scientist uncovers a crime and exposes it. Other film examples would be “Erin Brockovich” and “Spotlight.” But “All the President’s Men?” That’s the O.G. right there, and I’ve seen it at least five times. With that out of the way, let’s get to the book. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward wrote it in 1974 smack dab in the middle of their infamous Watergate reportage that brought down President Nixon and all the crooked white dudes that helped him attain and retain his power. Forty-five years later, there are over 80 editions in print, but I read the original version that ends - quite abruptly - two months before Nixon resigned. With no afterward or additional Authors’ Note, it does feel a bit like reading a story with no climax. That’s an issue with all “current” event-based nonfiction though, right? Each book is a time capsule of a historical moment, but time keeps on ticking even after publication. Woodward and Bernstein of course went on to write a follow up book in 1976, The Final Days, which covered Nixon’s last months in office. That story took them 476 pages to tell, whereas All the President’s Men comes in at a brisk 349. ATPM is an extremely fast-paced glimpse of the two journalists’ detective skills in action. Though a first person account, it is written in third person to make it easier on the reader so there’s no confusion with I/me/he/his pronouns. It’s odd at first, but you get used to it. I’m glad to have finally read the source text of a story I find so fascinating, and now I’m back on the hunt for more NMDS. What should I read or watch next? Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Delee

    Re-reading for the 3rd time- I think with what is happening at the moment- it's time. Now there is something to compare what happened then...to what is happening now. Re-reading for the 3rd time- I think with what is happening at the moment- it's time. Now there is something to compare what happened then...to what is happening now.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annet

    What a great journalistic story and journey. Remains to be utterly shocking. Great book about foul politics.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book was truly unbelievable. The entire time I was reading it, I kept reminding myself that this was real history and it all happened. There was so much drama in all the proceedings, and to realize that it’s the select few (in great positions) of the government beneath it all. I completely admire the reporting of these two individuals and their endless dedication to get the facts and the information correct and to the public, as well as keep their sources anonymous - I was in awe and amazem This book was truly unbelievable. The entire time I was reading it, I kept reminding myself that this was real history and it all happened. There was so much drama in all the proceedings, and to realize that it’s the select few (in great positions) of the government beneath it all. I completely admire the reporting of these two individuals and their endless dedication to get the facts and the information correct and to the public, as well as keep their sources anonymous - I was in awe and amazement throughout every page.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Ma'am, have you got any more than just the facts? This first-hand account of the Washington Post reporting that exposed and ultimately led to the demise of Nixon's administration reads very much like a down and dirty summary of the story notes gathered by two young and very self-assured journalists. This is one instance in which the movie was better than the book. The product is not at all a nuanced or rich historical account, but rather an amalgamation of facts, facts, and more facts. While fac Ma'am, have you got any more than just the facts? This first-hand account of the Washington Post reporting that exposed and ultimately led to the demise of Nixon's administration reads very much like a down and dirty summary of the story notes gathered by two young and very self-assured journalists. This is one instance in which the movie was better than the book. The product is not at all a nuanced or rich historical account, but rather an amalgamation of facts, facts, and more facts. While facts certainly do have their place, standing alone they make for a dry and oft times downright tedious read. Man cannot live by facts alone. Missing from this account was any real sense for who these highly placed presidential players were, what motivated them, and how those factors led them to so willingly participate in criminal activity. For that I will have to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, after reading this 336-page newspaper article, I certainly do have a better sense for the who, what, when, and where of the Watergate scandal that rocked the nation at about the same time I was born, and which has remained within the American political and cultural psyche throughout all the years of my life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Woman Reading

    4 ☆ The abiding characteristic of this administration is that it lies. Nearly 50 years have elapsed since the infamous break-in that landed a harsh blow against American innocence and culminated with the only resignation to date by an American President in August 1974. All the President's Men covered the key events and revelations surrounding what's now known as the Watergate scandal from the perspective of the Washington Post. When the authors were in their late 20s, Carl Bernstein and Bob 4 ☆ The abiding characteristic of this administration is that it lies. Nearly 50 years have elapsed since the infamous break-in that landed a harsh blow against American innocence and culminated with the only resignation to date by an American President in August 1974. All the President's Men covered the key events and revelations surrounding what's now known as the Watergate scandal from the perspective of the Washington Post. When the authors were in their late 20s, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were the Post's lead investigative reporters. Like the proverbial tip of the iceberg, the scandal began to surface on June 17, 1972 with a break-in and subsequent arrest at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Ironically, the DNC was located within the bastion of Republican privilege - the recently built Watergate office and cooperative apartments complex adjacent to the Potomac river. Still regarded as upscale, most of the condo units that sold this year were for an excess of $1 million. The five men arrested at 2:30 a.m. had been dressed in business suits and all had worn Playtex rubber surgical gloves. Police had seized a walkie-talkie, 40 rolls of unexposed film, two 35-millimeter cameras, lock picks, pen-sized teargas guns, and bugging devices that apparently were capable of picking up both telephone and room conversations. The men had also been carrying today's equivalent of approximately $15,000. Clearly, these weren't the run-of-the-mill impoverished burglars. Judging by their possessions, what they wanted to steal from the DNC was information. And then at their court arraignment, one of the five admitted that he worked as a security consultant for the CIA. Woodward and Bernstein couldn't ignore such an enticing clue. Their book covered their investigative efforts to reveal the extent of Republican President Richard Nixon's machinations to get re-elected in November 1972. Initially, the Watergate break-in appeared to have been independently directed by Nixon's Committee for the Re-election of the President (CRP). CRP funded their efforts by usurping campaign finance laws and by money-laundering illicit corporate donations through Mexico. The break-in was the prelude to deploying their dirty tricks against political opposition. These included bugging, following people, false press leaks, fake letters, cancelling campaign rallies, investigating campaign workers' private lives, planting spies, stealing documents, planting provocateurs in political demonstrations. President Nixon dismissed the break-in as a "third-rate burglary" and disavowed any connection with the actions of CRP as news coverage continued prior to the election. But people's reputations and future prospects were being destroyed. Hugh Sloan was one former promising professional turned sacrificial scapegoat. Sloan had worked for H. R. Haldeman (the Assistant to the President) and then as the CRP's Treasurer. He urged the reporters to dig deeper and to reveal what it was like for young men and women to come to Washington because they believed in something and then to be inside and see how things worked and watch their own ideals disintegrate. The journalists and their Post colleagues were doggedly trying to unravel the tangled skein of deceptions. They benefitted early from encouragement from their sources such as Sloan and the "Bookkeeper." But the guidance from the infamous "Deep Throat" informant surpassed them all, especially when they screwed up. Deep Throat's identity was finally unveiled in 2005 as Mark Felt, the FBI Associate Director at that time. Deep Throat stamped his foot. "A conspiracy like this...a conspiracy investigation...the rope has to tighten slowly around everyone's neck. You build convincingly from the outer edges in, you get ten times the evidence you need against the Hunts and the Liddys. They feel hopelessly finished - they may not talk right away, but the grip is on them. Then you move up and do the same thing at the next level. If you shoot too high and miss, the everyone feels more secure. Lawyers work this way. I'm sure smart reporters must, too. You've put the investigation back months. It puts everyone on the defensive - editors, FBI agents, everybody has to go into a crouch after this." Woodward swallowed hard. He deserved the lecture. This was also a time in which the media was under vigorous attack. The administration was not above spying on and bugging individual reporters. The New York Times had just won its Supreme Court case to allow its 1971 publication of the then-classified Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War. Given the recent affirmation of protection under the First Amendment, the Post faced more creative obstacles to its investigation of the Watergate scandal after Nixon was re-elected. Soon, challenges against the Post's ownership of two television stations in Florida were filed with the Federal Communications Commission. The price of Post stock on the American Exchange dropped by almost 50 percent. Among the challengers - forming the organizations of 'citizens' who proposed to become the new FCC licensees - were several persons long associated with the President. But as his minions continued to feed the sacrificial pyre from 1972 through 1974, Nixon eventually realized that he had lost the support of his Republican party. Evidence of Nixon's complicity was ultimately provided by the POTUS himself. His recordings of White House conversations were the irrefutable "smoking gun." President Richard Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974, rather than face the ignominy of being impeached for the obstruction of justice in the Watergate cover-up. I listened to the audiobook and followed up with ebook. This topic is too complex for me to recommend relying upon the former unless one is an extremely attentive listener. The authors' cast of characters listed 40 individuals who were implicated with the conspiracy and then at least 10 more were part of the investigation or prosecution efforts. This was far too many names for me to keep track of without visuals. In addition, I wasn't won over by the presentation for such a significant event in modern American history. Many explosive revelations felt buried under the level of detail of their efforts. The authors didn't connect very well all the incidents to explain the significance of their findings. There was no sense of a cohesive whole until I reached the end of the book. All the President's Men was published in June 1974, in all likelihood to capitalize on the news momentum and to put more public pressure on Nixon. But I believe that it was far too early to assess the full ramifications of the Watergate scandal. What pushed me to round up my initial rating of 3.5 stars to 4 stars was the fact that I had borrowed the 40th anniversary edition, which included an afterword assessment that the authors had written for the Post in 2012. There's more reading to pursue for those interested in the downfall of a Republican president so intent on retaining power that he turned his administration into a criminal enterprise. But during this 2020 election season, just getting a better grasp of the entirety of these events suffices for me. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Furrawn

    Watergate has been in the news recently because of Trump. I realized that I know next to nothing about Watergate. Being woefully ignorant, my husband and I decided to watch the movie. It was wonderful, and I made a beeline to Amazon to order the book afterwards. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Thank God that they pursued the story, always refusing to give up. Not only did Nixon get outed, this story taught people that if something nefarious and wicked is going on I our government, they can speak Watergate has been in the news recently because of Trump. I realized that I know next to nothing about Watergate. Being woefully ignorant, my husband and I decided to watch the movie. It was wonderful, and I made a beeline to Amazon to order the book afterwards. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Thank God that they pursued the story, always refusing to give up. Not only did Nixon get outed, this story taught people that if something nefarious and wicked is going on I our government, they can speak up rather than sitting in silence and fear. I think we probably owe a lot of current leaks during this Trump administration to the fact that Woodward and Bernstein taught the citizens of the United States that they can fight for truth, honesty, and justice.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    The book that opened my eyes to politics...still relevant and (sadly) still not a lesson learned by our politicians.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Trin

    Watergate took time. Watergate took time. Watergate took time. -- Mantra for 2018

  10. 4 out of 5

    KatieMc

    This was probably the first non-fiction grown-up book I ever read. It's a compelling portrayal of an momentous slice of American history and journalism. This evening I went to an American Cinematheque screening of 1976 film adaptation of All The President's Men. Holy hotness, the camera sure does love Robert Redford. And Dustin Hoffman with that awesome shaggy look. This duo had it going on, corduroy suits, big collars and typewriters. Also, All The President's Men also made Deep Throat a househol This was probably the first non-fiction grown-up book I ever read. It's a compelling portrayal of an momentous slice of American history and journalism. This evening I went to an American Cinematheque screening of 1976 film adaptation of All The President's Men. Holy hotness, the camera sure does love Robert Redford. And Dustin Hoffman with that awesome shaggy look. This duo had it going on, corduroy suits, big collars and typewriters. Also, All The President's Men also made Deep Throat a household term.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    After reading this book I realized that Donald Trump makes Nixon look like a Boy Scout. Watergate doesn’t even compare to Trump raping the US constitution. His corruption knows no bounds and the Republican led Senate is complicit. Abuse of power, bribery, lies, deceit and even contempt of Congress. I yearn for the good old days of Tricky Dick...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Actual Rating: 4.5 stars A classic piece of narrative non-fiction and incredible journalism, All the President's Men chronicles Woodward & Berstein's multi-year investigation of the Watergate scandal and related things leading to the eventual impeachment hearings of Richard Nixon. Reading this in 2021 is particularly interesting as one can easily draw parallels with events that occurred during the Trump presidency. This is a bit slow at times, especially towards the first part of the book, and th Actual Rating: 4.5 stars A classic piece of narrative non-fiction and incredible journalism, All the President's Men chronicles Woodward & Berstein's multi-year investigation of the Watergate scandal and related things leading to the eventual impeachment hearings of Richard Nixon. Reading this in 2021 is particularly interesting as one can easily draw parallels with events that occurred during the Trump presidency. This is a bit slow at times, especially towards the first part of the book, and there are a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. However, I found it satisfying and a really important look at the need for good journalism. Well worth a read. Read for a video project: https://youtu.be/HKou8ouOIOc

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Saunders

    It's impossible to overstate the importance of All the President's Men, considering its impact on journalism and political culture and its not-inconsiderable role in turning the public against Richard Nixon. Woodward and Bernstein's book is structured less as a political saga than a detective story, with two intrepid reporters unraveling the Watergate conspiracy at a time when the press and the Beltway are mostly ignoring it. The book's sometimes criticized for this limited, perhaps self-aggrand It's impossible to overstate the importance of All the President's Men, considering its impact on journalism and political culture and its not-inconsiderable role in turning the public against Richard Nixon. Woodward and Bernstein's book is structured less as a political saga than a detective story, with two intrepid reporters unraveling the Watergate conspiracy at a time when the press and the Beltway are mostly ignoring it. The book's sometimes criticized for this limited, perhaps self-aggrandizing angle, which seems unfair: Woodward and Bernstein would naturally focus on their own effort. They do pay tribute to government investigators who helped them, whether through anonymous tips or their public findings, and (somewhat more grudgingly) to other reporters and newspapers who unraveled the story in parallel. Yet the book's thrill is less in the particulars of Watergate than displaying the nitty-gritty, old school reporting: Woodward and Bernstein, using bluff, guile and instinct, try persuading reluctant or uncooperative informants to speak with them, spend hours playing phone tag with officials and interview subjects, prying nuggets of information from less-than-forthcoming sources (notably Deep Throat, now unmasked as FBI official Mark Felt) and try to win over skeptical, cautious editors (notably the crusty Ben Bradlee) to their cause. It's not, for my money, the definitive chronicle of Watergate - there are more thorough, equally engrossing accounts by, for instance, J. Anthony Lukas and Stanley Kutler available - but it's also not trying to be: it's the tale of two young, scrappy journalists unraveling a monumental conspiracy which strikes at the foundations of democracy. And that's as compelling now as it was 45 years ago.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Knew the story and still couldn’t put the book down. The movie barely scratches the surface, as does what I’ve learned about it from other sources. Here’s the full story. Exhaustion, fears, doubts, and all. And Woodward and Bernstein are reporters, not storytellers. Real life invents its own story, especially in this case, so that’s not a detriment here. But you can see their hand in this book as soon as they start shaping a story out of the facts and it’s endearing how blunt and unembellished i Knew the story and still couldn’t put the book down. The movie barely scratches the surface, as does what I’ve learned about it from other sources. Here’s the full story. Exhaustion, fears, doubts, and all. And Woodward and Bernstein are reporters, not storytellers. Real life invents its own story, especially in this case, so that’s not a detriment here. But you can see their hand in this book as soon as they start shaping a story out of the facts and it’s endearing how blunt and unembellished it is. Even with that journalistic remove you feel for every single one of these people, maybe even more so because that journalistic remove keeps reminding you, this is real life. I was born into the post-Watergate world. The world these two men helped expose, if not necessarily create. When somebody like Hugh Sloan relates his disillusionment with the people in power— “People in the White House believed they were entitled to do things differently, to suspend the rules, because they were fulfilling a mission; that was the only important thing, the mission.”— what’s hard to believe is that there was a time when that wasn’t accepted fact. What’s surprising is how much innocence we had to lose. Now, the Woodwards and the Bernsteins and the Hugh Sloans are the relic of a bygone era. The good guys. Noble and uncompromising, and I know they still exist somewhere, but as a country I don’t think there’s a return to that idealism. I think we’ve bit the apple for good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

    When I read this, I had just started my assignment at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission located in the Watergate Building on Virginia Avenue in Washington. I could look out of the window and see Howard Johnson's across the street where much of the action took place. I kept my car in the Watergate garage and every time I parked or left at night, I imagined "the plumbers" at work. Entering the building from the garage, I went through the same door that they taped and entered and w When I read this, I had just started my assignment at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission located in the Watergate Building on Virginia Avenue in Washington. I could look out of the window and see Howard Johnson's across the street where much of the action took place. I kept my car in the Watergate garage and every time I parked or left at night, I imagined "the plumbers" at work. Entering the building from the garage, I went through the same door that they taped and entered and whenever I walked up the stairs I passed the 6th floor where the Democratic Headquarters was located that they broke into. There was no nostalgia for me, reading this book nor feeling close to historical events. I felt despondent that we had had a regime that broke the law, ending in convictions. I did take some pride in the fact that our democratic process worked and stopped corruption at the highest level. But similar to the financial crisis of 2007, where does corruption in a democracy begin? Doesn't it begin with the ignorance of the little guy, the individual voter, who is gullible, bigoted and stupid like oafs from the Middle Ages? When is the little guy going to be held responsible for giving away our hard earned liberties? My guess is that he and she will be convicted and sentenced to go to war, which is inevitable when your enemies sense that you are weak and unaware and left alone in the chaotic warrens of a prison that expects you to fend for yourself. These are the kinds of questions that "All the President's Men" prompted in me. A really valuable book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    After recently re-watching the excellent movie version of All the President’s Men, I decided I should finally read the book on which it’s based. It’s been on my bookshelf for decades. When Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward first began to report on the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, I was in graduate school, and I didn’t focus much on Watergate. I was disgusted by Nixon and had voted for George McGovern in the 1972 election (my first presidential vote), but I had other things on my mind After recently re-watching the excellent movie version of All the President’s Men, I decided I should finally read the book on which it’s based. It’s been on my bookshelf for decades. When Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward first began to report on the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post, I was in graduate school, and I didn’t focus much on Watergate. I was disgusted by Nixon and had voted for George McGovern in the 1972 election (my first presidential vote), but I had other things on my mind. I did follow the news, but not in great detail. I do remember the joy and satisfaction my friends and I felt the night Nixon resigned, which was announced when I was at a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concert. In any event, this book filled in a lot of the details of the story for me. It is essentially a blow-by-blow account of Bernstein and Woodward’s investigative reporting that began in June 1972 after five men were arrested for breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex. The book is a very detailed account, which may be overwhelming for some readers. For those who would prefer to learn the story in less detail, I strongly recommend Alan J. Pakula’s movie version starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford. But if you really want to get into the full story, this book does it. I came away from the book with a deep appreciation for the hard work and persistence that Bernstein and Woodward (or “Woodstein,” as their colleagues came to call them) put into their reporting. Ben Bradlee and the other Post editors who oversaw the story also deserve great credit for their courage and determination in the face of White House opposition and competitive media pressure. All in all, it’s a strong endorsement of the necessity of a free press in a democratic society. I also developed a respect for a few people (mostly low-level) in the Administration and the Nixon campaign whose consciences helped them to do the right thing despite realistic fears not only for their jobs but for their safety. Sometimes it only takes a few good men and women to stand up for what’s right. The book concentrates, naturally enough, on Bernstein and Woodward’s Watergate investigation for the Post, so other Nixon Administration scandals, such as the Pentagon Papers case, the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, and the “Saturday Night Massacre,” are not within its scope (although there is some discussion of the Pentagon Papers case). The book wraps up in May 1974, as the House Judiciary Committee begins impeachment proceedings against Nixon. The authors cover the end of the Nixon Administration in their follow-up book, The Final Days, which I have not (yet) read. Although, as I said above, the book is very detailed, I recommend it to anyone interested in American history or the relationship between politics and the press. If you are ever tempted to fall prey to the suggestion that the press is “the enemy of the people,” this book should disabuse you of that notion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    You might ask why I read this book now. After I finished it I asked myself why everyone isn't reading it these days. I had watched the movie, Mark Felt (about the FBI special agent who was known by Bob Woodward only as Deep Throat during the Watergate investigation.) That led me to watch the movie by the same title made from the book All the President's Men. The movie was good but I felt there might be more to know, so I read the book. In 1970 I had my first son followed by another in 1973. We You might ask why I read this book now. After I finished it I asked myself why everyone isn't reading it these days. I had watched the movie, Mark Felt (about the FBI special agent who was known by Bob Woodward only as Deep Throat during the Watergate investigation.) That led me to watch the movie by the same title made from the book All the President's Men. The movie was good but I felt there might be more to know, so I read the book. In 1970 I had my first son followed by another in 1973. We were hippies and we hated Nixon because of our protest against the Vietnam War and because of the Kent State shootings. For some reason, I paid no attention to the Watergate scandal. I blame that on being sleep deprived and living in what my sisters and I call "the baby zone." In fact until I saw Mark Felt I was still hazy on what Watergate was all about. Both movies made me aware that we are in a similar situation now, in my opinion, with an unstable President who attacks the press and is under investigation for illegal activities regarding his election to the office. Though both movies were excellent, the book is indeed better and more informative. It gives the entire blow-by-blow account of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward's and Carl Bernstein's investigative reporting on Watergate and how that contributed to Nixon's resignation. It is a thrilling though terrible account of criminal behavior and cover ups instigated by President of the United States Richard Nixon and carried out by the men closest to him. It was the #2 non fiction bestseller in 1974. Though Watergate seems almost tame in comparison to today, the story shows the importance of a free press when the American public needs to push back against branches of our federal government, the FBI, and the federal justice system. Exciting, sobering and so timely. I am so glad I read it. It gave me hope and restored the shaky state of my confidence in our democracy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bren Let the sea enamor you

    “To those who will decide if he should be tried for 'high crimes and misdemeanors' -the House of Representatives- And to those who would sit in judgment at such a trial if the House impeaches -the Senate- And to the man who would preside at such an impeachment trial -the Chief Justice of the United States, Warren Burger- And to the nation... The President said, 'I want you to know that I have no intention whatever of ever walking away from the job that the American people elected me to do for the pe “To those who will decide if he should be tried for 'high crimes and misdemeanors' -the House of Representatives- And to those who would sit in judgment at such a trial if the House impeaches -the Senate- And to the man who would preside at such an impeachment trial -the Chief Justice of the United States, Warren Burger- And to the nation... The President said, 'I want you to know that I have no intention whatever of ever walking away from the job that the American people elected me to do for the people of the United States.' - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward” ― Carl Bernstein, All the President's Men One of the best books ever. And more important then ever with what is going on now. Please people, if you have not read this, do it now. Also see the film. And as I write this, the Mueller report has just come out. Sadly times have not really changed all that much.

  19. 5 out of 5

    El

    I was in high school when Richard Nixon died, but I was young and my interests at that time weren't exceptionally political. My concerns at that time had more to do with Kurt Cobain's death just a few weeks prior. That meant more to me than that Nixon guy. I do remember having breakfast at a friend's house around the time of Nixon's death, and her stepfather having trying to have a conversation with me about it. He was a strange guy, and looking back I'm not sure if he was particularly the safes I was in high school when Richard Nixon died, but I was young and my interests at that time weren't exceptionally political. My concerns at that time had more to do with Kurt Cobain's death just a few weeks prior. That meant more to me than that Nixon guy. I do remember having breakfast at a friend's house around the time of Nixon's death, and her stepfather having trying to have a conversation with me about it. He was a strange guy, and looking back I'm not sure if he was particularly the safest guy for me to be around, though at the time he seemed perfectly fine and nice. He liked REO Speedwagon, so y'know, just how creepy could he be? Oh wait. At that particular breakfast he tried to tell me how Nixon hadn't been such a bad guy, that he had gotten a bad reputation but that personally his heart went out to him, because that "whole Watergate stuff" just wasn't his fault. Nixon wasn't involved in all that mess, my friend's stepfather said. He was an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn't get all the particulars. I knew what Watergate was, mostly. I knew there was a huge conspiracy and that Nixon was "not a crook". Even though I wasn't especially into politics at that time, I knew that my opinions were less Republican and less conservative than, say, my friend's stepdad. I had a feeling this guy across the table from me was full of shit. But he meant every word he said. I do believe tears came to his eyes at the memory of Nixon. Whoa there, Tiger. It's probably for the best that that particular friend and I sort of lost track as high school progressed. As I was reading this, that stepdad came back into my memory. I can't remember his name anymore (though I seem to be thinking it was Rick?), but that morning's discussion really stuck with me, probably because it sat so uncomfortably with me at the time. Anytime I hear "Watergate" or "Nixon" I think of him, and I sort of shudder. At the same time, however, it's always been one of those areas in my knowledge of American History that is embarrassingly uninformed. I don't think it even came up that much in our history classes. Good job, teachers! So I guess what I was expecting out of this would be one of those espionage/thriller types of things. Conspiracy and spies and secrets and stuff. What I wasn't expecting was a basically really long newspaper article. Okay, I get it - Woodward and Bernstein were journalists, that's what they do. But I expect my journalists to be writers as well. Don't just state the facts, give me something interesting. There's a list of "characters" in the beginning of the book which I found exceptionally helpful because the authors' descriptions of these people were totally lackluster and, well, boring. I'm sure a lot of those people really were/are boring people. But that doesn't mean they have to be written boringly. Parts of this book were pretty exciting. The way that Woodward and Deep Throat communicated was like the stuff you see in the movies, and it would have been great if the authors had maintained that sort of energy throughout their book. Instead it was just a smattering of facts (all of which are important, don't get me wrong) and names and figures and more names and more figures. Politics doesn't have to be boring! Especially if scandal is involved. Beef up that text, men! Show us what it means to be Pulitzer winners! I can't say I learned a heck of a lot, even with all the facts. This book was written, I understand, because Robert Redford confronted them about buying the film rights if they wrote the book. The book wasn't even in existence yet when that offer was made. So this feels sort of like it was obligatory. They just wanted to get it out there, the ending was short, it feels a bit rushed at times like they wanted to get it out of their hair so they can go on to write the second part (The Final Days). What I certainly did not find (not that I was expecting it) was any sense of sympathy for Nixon or any of his men that were involved in the scandal. I'm pretty sure that was intentional on Woodward and Bernstein's part - they wrote woodenly throughout, but they weren't in business to garner any sympathy for these devils. It makes me think of Rick (if that indeed is his name), and I wonder if he read this book or watched the movie; and if so, how did he feel about it? It's not anything I'd want to sit down over a couple bowls of cereal to talk about now by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't help but wonder. He was likely the first person I had ever met who didn't call Nixon a [your obscenity of choice here]. At that age - mourning the loss of Cobain and otherwise being a sour, angsty young woman who just wanted to make it through her sophomore year - someone so pro-Nixon made an impression on me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    After reading this, I was enthralled with Watergate and read several books by all the players.

  21. 4 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    2018 Reading Challenge: book set during the decade I was born

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Read this in high school. WHEW, what a read. Still on my favorites shelf.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Addison

    Reading this book in 2020 is a really horrifying experience, because everything Nixon and his goon squad were trying to do in the late 60s/early 70s is exactly what the ENTIRE GOP is trying to do now. "At its most virulent, Watergate was a brazen and daring assault, led by Nixon himself, against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law." In the 1970s, the Republican Party stood up to Nixon when the truth started coming out and said, no, thi Reading this book in 2020 is a really horrifying experience, because everything Nixon and his goon squad were trying to do in the late 60s/early 70s is exactly what the ENTIRE GOP is trying to do now. "At its most virulent, Watergate was a brazen and daring assault, led by Nixon himself, against the heart of American democracy: the Constitution, our system of free elections, the rule of law." In the 1970s, the Republican Party stood up to Nixon when the truth started coming out and said, no, this is unacceptable. In 2020, they collude with Trump. It's like someone looked at Watergate and said, "The only thing wrong here is that you didn't try hard enough." Trump's BEEN CAUGHT, even, and the GOP closed ranks around him, and everything about 2020 is horrifying, but this makes it worse, because the things that looked horrifying in 1974 (coincidentally, the year I was born) look so goddamn TAME now. Ahem. Anyway. This is Woodward and Bernstein's account of how they broke the Watergate story, piece by corrupt and malignant piece. It's well-enough written, even if it's very odd watching them talk about themselves in the third-person, and it is still an exciting story. There is something very satisfying about watching people who think they're above the law being brought to justice, even if Nixon himself slid away under that presidential pardon which he should NOT have gotten. Nobody can be above the law, or the law makes no sense. (There's this big problem in American history---and not exclusively American history, but let's stick with the U.S. for now---where the forces of good actually triumph over evil ... and then fall all over themselves to "put the past behind us" and return to "normal" as quickly as possible, because there are "good people on both sides." And so the forces of evil have taken a staggering blow, but are given the chance to reset and regroup and just keep going. It's what happened in 1865 and it's what happened in 1974, and I am so goddamn tired of seeing forgiveness granted to people who have not earned it and major faultlines in American discourse simply papered over and left alone to ferment in the dark so that they can come back stronger than ever.) Sorry, this is making me very polemical, and I'm mixing my metaphors something fierce. The book is also interesting for its snapshot of how Washington, D.C., journalism was conducted in 1972-4. I'm going to guess it looks pretty different now. (Another thing we can thank Nixon for: the delegitimazation of the news media. Does anyone even talk about "the free press" anymore?) D.C. is very much a boys' club, where everybody on both sides of the press/politician line knows each other and talks to each other and has lunch with each other. (There is one woman in power in this book, the owner of the Washington Post. All the other women are wives and secretaries. People of color are also mostly invisible.) Everybody knows everybody else, and one of the things you can seen Nixon destroying is that understanding that all three sides (Democrats, Republicans, and the press) are doing their jobs and all three sides can be counted on to play by a set of unspoken ethical rules. (Nixon laughs and runs the rules through the shredder.) I'm not a fan of the boys' club approach, but I did like the feeling that everybody involved was being professional, and that being professional involved NOT using every dirty trick you could think of to get ahead. (Which is not to say that politics pre-Nixon was some sort of utopia, just that there was something there for him to destroy---as everyone's sincerely horrified reaction to the truth about Watergate shows.) So mostly this book left me really sad that everything accomplished by the Watergate proceedings just got walked back, and that now the way Nixon was playing the game has become accepted practice for the GOP, and there's no longer any kind of moral consensus across party lines that some things are actually beyond the pale. (Like Trump's entire political career.) There's a pendulum of corruption and reform in American politics. We've been swinging toward corruption for an awfully long time now, and I pray that 2020 is the year we start to swing back.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    I came of age during the Watergate era, and I read this book before I was out of high school. This was a jumping off point in American history, a time when the way most Americans looked at their government went from trusting (sometimes with limitations) to cynical. It took tremendous courage to follow this story; the pressure to pull away from it was tremendous, both for the Washington Post, and for its two bloodhound reporters who saw a threat or even a probable attempt on their lives, as provo I came of age during the Watergate era, and I read this book before I was out of high school. This was a jumping off point in American history, a time when the way most Americans looked at their government went from trusting (sometimes with limitations) to cynical. It took tremendous courage to follow this story; the pressure to pull away from it was tremendous, both for the Washington Post, and for its two bloodhound reporters who saw a threat or even a probable attempt on their lives, as provocation to dig deeper. These days, novelists tend to disparage reporters, who I grant are sometimes insensitive, particularly toward family members who have been bereaved. But in the era of Watergate, the public would never have known that their own president had assisted in planning and perpetuating a burglary of his election opponent's main headquarters, if this newspaper (if you are young, envision your local newspaper being triple or quadruple the length it is currently, with actual investigative funding) had not blown the whistle. These two men ultimately brought down the president of the United States, a man so paranoid he kept an enemies' list. Nixon himself is an interesting character, but this is not really about him. This is about the hunt, two men seeking the truth, finding it, and putting it into print. A decade earlier, the country had respected and believed Dwight Eisenhower, the president who had been the grand master of war in the European theater. When he left office, the illusion of Camelot prevailed, with the physically lovely and apparently idealistic John F Kennedy in the oval office, and white women fluttering around trying to imitate his wife, Jackie's, hair and clothing. It was Kennedy who accelerated the US involvement in Vietnam, who authorized the bungled Bay of Pigs, but his assassination cut his presidency short soon after it began, and martyrdom kept the mark of failure from touching him. His vice president, Lyndon Johnson, was reviled by hundreds of thousands of street protesters who wanted American troops brought home from Vietnam (and there has not been a draft since). Screaming, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids didja kill today?" They blamed the Democratic president for atrocities created in that Southeast Asian nation, and when the election came around, the Republicans--with Richard Nixon as the "moderate" presidential winner--carried the day. Nixon's administration ended the gold standard, weakening the US economy, but forestalling its actual effect until after he could be re-elected. He won the election against George McGovern and Thomas Eagleton by a landslide, but was clearly concerned that this might not come to pass in the period prior to the election, and this persistent fear of his "enemies" led to the Watergate (Hotel, where they were headquartered) burglary. The story reads like the peeling of an onion. First, the layers furthest from the president are found culpable, but even these eager reporters did not dream that they would lead all the way to the president himself; they begin by finding out who the actual burglars were, and who they worked for. The story as it unfolds, as the layers are revealed, is riveting, and every word of it is true. I am assuming that readers who see this review will not consider the historical fact of Nixon's downfall to be new, and am hoping I have not included spoilers. If I have, my apologies. I don't know that succeeding presidents have been morally better, but they have been much smarter than to keep an enemies' list, and let other people know it. This was a time like no other, and a book worth reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Samanta

    I you don't have an extensive background knowledge of this topic (Nixon's presidency, the 1972 elections, who all the president's men actually are), this book might be just a bit too much for you. I felt assaulted by too much data thrown at me in a too fast pace. There were some very interesting parts, and just like a lot of reviews say, it read like a detective thriller, but by the end of it, the story just dragged, and I lost track of who is who, and what is what and whodunit. On the other han I you don't have an extensive background knowledge of this topic (Nixon's presidency, the 1972 elections, who all the president's men actually are), this book might be just a bit too much for you. I felt assaulted by too much data thrown at me in a too fast pace. There were some very interesting parts, and just like a lot of reviews say, it read like a detective thriller, but by the end of it, the story just dragged, and I lost track of who is who, and what is what and whodunit. On the other hand, it spurred enough interest for me to want to learn more about Nixon and the whole affair.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jan C

    This was probably the first of many that I read on the Nixon scandal. Actually, I don't know if it was the first. We knew he was a crook ... we just didn't know how much of one. How the mighty fall. I must have read 4-10 books on this subject. I wouldn't touch most of them now. I have put it in the past. And now I won't look at a Nixon movie or book - no matter which point of view it takes. It just gets me riled up all over again. This was probably the first of many that I read on the Nixon scandal. Actually, I don't know if it was the first. We knew he was a crook ... we just didn't know how much of one. How the mighty fall. I must have read 4-10 books on this subject. I wouldn't touch most of them now. I have put it in the past. And now I won't look at a Nixon movie or book - no matter which point of view it takes. It just gets me riled up all over again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey M

    Spectacular. Lessons learned from this book: 1. It takes a LOT. OF. People. to run a White House. And a newspaper. This books serves as a great sketch of the procedural sides of being both investigative news journalists and presidential aides. 2. There are very specific things you can and can't write in a newspaper. I don't know if it's true today, but I was impressed by how often Woodward and Bernstein would be rebuffed by their editor and told to find a second source to confirm a fact. One pers Spectacular. Lessons learned from this book: 1. It takes a LOT. OF. People. to run a White House. And a newspaper. This books serves as a great sketch of the procedural sides of being both investigative news journalists and presidential aides. 2. There are very specific things you can and can't write in a newspaper. I don't know if it's true today, but I was impressed by how often Woodward and Bernstein would be rebuffed by their editor and told to find a second source to confirm a fact. One person talking does not a story validate. 3. When reading quotes from politicians, if they don't give a flat-out confirmation or denial when asked a question, know that there are about 15 things they are probably withholding from you at that moment: players' names, intent, schisms in the ranks, motives, etc. 4. Nixon was rotten. I always felt a little sorry for him in the past, and I still do, but now I do, NOT because he lost the presidency in the most ignominious way possible, but because he chose to surround himself with militant, morally-elastic yesmen that built him a reelection machine that embezzled money and was in the habit of actively breaking the law to defeat opponents. Disgusting. 5. It was fun to read the book knowing that Mark Felt is Deepthroat (I've even been to the garage parking spot where they met!). This book made me reexamine every place he was mentioned, inserting the phrase "number 2 at FBI HQ" in between his lines. I have come to the conclusion that he was brave, but also that he was just a DC bro, buddies with Woodward and willing to bend the rules to make them fairer for the newspapers and the public they were informing. 3. Love Bob Woodward. There's a reason he and Bernstein are infamous. There's a reason parts of this book were published first in GQ. These men are entertaining writers. They know how to grip you, how to make you feel like you're part of the club, and how to make you empathize with whomever they want you to empathize with. All in all, a great book by the people who authored a paradigm-shattering chapter of American history. Not recommended for audible books, because there are so many players involved and it's hard to keep them straight even while reading. They placed a handy-dandy list of all the men and their titles at the beginning of the book, and I constantly flipped back to it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    Surprisingly gripping book. I appreciate the fact that it didn't devolve into anything personal - in fact, it was so anti-personal I had trouble distinguishing between Woodward and Bernstein until I watched the film. Wonderful overview of the first discoveries of Watergate, but I think the sequel will be better. [Blog] - [Bookstagram] Surprisingly gripping book. I appreciate the fact that it didn't devolve into anything personal - in fact, it was so anti-personal I had trouble distinguishing between Woodward and Bernstein until I watched the film. Wonderful overview of the first discoveries of Watergate, but I think the sequel will be better. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    Recently read The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump in which Nixon and the Watergate scandal were mentioned frequently and thought maybe it was finally time to read. What struck me the most was how mild the Watergate scandal seems compared to the ethical mess that is the Trump Presidency. From blatant nepotism, to major financial and ethical dilemas, to on the record and repeated lying, to possible collusion, and likely obstruction. I was also struck by the similarities between the way Nixon's admi Recently read The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump in which Nixon and the Watergate scandal were mentioned frequently and thought maybe it was finally time to read. What struck me the most was how mild the Watergate scandal seems compared to the ethical mess that is the Trump Presidency. From blatant nepotism, to major financial and ethical dilemas, to on the record and repeated lying, to possible collusion, and likely obstruction. I was also struck by the similarities between the way Nixon's administration demonized the press, essentially dubbing it "fake news," and how they used alternative facts, indignation, and flat out lies to counter the unraveling story just as the Trump team has done.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ben Kintisch

    If everything Bush does makes you queasy, here's a book remedy for your troubled stomach: Learn all about the skeezy Nixon whitehouse! Great spytastic scenes with DeepThroat, the best named secret source ever. Makes you wonder...did Woodward and Bernsteing love porn? Does deepthroat the pornstar love politics? And what do we think Bill Clinton thinks about all of this? If everything Bush does makes you queasy, here's a book remedy for your troubled stomach: Learn all about the skeezy Nixon whitehouse! Great spytastic scenes with DeepThroat, the best named secret source ever. Makes you wonder...did Woodward and Bernsteing love porn? Does deepthroat the pornstar love politics? And what do we think Bill Clinton thinks about all of this?

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