All the President’s Men

Matthew went through a Woodward & Bernstein phase about a year ago, and during that time I bought him a copy of All the President’s Men.  I picked it up to read recently because I had come to realize that I really knew next to nothing about Watergate (which does predate me, after all).  My earlier knowledge went something like this: Nixon was involved in the breaking to the DNC headquarters and the cover-up that followed.  He was extremely paranoid and had bugged the Oval Office and then incriminating evidence was deleted from those tapes.

So I had the broad brushstrokes right, obviously.  All the President’s Men takes you on the crazy ride that led to that common knowledge.  It really does read like a spy novel, and definitely NOT like nonfiction.  I found it VERY difficult to keep track of all the players, even with the listing of all the relevant names at the beginning of the book.  There are just too many, really just points to the vastness of the conspiracy, both the bugging and the coverup that followed.  There are also some REALLY disturbing parallels between the Nixon administration and the Bush administration as far as clains of executive privilege, separation of powers, and manipulation of the media go.

It’s kind of bizarre to read the book knowing the identity of Deep Throat.  I’m pretty sure we have The Secret Man running around the house somewhere and I’m definitely going to read it soon, but not ’til I’ve read Final Days.

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