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All the President's Men

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This landmark book details all the events of the biggest political scandal in the history of this nation--Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein kept the headlines coming, delivering revelation after amazing revelation to a shocked public. Black-and-white photograph section.


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This landmark book details all the events of the biggest political scandal in the history of this nation--Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein kept the headlines coming, delivering revelation after amazing revelation to a shocked public. Black-and-white photograph section.

30 review for All the President's Men

  1. 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.

  2. 5 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.

  3. 5 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.

  4. 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 household 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.

  5. 5 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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

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

  7. 5 out of 5

    The Just-About-Cocky Ms M

    I have watched my DVD of the movie more than half a dozen times and, as much as I enjoy it each time, I have always thought that something was missing, some key bits of information needed to tie it all together. Well, duh! The book has it all. Not in the tidy, linear progression from the morning after the Watergate break-in through the last explosive story clearly implicating Tricky Dick as in the movie, but rather the more realistic slice-of-life, back and forth and all around movements in searc I have watched my DVD of the movie more than half a dozen times and, as much as I enjoy it each time, I have always thought that something was missing, some key bits of information needed to tie it all together. Well, duh! The book has it all. Not in the tidy, linear progression from the morning after the Watergate break-in through the last explosive story clearly implicating Tricky Dick as in the movie, but rather the more realistic slice-of-life, back and forth and all around movements in search of tips, confirmations, just one more corroborating source so that day's story could be written and printed. Here we see the amazing scoops, the missed targets, dead-end ideas, leaps of faith, and more important, the dogged determination to know the larger story in all its awful complexity and sleazy criminality, using methods necessary in those pre-Google days that would exhaust even the most robust investigative reporter today. The authors write like reporters---no purple prose, no unnecessary verbiage, few if any adjectives and adverbs, in a spare style that would please Sergeant Joe Friday and his predilection for "Just the facts, ma'am." The authors share their successes, and there were many, in a restrained manner just this side of "Aw, shucks," and do not shy away from their faults and close brushes with disaster because they made rookie reporter mistakes or tried pushing a particular envelope not only too far but almost off the table. An excellent tale that, despite the obvious indices of "the way things were back in the day," still resonates today. Perhaps especially today.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trin

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

  9. 4 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annet

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

  12. 4 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David K. Lemons

    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 a regime that broke the law and was convicted. I did take some pride in the fact that our democratic process worked and stopped corruption at the highest level. I soon expect to be reading another superb account of wrongdoing by a President and his associates (including family) involving the current Trump takeover and corrupt methods of criminal domination. 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.

  14. 5 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

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

  16. 4 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.

  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 w 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. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carolien

    Such an important book to read in the current global context.

  21. 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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    Here is one of those books that I never caught up with, having seen the Redford/Hoffman movie version. The 40th anniversary of original publication of 'All The President's Men' is almost here, and I finally catch up on Bernstein and Woodward's Pulitzer winner. Not before time, indeed! If this plot were featured in a fictional storyline, many would be the calls that this tale is as far fetched as crap from China. Ridiculous to believe that such scandalous crimes could be contrived from the centre Here is one of those books that I never caught up with, having seen the Redford/Hoffman movie version. The 40th anniversary of original publication of 'All The President's Men' is almost here, and I finally catch up on Bernstein and Woodward's Pulitzer winner. Not before time, indeed! If this plot were featured in a fictional storyline, many would be the calls that this tale is as far fetched as crap from China. Ridiculous to believe that such scandalous crimes could be contrived from the centre of democratic government. Burglary, illegal wire tapping, espionage, sabotage, bombing, CIA spooks, death threats, lies and cover-ups. The cast of characters involved was just as astounding as their crimes. Including Cuban exile burglars operated by CIA operatives. A former Secretary of Commerce. A Director of Public Affairs. Attorneys. A former Attorney General. A former Assistant Attorney General. Attorney General of the United States. Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Personal Attorney to the President. White House Chief of Staff. Acting Director of the FBI, and at the head of this pile, the President of the United States. Thankfully there was to be no whitewash in the White House. Bernstein and Woodward's detective story from the Washington Post, written in the third person, shoots off the line on June 17th 1972 and blazes a relentless trail of investigative journalism all the way to the finish line. Forgive my insatiable distrust of our great and revered leaders, but I am left unsure of the motives behind Howard Hunt's escapade into the Watergate's foggy bottom. Just what was destroyed in those files by the Acting Director of the FBI, or for that matter, who was Deep Throat and what was his agenda? A line from Robert Graves comes to mind. Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out.

  23. 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 often criticized for this limited, perhaps self-aggrandizin 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 often 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.

  24. 4 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]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    I like that they wrote the book in the third person; it would have been difficult to read, I think, if the perspective kept changing from Woodward to Bernstein. It's a whole lot of story, and no matter what, it's difficult to keep track of the characters. But they managed to keep the story flowing along well enough that the immense cast doesn't become overwhelming. I was a bit put off by the fact that they rushed this to publication before everything was over (and in fact while the Guild was on s I like that they wrote the book in the third person; it would have been difficult to read, I think, if the perspective kept changing from Woodward to Bernstein. It's a whole lot of story, and no matter what, it's difficult to keep track of the characters. But they managed to keep the story flowing along well enough that the immense cast doesn't become overwhelming. I was a bit put off by the fact that they rushed this to publication before everything was over (and in fact while the Guild was on strike at The Post.) Given that Woodward got an entire extra book out of the rest of the story (The Final Days), I guess they chose a fine stopping point, but there's a bit of a rushed, incomplete feel at the end. Perhaps it would be best to view this as the first in a two-part series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Anheier

    What Nixon and his cronies did was obviously bad, but reading about Watergate also made me realize how much more serious today's Russia, obstruction, and money laundering cases are--Nixon's domestic conspiracy will pale in comparison to the *multi-country* grand bargain the current White House has conspired in. Yet, at the same time, the playbook of endless lying, vilifying the media, and putting party over country is nearly identical. Bernstein's account admittedly isn't always a page-turner--c What Nixon and his cronies did was obviously bad, but reading about Watergate also made me realize how much more serious today's Russia, obstruction, and money laundering cases are--Nixon's domestic conspiracy will pale in comparison to the *multi-country* grand bargain the current White House has conspired in. Yet, at the same time, the playbook of endless lying, vilifying the media, and putting party over country is nearly identical. Bernstein's account admittedly isn't always a page-turner--chasing down sources, as plot action, carries a book only so far--but the over-arching trajectory is essential American history and, perhaps more importantly, a ringing endorsement/defense of freedom of the press.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Such a opportune, marvelous story! I feel like I’m living through great uncertainty, shock and Executive Branch crimes far worse the Watergate. Contemporary nefarious, unprepared, unqualified, lower-IQ characters are getting caught, mostly behind the scenes. Trump is no Nixon but I suspect Trump’s criminal nastiness outplays Tricky Dick. I do believe that Mueller can and will subpoena Trump. I pray he questions him under oath as our President vastly overestimates his own abilities, can’t keep hi Such a opportune, marvelous story! I feel like I’m living through great uncertainty, shock and Executive Branch crimes far worse the Watergate. Contemporary nefarious, unprepared, unqualified, lower-IQ characters are getting caught, mostly behind the scenes. Trump is no Nixon but I suspect Trump’s criminal nastiness outplays Tricky Dick. I do believe that Mueller can and will subpoena Trump. I pray he questions him under oath as our President vastly overestimates his own abilities, can’t keep his story straight and suffers regular temper tantrums and low impulse control. Trump is offering up his own downfall and he seems to be taking his crooked family and a, mostly willing, mendacious GOP with him. Careers will be made and awards will be won in within the “Fake News’ establishment. Careers will be destroyed and sentences will be handed down within the Trump Administration. Reading “All the President’s Men” reminded me that these massive hidden criminal undertakings are a bitch to unravel. Investigators don’t always know whom to believe, how to ask the right questions, where to follow up, how to handle sources or which interrogation techniques to employ. Further complicating things for reporters and Team Mueller is the undesirability of using classified documents. I believe there is some bad shit on Trump that is classified and therefore cannot be used in a regular court of law. They have to nail him with unclassified information. It also takes a team of razor sharp minds to work up an understandable narrative. I believe the story behind Trump-Russia, his shady business deals, his sexcapades and all the decades of cover up are mindboggling. To bore into just one aspect of the obstructer-in-chief, I am focused (separately from this commentary) on the Fusion GPS, or “Steele” dossier. That document and who has a hand where is a wilderness of mirrors for me. Especially since I don’t have access to much. I’m trying to figure it out reading MSM in US and UK and the tweets of reputable counter intel guys, who cannot reveal everything. Motivation and access are key. I have long admired Woodstein’s investigative reporting on Watergate. I got to tour around the WP newsroom and some offices in (most probably 1989) with an editor there. It was one of those indelible moments of my impressionable youth! Fresh out of suburban Michigan into the hallowed Halls of The Post. Woodward and Bernstein were so bright and unrelenting. Thank God Nixon came before Trump so we gained applicable experience with, and new laws re, a criminal WH. Poorly informed and/or Misled Voters “… [T]he public—softened up by three years of speeches from VP Agnew—has less than total confidence in what it reads and hears—particularly the so-called Eastern Establishment media—is true and undistorted by political prejudice.” Apparently, this works. Trumps constant lying is confusing his followers into believing him. His rants harden me. Crimes “… [T]he President of the United States was the head ratfucker.” President Trump is the head shlyuhafucker! Karma will certainly be his next “mistress”. “The President himself has been blackmailed.” This time our president is even an asset run by Putin! “The WH had been willing to subvert … the whole electoral process?” The Kremlin was willing to subvert the whole electoral process? Da. “… [T]he grand conspiracy directed by the President’s men to subvert the electoral process.” This time around the President’s men have names like Vovochka, Mitya and Mishka. “Somehow the bungling seemed reassuring—it tempered the frightening implications of how far the Nixon forces were willing to go to achieve their ends.” I am not (yet) reassured by Trump and his people and all that bungling. I hope I can reminisce with detached amusement. Scapegoating President Nixon’s spox is quoted complaining about the “opposition” in the Watergate stories, which is taken to mean the free press. “The WH had decided that the conduct of the press, not the conduct of the President’s men, was the issue.” So Trumpian it hurts. Bill Bradlee: “This is the hardest hardball that’s ever been played in the town.” Softball in retrospect. “The WH was pitting its credibility against the Washington Post’s, and in the process was giving the paper’s allegations more currency.” FAKE NEWS! SAD! “He [RMN] think the press is out to get him and therefore is disloyal; people who talk to the press are even worse—the enemies within…” So Trumpian. Trump WH trying to ban the use of personal cell phones! The Nixon admin tapped phones to find leakers. Trump bans personal cell phones. Good luck with that! Will have to establish police state first, Knucklehead. Process Trump’s fury toward Jeff Sessions: “… the President’s willingness to cooperate with one inquiry and not another—the grand jury’s proceedings would be secret, and under the supervision of the administration’s Justice Department. The Senate hearings would be public, and independent of the Executive.” Too late! “The covert activities involve the whole US intel community and are incredible.” This time our very stable genius has managed to piss off the whole US intel community! “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.” And , one more time, the crooks have and will be brought to justice. Despite Trump’s desire, this is not Russia. “In the summer of 1974, it was neither the press nor the Democrats who rose up against Nixon, but the president’s own Republican Party.” Ain’t gonna play out that way this time. GOP has savaged its brand beyond repair. Trump lead them off a cliff. SAD! The time that Nixon actually told the truth in his televised address to the nation: “It was the system that has brought the facts to light . . . a system that in this case has included a determined grand jury, honest prosecutors, a courageous judge, … and a vigorous free press.” Go Team Mueller! “The President sat down in his chair stunned, like someone had hit him in the head with a rock.” Trump? Orange, crushed. Unravelling Deep Throat (Mark Felt): “It’s building and they see it and they know they can’t stop the real story from coming out. That’s why they are so desperate.” It’s a lovely thing to watch in real time. Watch Trump’s nonverbal signals with the volume off. Disintegration. Resign already. It’ll take SOME of the pressure off. “… [O]ld loyalties shattered, little work getting done, confusion about who on the staff might be indicted, who would resign and who would be saved. It’s every man for himself—get a lawyer and blame everyone else.” “Any congressional investigation is going to have a big problem unless they get someone from the inside to crack…. Part of the strategy would involve a broad claim of executive privilege to prevent investigators from subpoenaing WH and DoJ records.” “Government investigations were underway, and the instinct for survival could turn some of the President’s men into informers.” Misha Flynn, Felix Slater, George “Coffee Boy” Papadapoulos…. They way Trump throws people under the avtobus, his own family should turn on him. “Unreal atmosphere around the WH—realizing it is curtains on the one hand and on the other trying to laugh it off and go on with business. President has fits of ‘dangerous depression.” All of Trumps crimes and unforced errors are taking a yooge toll. He seems both unfit and unwell, mentally and emotionally. I can imagine his staff are all pretty miserable. If not, they should be. This madness has got to end sooner than 3 years “[RMN], his subordinates were saying, had become a prisoner in his own house—secretive, distrustful even of those who were attempting to plead his cause, combative, sleepless. He would only talk to “millionaire business men who were his long-time personal friends.” Wow. The only thing missing is Twitter and a smart phone. Apparently, Trump spills to his rich, fat cat friends on the phone after dinner and reads leaks in the “FAKE NEWS” the next day. In other words, Trump is leaking while trying to grab staff personal phones. Very stable, subtle genius. Conclusion “Nixon had lost his moral authority as president. His secret tapes—and what they reveal—will probably be his most lasting legacy on them, he’s heard talking almost endlessly about what would be good for him, his place in history, and, above all, his grudges, animosities, sand schemes for revenge. The dog that never seems to bark is any discussion of what is good and necessary for the well-being of the nation.” Don’t cover up your crimes by obstructing justice. You are a man, not a king. Nice try, MF.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Here is the classic account of the Watergate scandal, as told by the principal reporters from the Washington Post who broke the story—Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. In the early 80s, when I first went to college, I briefly enrolled in a journalism class. All the President's Men was one of the textbooks for that class. Woodward and Bernstein were considered living deities of the trade, and many aspiring journalists wanted to emulate their craft. And for good reason. This book is kind of a how-to Here is the classic account of the Watergate scandal, as told by the principal reporters from the Washington Post who broke the story—Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. In the early 80s, when I first went to college, I briefly enrolled in a journalism class. All the President's Men was one of the textbooks for that class. Woodward and Bernstein were considered living deities of the trade, and many aspiring journalists wanted to emulate their craft. And for good reason. This book is kind of a how-to document of basic journalistic practices, a look at the kinds of habits newspaper journalists develop to do their work. Woodward and Bernstein spent a great deal of time calling people, developing contacts, tracking down leads, documenting what they learned, and putting together stories from that work. All of those skills are essential to working journalists, and this book has a multitude of valuable lessons. I was a bit put off at first by the fact that the book is told in a third-person perspective. But as I continued reading, I realized this approach actually makes more sense. It would have been much more awkward to have told the book in shifting first-person perspectives. For better or worse, the narrative is very spare and unpretentious. The book opens with Woodward being awoken at the news of the Watergate break-in, and the narrative launches from there. The thrust is always about chasing the next lead, and how those leads are developed into stories. There's a kind of immediacy to that, but on the other hand, I think the narrative could have been helped by being a bit less breathless. Sometimes I wished for a pause to think about all the things learned, so I could try to gather all these threads together into a cohesive picture. While there's a strong 'in the moment' quality to the book, I think there's also at least some period myopia as well—there's some assumption that the reader is already on name recognition terms with many of the subjects. For the most part, I recognized many of the major players. But interestingly, the Committee for the Re-election of the President (CRP) was unknown to me. Maybe it's because its name is so indistinct that it never registered when I was growing up. In any event, the book gave me the opportunity to realize that CRP was the key that tied Watergate together. The book is perhaps most notable for highlighting the use of what we now call 'deep background' sources. These were credible sources who commented anonymously on the leads Woodward and Bernstein developed. The most important of these sources was Woodward's contact, 'Deep Throat'—whom we now know was the FBI's associate director, Mark Felt. 'Deep Throat' is one of the key figures who encouraged the pair's reporting by confirming their leads and pointing them in favorable directions. Could Woodward and Bernstein have made as much progress without 'Deep Throat'? I think they would have, but it would have taken longer for them to link the story to the White House without his help. It's also interesting to note how the reporting by Woodward and Bernstein rise in stature as the story unfolds. For much of the first half of the book, they dealt with low level contacts, and their work gained little attention. Slowly, these contacts revealed ties to figures further up the chain, with CRP and its money trail as the central thread. The appearance of 'Deep Throat' brings the story to a new level, and the Washington Post begins to emerge as the most prominent newspaper reporting on the scandal. Woodward and Bernstein start to notice new contacts already know who they are—and other reporters began to identify them and understand the ramifications. The book is also interesting for the subtlety of language. There's lots of nuance: Sources confirm without specifically confirming, corroborate without specifically corroborating, deny without specifically denying. No one wants to be the only source. The reporters always note the phrasing of their sources, always looking out for little hints that confirm details without giving everything away. There are also conscious plays on words, with the reporters challenging contacts on phrasing and meaning. Of course, the reporters are compulsive note-takers and file-keepers. They constantly review their notes for context and filling out the big picture. On many occasions they meet contacts without notepads in hand, only to furiously document quotes and meeting details after the fact. In other sections, there are a lot of what I assume are verbatim quotes—some of them extended—from the reporters’ sources. One must conclude that even then, there was a concerted effort to record conversations of ‘deep background’ sources for the record—a habit that Bob Woodward apparently continues to this day. Overall, it's a classic of its kind, and a great examination of a very important era in journalism.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bailey

    This is such an important story, and it reminded me that unraveling these things takes time and patience. I will say that because it is written almost in real time of the events happening, it's hard to get a handle on the big picture unless you know where it's headed and what it all means. I would definitely recommend reading a brief overview of Watergate or watching the movie first, because this is very detailed and helps you understand how it all happened, but it doesn't give you the broad stro This is such an important story, and it reminded me that unraveling these things takes time and patience. I will say that because it is written almost in real time of the events happening, it's hard to get a handle on the big picture unless you know where it's headed and what it all means. I would definitely recommend reading a brief overview of Watergate or watching the movie first, because this is very detailed and helps you understand how it all happened, but it doesn't give you the broad strokes, really. This remains a very important story in American history and i am so glad I've finally read the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I picked this book up out of a sense of depression about our current national politics. I thought I knew the story of Watergate, but it turns out that what I knew barely scratched the surface. The book is tightly written, so tightly that sometimes it seems cursory. The first 50 pages are particularly hard to get a handle on because so many names and job positions are being thrown at the reader in quick succession without much explanation. It may mimic the way Woodward and Bernstein felt when the I picked this book up out of a sense of depression about our current national politics. I thought I knew the story of Watergate, but it turns out that what I knew barely scratched the surface. The book is tightly written, so tightly that sometimes it seems cursory. The first 50 pages are particularly hard to get a handle on because so many names and job positions are being thrown at the reader in quick succession without much explanation. It may mimic the way Woodward and Bernstein felt when they began their investigation. However, once you figure out the who the major players are, the book is hard to put down. Written in a terse, reporter-like style, Woodward and Bernstein simply retell their investigation and where it lead. The most exciting part of the book for me was when they published a big break in the story (in October, 1972), and then realized that they got at least one of their details wrong. Some things that surprised me: 1. It's amazing how quickly you forget what research looked like before the internet. Woodward and Bernstein have to WORK to track down even the most mundane information, like what a certain job title means, or whether or not someone works at the White House. 2. The various rules and customs that rule a newsroom. I found most of these to be both interesting and comforting. I don't know if this is still how newspapers like the Washington Post are run, but if they are, there's not too much danger of fake news. 3. How deep and high and wide ran the corruption! I had no idea. In some ways it was a comfort to realize that we've had an entirely corrupt administration in the White House before, and thankfully the country managed to pull through and, at least in some ways (I hope?) put it in the past and behave differently. 4. Breaking this story open was a collaborative effort. By that I don't just mean Woodward and Bernstein worked together (they did), but that multiple other news agencies were investigating and at times discovered important information before Woodward and Bernstein. I had the impression that it was all them, from start to finish. Now I'm just hoping for another Woodward and Bernstein!

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