Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Book Rave: All The President’s Men

October 20th, 2015

All The President's MenYes, I’m a bit behind the curve on this one, and no, I haven’t seen the movie (though I plan to).

All The President’s Men is the nonfiction memoir of Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, originally published in 1974. It recounts their investigation of the 1972 Watergate Hotel break-in, and the gradual revelation of scandal surrounding the 1972 presidential election, that ultimately led to the resignation of President Nixon.

These events took place when I was a child, too young to follow the slowly breaking story in detail, but old enough that nearly all the names in the book are still very familiar to me. I picked up the ebook of the 40th anniversary edition, which happened to be on sale for a ridiculously low price — and I found it fascinating.

The story itself is amazing: the persistence of the journalists, the support they received from their publishers, the cautious evaluations of the evidence they’d gathered as the team discussed whether they had enough to support their claims, the willingness or unwillingness of sources to talk to them, and the real concern of so many that they had become ensnared in an unethical situation. Despite this last point, I don’t think you’ll come away from this book with a renewed faith in our elected officials. I can only imagine that things have gotten far worse over the years.

One more aspect of this book that was especially interesting — it takes place in the pre-Internet era, even pre-email, so the process of the investigation, the taking of notes, typing and re-typing the story, is all very different from today.

This book is an excellent argument for a strong, free press. Highly recommended.

Posted on: Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 12:17 pm
Categories: Reading, Recommended Reading.
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