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Old 09-05-2003, 02:46 PM
Rhythmdvl is offline
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Book recommendation request - Watergate

Hi Folks,

I’m taking a course in Professional Responsibility with Sam Dash. We’ve only had two classes so far, but both have been peppered with anecdotes, a few from Watergate.

I have a fair understanding of what went on and a basic knowledge of the major players, but I think I’ll get a lot more out of his stories if I had a better grounding. So I hope to find a book that’s fair, balanced, and not sensationalized (i.e. no wild conclusions about Deep Throat’s identity*). A book that is somewhat above an Idiot’s Guide to H2O-gate but not so in-depth as to interfere with my normal course work. Any suggestions?



* BTW, Professor Dash became a bit animated on that point, insisting he didn’t exist – that all the leaks were coming out of his own committee.
Old 09-05-2003, 03:11 PM
cheesepickles is offline
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Any student must basically start with the most famous work-All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein. I read this one a few weeks ago and it does deserve to be considerd a classic. Those two guys helped break the story and many of its inner details. They are most closely related to the story in the public mind. They even wrote a followup book entitled 'The Final Days'-going into detail on Nixon's last days in office.
Old 09-05-2003, 03:36 PM
Judith Prietht is offline
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In grad school we read Michael Schudson's Watergate in American Memory: How We Remember, Forget, and Reconstruct the Past which, while an exercise in theories of collective memory, does offer an analysis of the events. It wasn't a very difficult or theory-heavy read. I liked it well enough.
Old 09-05-2003, 05:30 PM
SpoilerVirgin is offline
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Wow, that's so cool to be studying with Sam Dash. I just re-watched the PBS special on the 30th anniversary of Watergate, and he was one of the major interviewees.

As a Watergate buff, I can only second cheesepickles suggestion -- All the President's Men and The Final Days are the definitive books on the subject. Woodward and Bernstein didn't just write about Watergate; their writing was pivotal to the uncovering of the scandal.

I still believe in the existence of Deep Throat -- as I've pointed out in other threads, the best thing about that particular mystery is that there's a fairly good chance that the solution will be revealed in my lifetime. I can't wait.
Old 09-05-2003, 05:55 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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All the President's Men is a must-read...and the movie is quite good, too. If you do decide to read something more in-depth afterwards, I would recommend Stanley I. Kutler's The Wars of Watergate.
Old 09-06-2003, 05:34 AM
williambaskerville is offline
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I second "All The President's Men"...also, I'd suggest G. Gordon Liddy's autobiography, "Will". The Liddy book is, (forces rest of sentence thru' throat, where it was resolutely sticking), not badly written, and I found it provided a fascinating counterpoint to ATPM, seeing the events from the other side. Obviously it fails the "fair and balanced" test.
Old 09-06-2003, 09:13 AM
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A couple of "non-standard" suggestions

Another good source—if you can find it—would be Watergate by the London Sunday Times Washington bureau team. It stops between the Ervin committee and the impeachment hearings, but IMHO it's an excellent look into the background and origins of the whole affair. I also liked the cover: a gushing faucet with Nixon's face, his nose being the spigot.

(That is, assuming I'm not making the book up. I lost my copy, and I can't find it via Amazon or Google. Does anyone happen to recall it?)

Another interesting read, though rabidly partisan, is How the Good Guys Finally Won by Jimmy Breslin. He followed Tip O'Neill around during the summer of 1974, and got some pretty good insights into the House Judiciary Committee's proceedings.
Old 09-06-2003, 03:18 PM
Quack is offline
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Here's another vote for All the President's Men. It's one of my favorite books and one of my favorite movies. The book is easy to follow and goes into more depth than the film.


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