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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 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.”

480 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published June 5, 1974

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About the author

Carl Bernstein

26 books509 followers
Carl Bernstein is an American journalist who, as a reporter for The Washington Post along with Bob Woodward, broke the story of the Watergate break-in and consequently helped bring about the resignation of United States President Richard Nixon. For his role in breaking the scandal, Bernstein received many awards; his work helped earn the Post a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1973.

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5 stars
22,841 (42%)
4 stars
20,594 (38%)
3 stars
7,905 (14%)
2 stars
1,587 (2%)
1 star
857 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,063 reviews
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews3,330 followers
August 24, 2021
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/
Profile Image for Francesc.
459 reviews221 followers
October 12, 2021
Obra periodística de gran magnitud. Ha sido muy interesante aprender sobre el caso Watergate y, en general, del trabajo periodístico en Estados Unidos. Como trabajan los periodistas, sus fuentes, sus contactos, sus neurosis, el estilo de cada uno, ...
A ratos, al libro le falta un poco de ritmo narrativo, aunque entiendo que es algo normal ya que es un relato de como sucedieron los hechos. Hay muchos datos, nombres, casos relacionados y no es fácil procesarlo todo.
Es espectacular el seguimiento de lo que empezó como un simple robo en un edificio y acabó con la renuncia a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos del todopoderoso Richard Nixon.
Recomendable para los amantes del periodismo y de la historia reciente de Estados Unidos. A parte de Nixon, he tenido que ir buscando información en internet sobre el resto de personajes.


A journalistic work of great magnitude. It has been very interesting to learn about the Watergate case and, in general, about journalism in the United States. How journalists work, their sources, their contacts, their neuroses, their style, ...
At times, the book lacks a bit of narrative rhythm, although I understand that this is normal since it is an account of how the events happened. There is a lot of data, names, related cases and it is not easy to process it all.
It is spectacular to follow what began as a simple robbery in a building and ended with the resignation of the all-powerful Richard Nixon from the presidency of the United States.
Recommended for lovers of journalism and recent US history. Apart from Nixon, I had to search the internet for information on the rest of the characters.
Profile Image for Jon Nakapalau.
5,103 reviews724 followers
August 26, 2022
The book that opened my eyes to politics...still relevant and (sadly) still not a lesson learned by our politicians. I have often wondered how many secrets there are that (we the people) have no idea about; secrets that 'we' had every right to know about. I would argue that is a separate branch of government - the 4th branch- that makes decisions ultra vires in toto.
Profile Image for Julie.
188 reviews7 followers
April 7, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Dennis.
366 reviews39 followers
June 24, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
November 1, 2018




(Roubley dosh for a flag and a country?)


Mr Projectionist has the film reeled up, ready to go, for tonight's delectation. The political antics of the last year or so makes this a good time for a re-visit to the Saturday Night Massacre et al. Maybe there will be clues as to how this present scenario will work out.


The Rachel Maddow Show: 'The echo of Watergate is very strong here': Senator Whitehouse

Morning Joe: Echoes of Watergate in the Trump administration?

The Rebels are breaking through: congrats to Macron in France, and Moon in South Korea, hereforth known as Big Mac and Super Moon.
Profile Image for Woman Reading .
434 reviews285 followers
May 16, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Christopher Saunders.
931 reviews862 followers
November 20, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Lorna.
719 reviews418 followers
May 27, 2023
This was the 40th Anniversary Edition of All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward often lauded as the greatest reporting story of all times in that it brought down a presidency. It all started on June 17, 1972 when five men were arrested earlier that morning in connection with a burglary of the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in the Watergate office-apartment-hotel complex. Ultimately it is the young reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Washington Post reporters working tirelessly and diligently for over four years staying on top of the story and following leads no matter where they led. This is the book that gives us the behind-the-scene machinations of the lengths they had to go to in order to get the complete story and ultimately bring down all of the President's men and the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

"Almost four months after the break-in at Democratic headquarters, the spreading stain of Watergate had finally seeped into the White House."

"And yes, it was coming. John Dean was going to implicate the President in the coverup. The aide had a pained expression on his face. . . The President's former lawyer is going to say the President is. . . well, a felon."

While following much of the investigation over the subsequent four years of the groundbreaking investigative journalism of both Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, it was only half the story because one did not know the process of the investigation and all of the machinations. Crucial too, was the support and willingness of the Washington Post to go out on a limb if their reporters felt the story was solid, namely Katherine Graham and Benjamin Bradlee. The entire nation was following the updates from informant known only as "Deep Throat." But in this book we see the convoluted ways in which these clandestine meetings were planned between Bob Woodward and "Deep Throat." It was a slow and exhaustive process as these two young reporters tracked down all of the players in this saga to piece together what had transpired and why and who was involved. As more and more of the story and how deep it went into the White House as more of the President's men became implicated, the Senate hearings were ramping up as well.

It is still very vivid as I recall how my young toddler son and I watched the Watergate Hearings unfold daily in our livingroom early in 1974. Later that year, Senator Sam Ervin issued his final report as Chairman of the Senate Watergate committee, he posed the question: "What was Watergate?" Senator Ervin's answer to his own question hints at the magnitude of Watergate: "To destroy, insofar as the Presidential election of 1972 was concerned, the integrity of the process by which the President of the United States is nominated and elected." But as Bernstein and Woodward point out: "Yet Watergate was far more than that. 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."

Profile Image for Furrawn.
585 reviews44 followers
March 23, 2017
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.
Profile Image for KatieMc.
818 reviews87 followers
July 26, 2014
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.
Profile Image for Brian.
321 reviews58 followers
May 11, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,203 reviews3,678 followers
March 19, 2021
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
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,179 reviews431 followers
October 18, 2022
I was born into the post-Watergate world. The world Woodward and Bernstein 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 there was to lose.
Profile Image for Kate O'Shea.
630 reviews36 followers
February 19, 2023
I'm sure there's nothing my meagre intellect can add to this giant of a book. It's interesting, fast paced, horrifying and it has far too many echoes of Trump for it to be anything but very unnerving. We all know politics is full of corruption, liars and self-serving egotists but Nixon and his cronies took it to a whole new level.

The film closely follows the book but you've quite a bit more detail and all of it makes your jaw drop.

Profile Image for Judy.
1,709 reviews295 followers
July 23, 2018
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.
Profile Image for David.
Author 1 book30 followers
August 27, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Andrei Tamaş.
438 reviews291 followers
April 15, 2017
Romanul de investigaţie al celor doi reporteri de la Washington Post, Carl Bernstein şi Bob Woordward, publicat în Statele Unite în 1974, a netezit spectrul cu care trebuie privită, la modul abstract, politica.
Afacerea Watergate este cu desăvârşire cea mai mare problema de politică internă cu care s-au confruntat Statele Unite până în prezent. Pilonul democraţiei şi idealul "lumii noi" la care au visat iluminiştii secolului al XVIII-lea tindea să se spulbere, în spatele cortinei, la începutul celei de-a opta decade a secolului trecut dacă presa liberă nu şi-ar fi asumat sarcina, nu tocmai lipsită de obstacole, de a investiga, fără concursul şi fără sprijinul Ministerului de Justiţie al SUA, spargerea din sediul central al Partidului Democrat (aflat în opoziţie în ceea ce priveşte executivul la vremea respectivă, adică 1972) de la Watergate.
Totul pare, la început, un jaf banal, la care participă câţiva cubanezi ce susţin că au fost animaţi de dorinţa de a submina campania democraţilor din pricina ascensiunii stângii din Statele Unite. Ceea ce la început a părut un inocent act politic anticomunist avea să se transforme într-un caz care a ajuns la masa rotundă a Marelui Juriu Federal şi care, cu sprijinul tacit al presei libere, a reuşit să pună sub acuzare "toţi oamenii preşedintelui". Ceea ce a ieşit la iveală a fost faptul că întregul executiv liberal era de fapt un sistem mafiot animat de dorinţa de a păstra puterea.
Nixon, liberal fără scrupule, îşi dă demisia în august 1974, după ce mai multe capete de acuzare planau asupra sa, deoarece Constituţia SUA nu permite punerea sub acuzare a Preşedintelui sub raţiunea incalcarii principiului separaţiei puterilor în stat (sic!).
Romanul, ecranizat în 1976, cu Dustin Hoffman şi Robert Redford în rolurile celor doi jurnalişti de la Post, rămâne astfel în istorie ca un exponent al necesităţii libertăţii presei, adică a necenzurarii din partea statului, cu toate riscurile ce decurg de aici (adică Antena 3, de pildă).
Două aspecte se mai impun.
1. Romanul, deşi îi are ca protagonişti pe reporterii de la Post şi totodată aceştia sunt şi autorii bestsellerului, e scris la persoana a IIIa, ceea ce înlătura o mare parte din încărcătura de subiectivism şi care, totodată, ar fi lipsit scrierea de încrederea cititorului, făcându-l, de fel, mai sceptic. Cu toate acestea, nu se pot nega micile şi nevinovatele exagerări: de pildă, la un moment dat, Woordward, trecând peste interdicţia legală de a cita anumite surse secrete, declara că este gata să meargă la închisoare pentru libertatea presei. E drept că au existat antecedente istorice şi e drept că momentul afirmaţiei sale este unul de maximă tensiune, anume perioada electorală a anului 1972, în urma căreia Nixon a fost reales, însă asta, cel puţin din punctul meu de vedere, discreditează.
2. Romanul nu e pură fantezie. E o realitate istorică asupra căreia nu planează niciun dubiu (principala sursă a reporterilor, directorul adjunct al FBI, care nu a fost citat în articole şi nici în roman, şi-a dezvăluit adevărata identitate în anul 2005). Şi... după cum spune o remarcă descripriva "politica e tot politică", iar electoratul american, după cum se pare, trăieşte în prezent şi ignoră tentativele liberalilor la adresa stabilităţii democraţiei americane (Nixon, Bush... Trump!!), chiar dacă aceştia sunt de un fascism cenzurat (unul dintre cele mai periculoase moduri de a face politică). Tentativele domniilor lor de a submina democraţia nu justifică nicio "necesitate istorică", după cum binevoia s-o numească cineva, cândva.

Profile Image for Siv30.
2,384 reviews126 followers
February 17, 2018
תיעוד היסטורי של אחת הפרשות המטלטלות בהיסטוריה של ארה"ב פרשת ווטרגייט, מרגע חשיפתה עד להתפטרות הנשיא ניקסון.

את הספר כתבו העיתונאים שחשפו את עומק הפרשה מטעם הוושינגטון פוסט.

תיאור השתלשלות האירועים נראית כמו מתח בדיוני, אי אפשר להאמין עד כמה רקוב היה הממשל בפעילויותיו תוך שאנשי הממשל מנצלים את טענת " פגיעה בבטחון המדינה" כדי להסתיר מעיניי הציבור את טיב הפעילות הפלילית של אנשיו.

אחת הבעיות בספר, לפחות לקורא הישראלי, שרוב הדמויות בסיפור לא מוכרות ולא מעוררות שום הידהוד לכן כאשר הספר נכנס לעומק הפרטים מצאתי שאני קוראת מכח האינרציה רק כדי להגיע לחלקים מותחים ומעניינים יותר.

גם ההתעסקות בפרטי הפרטים לא תרמה לקשב שלי. ולקראת סוף הספר הקשב שלי התרופף לגמרי.

יחד עם זאת, עד עמוד 250 הייתי מרותקת לחלוטין לספר שסחף אותי לגילויים המטלטלים. העיתונאים מתארים צעד אחר צעד את חשיפת שכבות השקרים ומעטפות ההגנה של ניקסון, כשאלה הוסרו לבסוף, הוא התפטר.

הם מתארים את הקשיים בהתמודדות העיתונאית להביא לציבור סיפור מבוסס ואת המאבק מול מנגנון משומן של המדינה, שהפעיל שיטות של טירור והפחדה ובמקביל תגמול כספי כדי להניע את האנשים.

זוהי עיתונאות חוקרת במיטבה. אני חושבת שמודל העסקה הישן שבו העיתון (או כל כלי תקשורת אחר לצורך העיניין גם טלבזיה) נותן לכתבים גב כלכלי ומשאבים הכלכליים לנהל את החקירות מקעקע את האפשרות לשחד אותם ומאפשר ירידה לחקירת האמת תוך צמצום המחירים האישיים דבר שהיום בעייתי ביותר כאשר רוב אנשי התקשורת הם פרילנסרים וישנן השפעות זרות של בעלי הון ושל הפוליטיקאים על כלי התקשורת.
Profile Image for David Carrasco.
Author 1 book22 followers
September 14, 2023
Una lectura imprescindible para comprender el papel de la prensa libre en una democracia. Un aviso de cómo la manipulación, la corrupción o las fake news son el caldo de cultivo en el que crecen los totalitarismos. Un recordatorio de cómo de frágil es una democracia cuando las cloacas del poder la corrompen. Han pasado cincuenta años pero, ¿podemos acaso decir que lo que ocurrió entonces no sigue ocurriendo ahora, sea en Estados Unidos o en otras “democracias”?

"Todos los hombres del presidente" es un libro de no ficción publicado por dos periodistas de The Washington Post, Bob Woodward y Carl Bernstein, que narra la investigación periodística que condujo al descubrimiento de la trama que se escondía tras el escándalo Watergate y que, a la postre, acarrearía la renuncia del presidente de los Estados Unidos, Richard Nixon.

El libro se sitúa en el contexto de la década de 1970, una época en la que Estados Unidos estaba experimentando importantes cambios sociales y políticos. La Guerra de Vietnam estaba llegando a su fin, y el movimiento de derechos civiles había ganado fuerza. La historia del Watergate y la investigación periodística que se relata en el libro tuvieron un impacto significativo en la percepción pública de la política y la presidencia. La obra narra la investigación llevada a cabo por Woodward y Bernstein, y detalla cómo comenzaron a seguir las pistas de un robo en el Comité Nacional del Partido Demócrata en el edificio Watergate y cómo esta investigación los condujo a descubrir una trama mucho más amplia de encubrimiento y abuso de poder que involucraba al presidente Nixon y a su administración.

Woodward y Bernstein escriben el libro en un estilo periodístico claro y conciso, que presenta los hechos de manera objetiva y meticulosa. Su narrativa mantiene al lector interesado a medida que desentrañan los detalles de la investigación. Eligieron una voz narrativa en tercera persona para que la lectura se asemeje lo más posible a una crónica periodística, lo cual me parece correcto en un libro de no ficción, pero introducen diálogos en estructura novelística para dotarla de un mayor atractivo para el lector, con lo que tal vez se quedan a medio camino. En mi opinión, la elección de la tercera persona para el narrador no es afortunada y hubiera recibido mucho mejor una narración en primera persona, que fuera alternándose entre ambos periodistas.

La profusión de nombres puede ser otro aspecto negativo para el lector no estadounidense, cuya familiaridad con los personajes clave en la trama del Watergate, así como con las figuras políticas de la época como Richard Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman o John Dean, quienes desempeñaron roles significativos en el escándalo, es más discreta. Ello exige a ese lector un importante esfuerzo de retentiva, puesto que, al tratarse de un libro de no ficción, los personajes no se desarrollan igual que en una novela y ubicarlos a todos correctamente en sus empleos o cargos no es un ejercicio sencillo.

"Todos los hombres del presidente" es una obra que puede ser disfrutada por una amplia variedad de lectores debido a su importancia histórica y su trama apasionante, pero en especial recomendaría la lectura de este libro a cualquier persona interesada en la política estadounidense y su historia, pues encontrará en él una visión profunda de un momento crítico en la presidencia de Richard Nixon y en la política de Estados Unidos en la década de 1970. Gustará también a quienes aprecian el periodismo de investigación y quieren conocer cómo funciona una investigación periodística de alto calibre, pues ofrece una visión interna de cómo se siguen las pistas, se obtiene información confidencial y se verifica la verdad, con la ya famosa premisa de que dos fuentes distintas deben corroborar cada información o, de lo contrario, no se publica.

Este libro es también una lectura esencial para estudiantes de periodismo y de ciencias políticas, ya que ilustra la importancia del periodismo en la rendición de cuentas del gobierno y proporciona un case study histórico sobre un escándalo político de gran envergadura. Los lectores que disfrutan de la no ficción narrativa, especialmente aquella que se lee como una emocionante novela de suspense, encontrarán "Todos los hombres del presidente" cautivador pues se basa en hechos reales. Puesto que el libro arroja luz sobre cuestiones éticas y la corrupción en el gobierno, es también una lectura valiosa para aquellos que desean comprender cómo se manejan tales problemas en la política.

En general, "Todos los hombres del presidente" es un libro que ofrece una mezcla única de historia política, periodismo de investigación y narrativa apasionante, lo que lo hace atractivo para una amplia audiencia de lectores interesados en entender un momento crucial en la historia de Estados Unidos.

A mi juicio, y dejando de lado los aspectos de la narrativa que he comentado anteriormente y una traducción al español de la edición que he leído manifiestamente mejorable, lo más interesante de la lectura de "Todos los hombres del presidente" es la combinación de una investigación periodística apasionante con la exposición de la corrupción gubernamental y la impactante historia de cómo un escándalo político cambió el curso de la historia estadounidense, pero sobre todo la importancia del periodismo libre en una sociedad democrática. La revelación de la trama de Watergate y la subsiguiente renuncia de Nixon tuvieron un enorme impacto en la política y la sociedad estadounidenses. El libro muestra cómo el periodismo de investigación puede desempeñar un papel crucial en la rendición de cuentas de los líderes políticos y en la preservación de la democracia.
Profile Image for El.
1,355 reviews502 followers
January 2, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Samanta  .
175 reviews42 followers
January 13, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Barry Medlin.
343 reviews27 followers
July 9, 2022
Great read! Crazy stuff back then, that now doesn’t seem that crazy after what we’ve been through.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
August 1, 2011
After reading this, I was enthralled with Watergate and read several books by all the players.
Profile Image for Katherine Addison.
Author 17 books2,924 followers
December 31, 2020
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.



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.
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