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The Final Days

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  2,856 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The Washington Post reporters draw on interviews, leaks, and investigations to reconstruct the events and circumstances, in and outside the White House, during the unsettled and unsettling final weeks of the Nixon administration.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 16th 1994 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul
Good evening.

This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. And each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest I now understand I made some of you feel slightly on edge. I understand now that I have a problem with eye contact and passive aggression. For that I am sorry.
In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do wha
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Mikey B.
This is at times a very detailed account of the trial and downfall of President Richard Nixon. Who would have thought that a President needed so many lawyers on his staff?

At the beginning the number of individuals involved is enormous. Nevertheless the tale becomes more compelling and tragic as we reach the inevitable culmination of Nixon’s downfall.

In the biography I read of Nixon by Conrad Black he observes that Nixon was isolated and did not have enough contacts outside of the White House.
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Scooter
I read this one a while ago. It's sort of a sequel to All the President's Men, chronicling the crackup of the Nixon administration. In many ways, this book is better than its predecessor: it's not focused on just Watergate, and it follows the politicians rather than the reporters (All the President's Men is largely the story of how Woodward and Bernstein did their reporting).

Two very striking facts will always stay with me from this book. First: it's eye-opening to read how much all of these peo
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Clif
Do sane people seek the Presidency? At least these days it appears the candidates themselves truly want the job. The American people no longer get faceless hacks like Warren Harding selected by the party behind closed doors.

Richard Nixon was sane, but he had serious psychological problems. No lover of humanity, no glad-hander, this man of dark thoughts who you would think to be the last to succeed in politics, improbably made it to the highest office in the land. His character defects were enabl
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Sarah
Given how quickly this book was published after the Nixon presidency, it is remarkably well researched and detailed. The content is chilling: a president who was lying to his own lawyers and aides, contemplating suicide, and roaming the White House drinking and conversing with portraits of dead presidents. My only quibble with the book is that it is so focused on the internal workings of the West Wing and First Family that (reading this many decades later) it is hard to put the events in the con ...more
Frank Stein

In a sense this book operates like a sequel to the wonderful "All the President's Men," and it showcases the chaos that the investigations of people like Woodward, Bernstein, and Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox brought into the Nixon White House. Yet, unlike Woodward and Bernstein's previous book, this one drops the veneer of the reporters' perspective and brings the reader into the innermost rooms of power in the last year of Nixon's reign. It's quite a scene.

The story of the Watergate scandal
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Brian Schwartz
THE FINAL DAYS is an interesting chronicle of the inside workings of the White House during the last battles of Watergate. One wonders how much is entirely accurate because the men who gave their accounts knew they were framing their own places in history. Nixon would tell his story several years later.

That Bob Woodward hates Richard Nixon is undisputed. As the 40th anniversary of the break in approached, the Washington Post ran a story headlined, “Nixon was worse than we thought!” over Bob Wood
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Patrick
This 5 star rating is for me, I don't think most of my Goodreads friends would enjoy this. It is fascinating, illuminating, and depressing at the same time. It is the sequel to All the President's Men, and continues the story from the admissions at the end of that book until Nixon resigns. This book is different, and simultaneously more and less engaging.

The first book details the search of the reporters for the facts to solve the mysteries of the circumstances as well as their discoveries. Th
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Mandie Ditchburn
Jun 21, 2008 Mandie Ditchburn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in modern history and politics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerissa Ward
Jan 23, 2008 Kerissa Ward rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Watergate Historians and Students
I finally finished this book over the Christmas holidays. Maybe it was because I knew how the story ended (Nixon resigning) that I dawdled so long in reading it. Somehow I was able to finish.

I'd say, compared to 'All The President's Men', the book is much slower. There is a lot of detail, too. So much so, that I wondered how Woodward and Bernstein would know about the inner thoughts of Nixon's Clean Up Crew.

The book finally came alive when Henry Kissinger entered the story and the reader gets so
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Art
I was a young UPI reporter driving from Helena, Montana, to Buffalo, NY, the week Richard Nixon resigned the presidency.

In the days before cable news and the internet, I remember seeing the front page headlines in newspaper boxes as I drove across the US. While I had been glued to the television during the Watergate Committee hearings, I missed much of the detail and drama of Nixon's resignation.

I was pleased he chose to make the big announcement on my birthday. But I was more focused on my big
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David Quinn
A good sequel to All The President’s Men.

Unlike its predecessor the narrative makes absolutely no reference to the authors and instead tells what’s going on behind the scenes as the weight of the Watergate scandal comes crashing down on Nixon and his administration. As I read the book I kept wondering how the authors could have gotten such deep inside information.

It’s pretty clear who the authors liked and disliked. Some of the personal criticisms were surprisingly harsh in an interesting way.

Fo
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Longfellow

The #1 bestseller All the President's Men recounted Bob Woodward’s and Carl Berstein’s investigative work for The Washington Post and their subsequent breaking of the Watergate cover-up story to the public.

In my opinion, their follow up, The Final Days, is better.
Because All the President's Men is limited to the journalists' perspective as outsiders—begging for information and struggling to confirm off-the-record testimonies—it is confined in scope to their story as investigative journalists. T
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Sparrowfall
This book contains an amazing amount of detail, as the other reviewers have said. But it is a different kind of detail than one might expect. It involves primarily the extremely detailed decision processes of the various invididuals involved in releasing the previously secret tapes made by President Nixon of conversations he had concerning Watergate.

The people involved approached the release of the tapes from every possible perspective and tried to anticipate every politically-relevant consequ
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Rachel Jackson
As challenging as it would seem to follow up the history-changing reporting of All The President's Men, dynamic journalism duo Woodward and Bernstein deliver again and then some. Where ATPM is an account of the journalists' chemistry together and marvels at the stories they themselves were breaking open, The Final Days is an intimate account of the emotion and tension inside the White House during the last few months of Richard Nixon's presidency.

Quite different from their first book, Woodward a
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Aaron Haberman
A (sort of) sequel to All the President's Men, yet told from the perspective of the crumbling Nixon administration rather than from the investigative journalist/authors. Woodward and Bernstein are terrific at describing scenes. You feel as though you are in the room as the events unfold. You see the emotions and personal weaknesses of all the protagonists completely laid bare. The fun revelations from this book include a drunk Nixon talking to portraits of other presidents and the night before h ...more
Socraticgadfly
Woodward and Bernstein hit their peak as a reporting, and authorial, duo with this book, which still must be considered the starting point in many ways for study of Watergate.

That said, and having read Woody's later books, and knowing the accusations against him, including of putting unverifiable words on Bill Casey's deathbed lips, I'm glad he had the "tempering hand" of Bernstein with him on this book, a hand he perhaps could have used later, when he became more and more a Beltway courtier to
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Dan
Having read All the President's Men and The Secret Man, both books referencing the Watergate Affair, this book describes the final days in office for President Nixon. It's very much behind the scenes, with a viewpoint from inside the crumbling foundation around the embattled President. The depth of the information about President Nixon's actions and emotions means to the reader that a serious amount of journalistic work was done to find these details, and I'm sure some of this information was re ...more
David Allen
The Nixon Administration's final months, with such insider stuff as Nixon talking to presidential portraits and entreating Kissinger to pray with him. A great (and voyeuristic) companion to All the President's Men, this reveals Watergate's fumbles and how the tide turned again him. Unexpectedly, despite the damning detail, Nixon emerges as a sympathetic, tragic character.
Chris Wagnon
A great follow up to All of the President's Men which shadows the final eight months and final 10 days of the Nixon administration. It's amazing how stubborn Nixon was in with holding the tapes to the point where he was holding his own lawyers' feet to the fire. His family's reaction could almost feel sorry for the guy at the end. Also the book gives you a glimpse in how much Gerald Ford didn't believe Nixon was going to resign and seemed like he really threw his cabinet together at the very las ...more
Ryan Curell
Mar 31, 2007 Ryan Curell rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Essential reading for Watergate/Nixon buffs
I liked this one more than All the President's Men. I knew the principals a little better from further reading and research. This story is more focused on the people involved versus their crimes, as in the previous book.

Nixon is portrayed as a brilliant but selfish strategist waging one of the fiercest political battles of American history; he emerges as a tragic figure. The first part is sluggish but the the second is riveting. I particularly like how there is a balance between the Nixon's two
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Cerys
I had read All the President's Men a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but I actually liked the style of this one better, where there was no in text presence of Woodward and Bernstein themselves. Its a meticulously researched book with everyone's actions pretty much tracked by the hour so it can seem drawn out at times as one day can take up many many pages, but it adds to the feeling of endless stress that the staff were under. Surprised by the portrayal of Nixon, I hadn't expected to feel s ...more
Tom Gase
Liked this book a lot, very powerful. Although it's about 500 pages it reads suprisingly fast and never gets boring or dull, even though everyone on the planet probably knows the ending. I sat reading this book not believing that this wasn't a fiction story, but in fact, happened less than 40 years ago. The one problem I had with this book was that All the Presidents Men talked a lot about how the writers from the Washington Post, Carl Beirnstein and Bob Woodward, got their stories and how the P ...more
Andrew Kubasek
I only got through about 40% of this book before deciding that I'd had enough of the Nixon presidency. Is it well written? Yes! Overwritten? Definitely! Woodward and Bersetein performed hundreds and hundreds of interviews to get the most detailed account of the last days of Nixon's White House. Unfortunately, too much detail dragged the book down. I stopped caring exactly what Nixon ate on what days. Meanwhile, it took over 100 pages to get to Nixon's relationship with Kissinger - which is one o ...more
Karen
This book about the end of the Nixon administration was surprisingly gripping considering its content. I found the book very dense and it took me several times longer to read than a typical book. As I was reading it, it managed to keep me engaged despite the fact that book consisted mainly of descriptions of conversations that happened between Nixon and his lawyers, Nixon and his staff, and between his lawyers and his staff. After I finished it I realized that the book really isn't about much an ...more
David
In 1974, the noose was tightening around Richard Nixon's neck. In the spring, he released edited transcripts of White House conversations, even though the subpoena requested the tapes themselves. A few months later, the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against Nixon in televised hearings that had an entire nation riveted to its television sets. And then, when it became clear to Nixon that he could not survive a trial in the Senate, he became the only president to resign ...more
Donna
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were the wonder-journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal that ultimately undid a president who had won his own second turn in the Oval Office by a landslide. This fascinating novel looks intimately, in a zoom-lens of words, at the period just prior to Nixon's resignation, given only after it was absolutely, positively given that he would be impeached if he did not decide to leave on his own.

As many know, his vice-president, who would become President Jerry
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Doug Constantine
Interesting look into dark part of American history. Many players and confusing at times but worth the read if for no other reason than to see the type of spineless yes-men that surround powerful people.
David Bird
The contrast between this book and its predecessor mark a stunning transition for its authors, from unknowns pursuing a story that, initially, no one else particularly wants, to insiders in The Village of Washington. It is very clear that many of their sources, like Alexander Haig and Henry Kissinger, were keen to speak to them in order to influence the story that was told.

Sources always have their own reasons for what they choose to say, but the pattern of exchange that Woodward in particular
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Jim
A disturbing portrait of Nixon as the Watergate scandal fatally damaged his presidency. At times the inside stories in the White House, Congress, special prosecutor's office & the courts are engrossing. At times you may get frustrated as things keep getting dragged out.
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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.
More about Carl Bernstein...
All the President's Men A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton His Holiness: John Paul II and the History of Our Time Loyalties: A Son's Memoir The Fall of a President

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