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The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,331 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
In Washington, D.C., where little stays secret for long, the identity of Deep Throat -- the mysterious source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scandal in 1972 -- remained hidden for 33 years. Now, Woodward tells the story of his long, complex relationship with W. Mark Felt, the enigmatic former No. 2 man in the Federal Bureau of Investiga ...more
ebook, 356 pages
Published July 6th 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2005)
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Jason Koivu
In The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat, Bob Woodward lays down the Watergate history and then spends the rest of the book detailing his struggle with revealing the identity of Deep Throat, the source that helped him and Carl Bernstein understand and unveil the scandal. If you're unfamiliar with the subject, this would make a nice companion read to A G-Man's Life: The FBI, Being "Deep Throat," and the Struggle for Honor in Washington. Both books share much of the same information ...more
Koven
Oct 01, 2008 Koven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's so frustrating--Woodward is such a fantastic researcher and such a poor writer. There's a focus that's sorely lacking in most of his books that's present on every page of The Final Days and All the President's Men, both co-authored with Carl Bernstein. Bernstein is featured in a tacked-on coda to the book, which dispatches its narrative with more crisp efficiency than anything Woodward can summon in the previous pages. Hrm.
Matt
Jun 07, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


It’s not often that I’ll finish a book in two sittings. Since my work requires close attention to copy, or at least, attention to copy, I’m usually in no state to focus at the end of the day, so my reading time tends to be restricted to half an hour on the bike at the gym, first thing in the morning.

But I was recommended Bob Woodward’s The Secret Man a week ago—got it from the library, and finished it in two days. It’s a fascinating study, not just of the journalist’s craft, but also of the rela
...more
annemm
Jan 07, 2009 annemm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I still haven't sought out that famous car garage in Rosslyn where Woodward met Deep Throat at 3am. Woodward is quite revealing, and self-revealing, in this hastily written book, rushed to publication soon after the elderly Mark Felt revealed himself to be the famous source of Watergate.

Woodward could have used the opportunity to further capitalize on the mythic status of his mysterious source. Throughout his long career he admits other sources have spilled their secrets easily b/c they know he
...more
Lisa
Jun 07, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was written by Bob Woodward, who along with Carl Bernstein wrote the definitive books about the Watergate saga, "All the President's Men" and "The Final Days". This book finally tells us the identity of Woodward's informant throughout the investigation which led to the writing of landmark articles for his employer, the Washington Post. Just before his death, the informant revealed his identity to his family and Woodward and Bernstein were only willing to reveal his name after the infor ...more
Liz Bowsher
Jan 09, 2016 Liz Bowsher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Mccullough
Jan 03, 2014 John Mccullough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book! The first hundred pages are exciting, detailing the relationship Woodward had with Mark Felt - Deep Throat. Then pages and pages of self-examination that are not at first very interesting, more of Woodward's personal struggles keeping the secret a secret. A sad interview, minute by minute, of Woodward with Felt while in a state of dementia, followed by the final divulging of Felt's role as Deep Throat. Carl Bernstein has a short epilogue which beautifully sums up the hazards and imp ...more
Jaymie Shook
It was interesting to hear all the behind the scenes dithering Woodward went through on revealing Felt as Deep Throat, as well as the background on the All the President's Men book and movie. The literary analysis on all the different individuals who were involved in Watergate and went on to publish their own books about Deep Throat was worth the read.

That said, Woodward includes a lot of redundancy in The Secret Man. His word-for-word conversations with Felt underscored that the confidential i
...more
Bobbie N
SUMMARY: The story of Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s relationship with Mark Felt, the number two man at the FBI and Woodward’s confidential Watergate source known as Deep Throat. COMMENTS: For those who, like me, were hooked on the Watergate investigation and hearings, Woodward’s book, written several years ago and awaiting Deep Throat’s self-disclosure or death for publication, fills in any remaining gaps. I must say, though, I was disappointed, because my imagination had conjured up m ...more
Deena
Jan 13, 2012 Deena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't believe I'm just now reading this. Oh well. Several things struck me. First, it was very sad that Felt had virtually no memory of his role in Watergate, or really much else, as he got older. Second, I don't understand why the daughter and lawyer didn't consult Woodward before they gave the story of Deep Throat to Vanity Fair. After all the years of protecting his identity, but more importantly, after all of the consultations he had with the daughter to ensure that if the secret was exposed ...more
Stuart
Mar 25, 2010 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over 20 years ago, I saw "All The President's Men" on TV and shortly afterward read the book and books by participants of the Watergate Scandal. "The Secret Man" is the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle; who was "Deep Throat". Bob Woodward used to say that if you knew who "Deep Throat" was it was obvious, if you didn't know, it was not obvious".

Both Woodward and William Mark Felt, Sr. denied that Felt, number 2 at the FBI during the Watergate years, was "Deep Throat" until Felt broke the story hi
...more
Mazola1
I came across The Secret Man in the book bin at my local 99 Cents Only store. That struck me as a sad fate for a book written by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist dealing with one of the most mysteris of the 20th century, the identity of Woodward's fabled Watergate secret source, Deep Throat. I thought it was perhaps an appropriate resting place. The book is several years old, pales by comparison with All The President's Men, and Deep Throat's identity had already been revealed by the time Woo ...more
Tom
Nov 07, 2010 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who read All the President's Men (thats me) or who has committed most of its movie version to memory (thats me again!) the back story behind the mysterious Deep Throat is an almost must-read. With Woodward's gift for concise yet introspective storytelling, The Secret Man is a smooth story that almost entirely quenches the thirst of anyone who wants to know more about what happened in that Rosslyn parking garage on so many nights in the early 70s.

The flaw that lessened my enjoyment of
...more
Russell
Jan 03, 2010 Russell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bob Woodward's story of his relationship with the famed "Deep Throat" of the Watergate scandal is an easy, but fascinating read. In the course of his telling of how he first met former #2 man at the FBI, Mark Felt (dubbed Deep Throat by Woodward's peers at the Washington Post), the strange friendship that developed between them, and the nature of their clandestine activities during Watergate, one learns interesting details about how the FBI worked at the time and the extent of corruption in the ...more
Jason Phillips
Mar 13, 2013 Jason Phillips rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a quick read - first two chapters before bed, the rest in a few hours the next evening. Somehow, Bob Woodward needed to write this book. The greatest mystery in the history of journalism, and a tale only he could tell. Disappointingly, both to me and Mr. Woodward, we don't learn a great deal about the motivations of Mr. Felt, as Woodward, respecting the privacy of his confidential source, arrives at Felt's door after the onset of dementia. Woodward offers his theories of the man kn ...more
Mike
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann
Dec 16, 2012 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I would say that this book is of interest mainly to Watergate buffs. The identity of Deep Throat has tantalized that small but persistent community for decades. Several books have been written about him. Both in the book and the movie "All the President's men", he is portratyed as a brooding, moody insider with divided loyalties. In other words : a human being.

The first part of the book, which Woodward had apparently written in advance, explains how Woodward met and cultivated Deep Throat. Ther
...more
Karen Floyd
A look at Woodward's odd relationship with the man known as Deep throat, his attempts to figure out why Mark Felt helped with the Watergate investigation, and his thoughts about journalists' responsibilities to their sources. The rule is not to reveal deep background sources until they give the reporter permission, or they're dead. Woodwardrecounts how many sources were willing, even eager, to tell him what they knew because they trusted him. This helped me see how Stansfield Turner (in "Veil") ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Poor Bob Woodward. He is the nation's most famous investigative reporter, and he gets scooped on the story he's been prepared to tell for 30 years__the identity of Deep Throat. Woodward rushed The Secret Man into print shortly after Felt exposed himself as Deep Throat to Vanity Fair magazine. It's no surprise, then, that critics complained the book offered little additional insight and shed almost no light onto the motives of Felt, who suffers from dementia. At its best, the book can be inspirin

...more
Nancy
May 30, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 11th-grade
Since I'm in AP History I decided to take my time to read about the Watergate scandal during Nixon's presidency because government corruption fascinates me in a way that it demonstrates how flawed our nation really is. Even though our nation is suppose to represent democracy and freedom, the actions of past presidents do not exactly depict those qualities.

During the Nixon presidency, he hired people in his committee to break into the Democratic National Committee. They wanted to bug them so tha
...more
Nathan
Sep 17, 2007 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not such a big deal, after all.
Bob Woodward kept the secret for years, never revealing who "Deep Throat" (no, not that one) really was. Then the man revealed himself as Mark Felt, former F.B.I. assistant director, and Woodward was finally free to tell the whole story. Rather than write a comprehensive book about Felt, or investigate Felt the way he'd investigated Nixon, or even write a coherent story about the event, Woodward rushed out The Secret Man. It is obvious that he was trying to cash in on the temporary media flurry ...more
Marsha
Jan 13, 2008 Marsha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History lovers
Had recently finished "All the President's Men" so I wanted to check this one out. As others have said on this site, the book seemed a bit rushed but it was educational to a point. I didn't agree with how they identified Deep Throat b/c my thinking is that he (Mark Felt) was not competent to reveal himself as the source. Let me know what you think about that if you read the book. I think he should have remained anonymous until his death or if he had given permission for his name to be made known ...more
Anshul
Jul 16, 2008 Anshul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Politics lovers
Shelves: i-have
I had always wondered about Watergate scandal and I got a chance to clear some air about the mysteries in this book...though the book primarily deals with the main character who supplied Bob and Carl (the Washington posts journalists who played a major role in bringing out the crime and abuses under President Nixon's time)...and whoa! what a solid man the guy is...you have to read the book to see the entire episode from his perspective...

It reads like a true revealing book of the main character
...more
Jennifer
I wasn't even in the womb when the Watergate story broke. However, the Judicial committee did pass articles of impeachment on Richard Nixon on my first birthday! Regardless of that, I can't appreciate the effect of Watergate on the people who were around at that time. Still, I do remember growing up, that we would use the term "Deep Throat" in the context of secrets and unknown subjects, without a proper understanding of where the term came from.

I do, however, remember the announcement in 2005 t
...more
Donna
Oct 06, 2007 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
Both Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein write better as a duo than either does individually. While it is known this book was rushed into print when Mark Felt revealed his identity, it still could have used a better editor. Having just read "All the President's Men", this book fills in the gaps that are left in that book with some new information. However, the chapters other than the 72-73 Felt/Woodward meetings are slow going.

I found the concept of confidentiality of sources as framed by Bob Woodw
...more
Beaver
Jun 26, 2007 Beaver rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: depends on what you are looking for
Shelves: politicalscience
I love facts. I think this is going to be good. I haven't read any of Woodwards work yet, but for no apparent reason mentally poo-poo him every time something comes up.

Ok so I have finished reading this. It left me very unsatisfied. My major problem is that Woodward is very defensive through out the entire book, either he has a guilty conscientious or is trying to save journalistic face after Vanity Fair scooped him. He is also sparse on details, he assumes you have a fairly knowledgeable unders
...more
Jon
If one is already familiar with the story from the book / movie -- "All the President's Men", they may enjoy this book which develops how Bob Woodward met "Deep Throat" before Watergate, even before Woodward became a reporter and then follows BW and DT's relationship thrru Watergate -- how they communicated etc. all the way until DT's identity is revealed just a few years back. Like the other books I've read by Woodward -- good writing and easily keeps the reader engaged. Spoiler -- Woodward was ...more
Jay
Jan 30, 2009 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being fascinated with the Watergate scandal and the whole downfall of a president, I was very intrigued to find out who this person was. The book gives a decent synopsis of the watergate break in, no where near the amount of information that was in "All The President's Men," but a good review. I have to say after all these years of guessing who this person was, I was a little disappointed. Disappointed in the fact that it all seemed too simple. An FBI man with all this information, friends with ...more
Joni
Jan 15, 2011 Joni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dina
Feb 18, 2016 Dina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I'm fascinated with All The President's Men and investigative journalism, I was certainly interested in Deep Throat and how Woodward managed to keep his source secret all these years. This book answered a lot of those questions but not all. It would have been more satisfying if Mark Felt was still lucid and remembered all the details from his FBI days. But such is life.
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Robert "Bob" Upshur Woodward is an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post. While an investigative reporter for that newspaper, Woodward, working with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein, helped uncover the Watergate scandal that led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation. Woodward has written 12 best-selling non-fiction books and has twice contributed reporting to efforts that collecti ...more
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“Well, just because someone might be a source doesn't necessarily make them Deep Throat” 1 likes
“Reagan was read portions of his own diary, and he said something I'll never forget: "It's like I wasn't president at all". Very sad. As I reflected about this i was sure that I didn't want to badger Mark Felt in the same manner. i didn't want Felt to have to say, in effect, "It's like i wasn't Deep Throat at all".” 1 likes
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