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The Last of the President's Men

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,978 ratings  ·  296 reviews
Bob Woodward exposes one of the final pieces of the Richard Nixon puzzle in his new book, The Last of the President's Men. Woodward reveals the untold story of Alexander Butterfield, the Nixon aide who disclosed the secret White House taping system that changed history and led to Nixon's resignation. In 46 hours of interviews with Butterfield, supported by thousands of doc ...more
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Published October 13th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Audio
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Gilbert Soesbee
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still More To Learn About Watergate

It may not be the definitive book about Alexander Butterfield--who, along with John Dean, represents the true, honest patriots in the horrid administration of Richard M. Nixon--but Woodward's latest book is another reminder that, even decades later, there is more to learn about Watergate.

Perhaps the most telling revelation in the book is that Nixon knew early on that the intensive bombing of North Vietnam was not working and did absolutely nothing to end the tr
Erik Graff
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: US citizens
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
Alexander P. Butterfield, assistant to H.R. Haldeman, then FAA Commissioner during the Nixon administration, is the fellow who revealed the existence of the White House voice-activated taping system when directly queried by a lawyer representing Republican investigators--the tapes which led eventually to charges of impeachment and the president's resignation. This book, based on extensive interviews and documents retained by Butterfield, tells the story of his years with Nixon, describing his im ...more
Alexander Butterfield was President Nixon’s White House Aide, who revealed the existence of the secret recording system in the White House when testifying to the Senate Watergate Committee on July 16, 1973.

The book is well written and researched. Woodward is well known as the journalist that broke the Watergate story. Woodward states he interviewed Butterfield for forty hours and also had access to the Butterfield papers and the national archive of Watergate papers. Before becoming a White House
Jan 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fascination of Watergate continues for me, even 40-plus years later. Richard Nixon was a truly bizarre man, and his White House secretive and dysfunctional. How an extremely introverted, awkward and vindictive geek like Nixon ever rose to the presidency is one of the great mysteries of our times.

In Bob Woodward's latest book about Watergate, he highlights maybe the most forgotten player in the scandal. Alexander Butterfield, assistant to H.R. Haldeman (Nixon's de-facto Chief of Staff and rig
Oct 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just when you thought there wasn’t anything left to learn about Watergate, Woodward churns out another missive, this one dealing with Alex Butterfield, Nixon’s personal aide who exposed the secret White House taping system. It’s a quick, light read (Woodward has mellowed over the years), offering some new, interesting facts about a dark time in America’s presidential history. Citing numerous examples, Butterfield helps you understand Nixon’s extreme paranoia and deep-seated quest for revenge aga ...more
Michele Weiner
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Nixon junkie, I admit it. I loved the inside scoop from one of the men closest to this disturbed man. The informant (Woodward always has one) is Alexander Butterfield, who was a Haldeman assistant in charge of keeping the little things moving smoothly in the office and keeping Pat Nixon away from her husband. Butterfield had daily contact, up close and personal, yet was not involved in policy-making (read Watergate) meetings. He was finally (due to Woodward's suggestion) called to testify ...more
Even though I majored in History, I never really studied more modern history. All I knew about Nixon was of the "I am not a crook" variety of common knowledge.
This book was great. I was enrapt in the story and I definitely am interested in reading further. The similarities between him and Trump is uncanny in certain respects. 4.5/5
David Hinton
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by making a true confession: in my wild, reckless youth I was a Republican, A conservative Republican. I'm not now and I am still doing penance, but I do have that in my past. And because of that, I met Richard Nixon on several occasions and I've always been interested in books on this strange person who dominated so much of politics for so much of my life.

The first time I met Nixon was when I was 15 years old. I went to the opening of a new addition to the Herbert Hoover Presidenti
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his latest book, Bob Woodward has added more insight into the Nixon presidency and the Watergate crimes. Alexander Butterfield, the aide who worked right next to Nixon for three years, was instrumental in his downfall when he disclosed the taping system in the White House.

I remember well those days in 1973 when I was a stay-at-home housewife who sat, day after day, enthralled by the trial. Perhaps for me the most fascinating part of this book are the glimpses of what Richard Nixon was really
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed this, there were several issues that I wish had been addressed such as Butterfield's thoughts about the actions of Haldeman and other staffers. I believe the book would only appeal to people who had a real interest in Watergate or the Nixon presidency.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Butterfield's role was the outsider turned insider that never felt like or was treated as a true insider. Maybe that's why he had no problem throwing down the most important piece in the Watergate investigation - the fact that there was a recording system in the Oval Office. Butterfield didn't have the loyalty to the Republican party or Nixon specifically, so when asked the right question, he had no qualms about spilling all the knowledge about the tapes.

This is Butterfield's story, starting f
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting account about Alex Butterfield who served as an assistant to President Nixon. During Butterfield's tenure, and under Nixon's orders, he orchestrated the installation of a taping system in the Oval Office. During the Watergate hearings, Butterfield provided testimony that exposed the system and ultimately led to Nixon's resignation. This book was written after extensive interviews with Butterfield and a thorough review of documents that Butterfield brought from the White House when ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I was -- am -- a Watergate nerd. I followed all of the Congressional and legal events day by day from the opening session of the Ervin Committee through the night Nixon announced his resignation. I knew the names of all the minor players in CREEP. It's fascinating to me that there are still new books being published with revelations from participants that have not as yet been revealed.

Alexander Butterfield is famous as the man who "let slip" the truth that there was a hidden, voice-activated tap
Chuck McGrady
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to determine whether Richard Nixon or the present resident of the White House was the worst president that lived during my lifetime. The author shows Alexander Butterfield was human—-a man with flaws who carried out orders some of which bothered him. As far as his career, he would have been much better off had he not gotten with an old colleague, H.R. Halderman, to get a job in the Nixon Administration. If one read All the President’s Men, one should probably read this book. I b ...more
Michael Turashoff
A very interesting book about the man that brought Nixon's taping system to the knowledge of the Watergate committee and inevitably Nixon's down fall.

The story is told with a style only Woodward has been able to tell. This book isn't so much about the tapes themselves but of the man who spoke up and brought the tapes.

If it had no been for Alexander Butterfield history may have been quite different.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Washington Post reporter (who with Carl Bernstein helped expose the Nixon era Watergate scandal) Bob Woodward's latest book. Investigative reporting of Alexander Butterfield who was the first to divulge the existence of a secret oval office taping system that provided evidence of Nixon's complicity in the Watergate cover-up. This book covered quite a bit I already knew about, but amplified the defects in Nixon's personality, the total loyalty of those working for him, and that most of Nixon's st ...more
Bruce Scott
As a Watergate addict from 'way back, I had to read this book. It's brief and typical of Woodward's approach, a series of 3x5 cards about the Nixon aide, Alex Butterfield, who ran the taping system and eventually revealed its existence to the Congressional committee investigating President Nixon's crimes. It was the tapes that proved his undoing.

I thought the author padded the book with unimportant detail and unnecessary documentation of his interviews and research. It would have been much more
Aug 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just when we think that we have heard everything about the Watergate scandal, Bob Woodward publishes another book, this time a brief examination of Alexander Butterfield who left a career in the Air Force to work for Bob Haldeman in the Nixon White House. Butterfield was promoted to Deputy Assistant to the President from 1969 to 1973 and he paints a picture of Nixon as an intelligent but extremely petty and vindictive man. Butterfield was the staffer who oversaw the installation of the secret ta ...more
Clint Hill
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book especially interesting because I was at that time the Assistant Director of the Secret Service, responsible for all protective forces. I knew Alex Butterfield, and have a great deal of respect for him. The book is truly revealing about a sitting president, his attitude toward his staff, and it is unfortunate we don't have this type of information prior to someone taking office. I highly recommend this book.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being too young to have lived through Watergate, I didn't realize how little I knew about it with the exception of a few bullet points. In this account we learn about Alex Buttetfield, Nixon's Deputy Chief of Staff, and how his testimony led to the discovery of Nixon's recording system. Butterfield's detailed account of what happened gives a glimpse into Nixon's peculiar personality. After reading this, I definitely will be adding All the President's Men to my to be read pile.
Rene Bahrenfuss
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A startling, biting portrait of Richard Nixon. Could not help mentally contrasting this book with Fire & Fury. F & F suffers from being an "in the moment" history--lightly sourced and without the strength of perspective. This book is deeply and thoroughly sourced with the advantage of decades of perspective. Both books paint portraits of flawed presidencies and flawed men, to be sure, but this one will stand the test of time while F & F is likely to be supplanted by works of stronger scholarship ...more
Casey Zvanut
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
This was a great piece of insight into the inner-workings of Nixon's White House through the eyes of Alex P. Butterfield. The book follows Butterfield from his first tense days as a deputy aide to being a member of Nixon's trusted inner circle to the fallout of his reveal of the secret Oval Office tapes. I really like the fact that Woodward humanizes Nixon so well. Over the years after Watergate, Nixon became pretty much a caricature of himself, and it was nice to feel like I got a more accurate ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the majority of Americans during the spring/summer of 1973, I was glued to a TV set watching the Senate’s Watergate hearings. There was a lot of electrifying testimony, but none was more astonishing than the relatively brief appearance by Alexander Butterfield, then head of the FAA. His FAA connection didn’t matter; what did matter was that he was formerly executive assistant to H. R. Haldeman, President Nixon’s Chief of Staff. Not only did Butterfield have regular contact with the presiden ...more
Nancy Kennedy
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me say at the outset that I'm a Watergate junkie. That scandal was a defining moment of my young life, happening just as I was contemplating my career interests and direction. So, I'm all in for a book about Alexander Butterfield. Having read as much about Watergate as I have, his was a familiar name and role.

From this book, I took away new insights about Nixon's personality, as recounted by Butterfield. It amazes me that in that era when media presence was already becoming so important to a
Hilda Hansen
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Woodward offers yet another perspective on the Nixon years. Little has been written about Alexander Butterfield and I have not found a memoir by Butterfield himself. With the publication of this book, perhaps one is not needed. Woodward has done his homework with more than 40 hours of interviews and extensive digging through Butterfield's papers and other sources to produce this fast-moving, fascinating account of the Nixon years as Butterfield, one of the handful of people who knew about the Pr ...more
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a history major and a college student at the time of Watergate I actually enjoyed the reading trip back in time from a new perspective. I have read most of the scholarly books on the period of Watergate and its unraveling but not from the perspective of the person who broke the story wide open. In the aftermath of the news of the Oval Office taping much was then focused on getting the tapes, the Courts, Rose Mary Woods, the 18.5 minute gap, the impeachment, resignation, etc. But, it was Butte ...more
This really could have been, should have been, a long-form magazine article, something you would see in The Atlantic or Rolling Stone. At 291 pages, the book has more than 100 pages of source notes and documents. Still, this is an intriguing "whatever happened to ..." book. Alexander Butterfield became a major player in the Watergate scandal by revealing to Congress that a taping system existed in the Nixon White House. Woodward is sympathetic, but also reveals Butterfield's failings and self-ju ...more
Pete daPixie
With Woodward's name as author I was expecting another juicy exposition of 'tricky Dickie's' tenure in the White House, without whitewash. After a host of political publications from 'All the President's Men' to 'Obama's Wars', 'The Last of the President's Men' fizzed out like a damp firework.
The focus of the book is Alex P. Butterfield, who joined the White House staff directly after Nixon's election in '69 as Bob Haldeman's deputy aide to the president. Butterfield was the one who testified to
Hanley5545 Hanley
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Nixon is clearly a "Shakespearean" dude and the modern champion/victim of his own huberis in this book .
Richard III without his "Crown"
Bob Woodward has written an interesting book well worth the read AND from a unique and quite personal prespective.
Alex Butterfield is that last man standing, already almost forgotten, and a complex character he times a Talleyrand without the robes.

I am a life long republican but not quite a Republican and Nixon started it. I voted for McGovern be
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to the Nixon Presidency's misbehavior, Bob Woodward is like a dog with a bone. He gnaws out the last morsel of substance. He has been doing this for decades, and I have to love him for it!

Alexander Butterfield and the White House documents he recently provided to Woodward are the focus of this book. You may remember Butterfield's televised bombshell revelation in 1973 of the existence of an extensive White House taping system. Butterfield was a deputy assistant to Bob Haldeman duri
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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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There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find...
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“When you’re in the White House,” Butterfield said, “everyone lies. You can sort of get feeling immune.” 1 likes
“Once at Haldeman’s 7:45 a.m. senior staff meeting, Moynihan grew so frustrated at the wandering discussion that he raised his clenched fist, brought it down hard on the table, and shouted, “Fuck!” There was immediate silence. Butterfield watched everyone turn to Rose Woods, the only woman at the meeting, in horror and embarrassment.” 0 likes
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