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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,237 ratings  ·  243 reviews
The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat ...more
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published July 6th 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2005)
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Koven Smith
Sep 15, 2008 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Lukasz Pruski
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
"Why were you Deep Throat? What was your motive? Who are you? Who were you?"

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's All the President's Men - to me one of the rare books that really deserve to be bestsellers - portrayed the painstaking journalistic and political process that eventually exposed the so-called Watergate affair and led to President Nixon's resignation from office in August of 1974. As a first-class non-fiction suspense it was one of the most fascinating reads of my life. Mr. Woodward's Th
Jason Koivu
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jay Rain
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating - 8.2

A nice 'n' clean synopsis of the Watergate scandal w the ability to identify Deep Throat & Woodward's interactions w Felt; Felt's motivations seem a hybrid of moral code & personal revenge (Gray)

The ending is a bit slow as it details Woodward's artificial dilemna towards Felt & general curiousity toward his motivations; Inspires to read more about Hoover/FBI & to see 'All the Presidents Men'
William Bahr
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The reason? Still secret!

This is a very interesting book, apparently written within ten days in response to the announcement that Mark Felt, his daughter, and lawyer were going to reveal that Mark Felt was “Deep Throat.”

The book overviews Woodward’s relationship with Mark Felt: how he came to meet him, through the Watergate years, through the 2005 revelation that Mark Felt was “Deep Throat,” and beyond.

The book concentrates on why (emphasis WHY) Felt “felt” compelled to share confidential Waterg
David  Cook
I’ve read a lot about Watergate. I was 14 at the time of the break-in. I still remember watching the hearings with my parents. Years later in 1982, while working in DC, my wife and I were alone on a cold winter day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when a limo pulled up. Senator Howard Baker emerged and proceeded to take pictures. I waited a few minutes until he was done and approached him. I told him of my memories of the hearings and his questioning witnesses and thanked him. I then asked if ...more
Stephen Terrell
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Secret Man is the book that anyone who lived through Watergate waited for more than 30 years. It is the story of Mark Felt, former number two man at the F.B.I. and better known to the nation by the moniker Deep Throat.

With Felt nearing the end of his life, his family finally revealed the secret of that Felt was Deep Throat, the legendary confidential source used by Woodward and Bernstein in breaking the Watergate conspiracy and bringing down a President and All the President's Men.

Until Felt
David Szatkowski
Great addition to the history around Watergate. Understanding this period of history helps explain why the free press is central to our freedom and liberty. Any actions to disparage the press (simply because you dislike a journalist's point of view) should be viewed with concern. Also, worthy of consideration - how do you respond to what Mark Felt did? How you respond, whether in favor or not, is also a worth question to ponder. ...more
Emma Weightman
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super fascinating! Incredibly well written- couldn’t put it down for two days!
Carol Ames
Sep 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Interesting book and explains a lot! Good read.
Abbie Cawser
Aug 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2022
This book got me back into reading again, and also writing. I also didn’t think there was anything left for me to learn about this topic, but turns out I was wrong.
Quinn Lavender
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A thought-provoking look at the most famous informant in U.S. political history. I'm not sure how Woodward stretches out the seemingly straightforward details of "Deep Throat," but the book kept me interested all the way through.


Certainly the ethical dilemma raised at the end of the book (that Mark Felt ended up with dementia at the end of his life) was intriguing. This leads me to the only part of the book I did not like: Woodward's seemingly-total ignorance that he was interviewing
Steven Meade
Sep 17, 2022 rated it really liked it
A must read for any and I mean every American. I reread this about once a year.
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing

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
Jun 07, 2007 rated it liked it
This is the only one of Bob Woodward's Watergate trilogy I'd read before this year, and after reading All The President's Men and The Final Days I'd say it is the least essential of them. It's short, though. If Deep Throat's identity was ever something you obsessed about, or if the theme of strong bonds between dissimilar people forged amid shared stressful experiences resonates with you, it's worth your time.

Woodward hadn't been in touch with Mark Felt very much until the early 2000s. By then,
Jan 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Nov 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very good read on one of the final chapters in the Watergate saga. Woodward chronicles in very personal detail his tortured friendship with 'Deep Throat' - Mark Felt - and his 32 year commitment in honoring his anonymity.

However, Woodward and history never discovered what motivated Felt, the number two man at the FBI, from leaking to The Washington Post. That final secret Felt took to his grave. But Felt's contribution to history was immeasurable.
Nick Winlund
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm going to talk about Nixon compared to trump. This book that Bob Woodward wrote seems relevant today:

Will Trump resign? That is the question.

[The following paragraph is from Carl Bernstein's assessment at the end of 'The Secret Man']

During the fall of 1972, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein had established that there was a secret cash slush fund maintained by the Nixon re-election committee (CREEP). It had financed the Watergate break-in operation and other campaign espi
Greg Fournier
Mar 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: scroll-club
This was my first time reading anything by Bob Woodward. I wasn't completely unfamiliar with the story of Watergate and Woodward's and Bernstein's reporting on it because I watched All the President's Men about a year ago, so I recognized some of the stuff in the book. I was somewhat surprised at the ease of reading: Much of the Watergate stuff is confusing, yet this book read pretty easily. Sometimes, though, I thought this was to the detriment of the book. Woodward had been reporting and writi ...more
Marti Martinson
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Woodward is not a wordsmith but a wordsurgeon. Exactly what needed to be written: not too much removed, not too much left in. Two fiction writers, whose initials were GV and NM, would have turned this into a 1000 page tome. Content and length, the book is perfect. Woodward reveals much about himself. I especially liked the part about puking up 90 cent martinis in the back seat of his friend's car with the guy's wife all ticked off. His military service was a surprise to me, not because I think h ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Deep Throat", the mysterious underground parking garage essential source that provided Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein crucial information in the Watergate scandal, which brought down President Richard Nixon in 1974 is revealed by the journalists in "The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat" (2005). A secret for 30 years, W. Mark Felt, was the FBI Associate Director, the Bureau's second-highest-ranking post, from May 1972 until his retirement from the FBI in June 1973. During his ti ...more
Kathy Elrick
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Syed Gilani
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bob Woodward is my favorite Investigative Journalist, and I consider him the father of investigative journalism. His famous style of extensive interviews and unnamed sources, somehow creates a thrill and research opportunity to others, and as always, his books are used by all others as reference. The book tell the the amazements of Watergate that rarely ceased. The story of J. Edger Hoover's junior and most trusted man, who helped bring down the Nixon Government, The Post ’s managing editor, How ...more
Jan van Trigt
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is from 2005 and unveiled one of the great mysteries from the 70's. It was only possible to be published by Bob Woodward since Deep Throat was threatened by dementia. And before the illness gained the power over key components of his brain, at his 91st, his children convinced him that mankind needed to know who he was. And how he organised Deep Throat in the Watergate affair (1972-1974).

With hindsight it seems simple. W. Mark Felt was Deep Throat. Hero. Public Servant and agent of the
Ani Mul
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve given it five stars because I found the story compelling even though Woodward is not the most fantastic writer. It’s a useful coda to All The President’s Men and The Final Days - both of which are tighter written. Woodward agonises a lot about whether to reveal Felt as Deep Throat once he has dementia (and some argue that he is therefore not the same man he solemnly promised lifelong anonymity to). This issue is increasingly relevant today and is one that many of us will come up against as ...more
Chris Schaffer
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was good but I was really disappointed by the ending. Woodward builds it up very well from his earliest contact with Felt while in the Navy. And his early mentor/mentee/useful DC contact relationship kind of changes my whole perspective on Deep Throat. Cause Woodward had known him and reached out to Felt, not the other way around, while he was doing his reporting. If you just saw the movie w/ Redford and Hoffman you might think Deep Throat contacted Woodward out of the blue and became his sou ...more
Sep 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing
This book, in "revealing" more fully the character of Deep Throat, drives home how really personal and petty was much of Watergate. Looking at W. Mark Felt's actions from 1970-1980 makes him appear as even more of a cipher now than when his role as Deep Throat was still a secret. Why did he do what he did? The "why" is still and will forever be open, and so your interpretation of Felt (patriotic hero or villain on a personal vendetta) must also and forever be open, and ultimately dependent on ho ...more
This is the story about how Bob Woodward met Mark Felt a.k.a. Deep Throat, how they interacted during the Watergate scandal and what they did afterwards. It is really about their relationship, so if you want to read about Watergate, this is not the best book. It is very well written and easy to read, I read it in just five or six sessions. My rating is just two stars out of five because most of the material was just not of much interest to me. It feels like the author is trying to erect a monume ...more
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
[Listened to the audiobook - the narrator read excruciatingly slowly. I listened to the book at 2x and it sounded regular speed].

Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention to the movie All the President's Men, but for some reason I thought Deep Throat was some random person who decided to leak info to Bob Woodward. It turns out that Deep Throat was, in fact, Mark Felt, the #2 guy at the FBI, and he had developed a sort of friendship with Woodward a couple of years before Watergate.

It was interesting
Bruce Cline
May 20, 2022 rated it really liked it
The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat, by Bob Woodward (2005, 233pp). This is one of those books I read as interludes between heavier material, and it worked. Woodward’s book about Mark Felt’s role as the “deep throat” FBI source for his Watergate stories is easy, if not somewhat frustrating, reading. It was great because it brought clarity to the decades-long mystery of who was the key informant of the Watergate saga, but grew a tad bit tiresome when describing the protracted per ...more
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Around the Year i...: The Secret Man, by Bob Woodward 1 14 Mar 17, 2016 02:38PM  

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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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