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Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,085 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Nobody knows more, both from first hand experience and legal expertise, about the abuse of presidential power and their dangers than John Dean, former counsel to President Nixon. In Worse Than Watergate, Dean delivers a stunning indictment of the current Bush administration, and issues an urgent alarm to the nation: the Bush team's obsession with secrecy and their willingn ...more
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by Little Brown and Company (first published 2004)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,085 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Scott Rhee
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
For some, the legacy of the Bush Administration is still too soon to determine, but for those with five intact senses and a rational mind, we are all presently wading through the devastation. The legacy is all around us: ISIL, the effects of global climate change, an ever-widening income inequality, strong anti-American sentiments from countries once considered allies, a nation of people who mistrust its own government and politics so much so that it is desperate enough to turn to non-politician ...more
Vannessa Anderson
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing

No one died as a result of Richard Nixon's so-called Watergate abuses of power. Today, people are dying because of Bush and Cheney's secret abuses of power. Dick Cheney who runs his own secret government operations, openly declares that he wants to turn the clock back to the pre-Watergate years—a time of unaccountable and extraconstitutional imperial presidency. To say that their secret presidency is undemocratic is an understatement!

The Bush Cheney era, if you can't remember it, just sit down

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush was an incisive look at the presidency of George W. Bush in comparison to the Nixon presidency with an emphasis on Watergate, and written by John Dean, former White House counsel during the Nixon administration, and who ultimately, after telling Nixon there "was a cancer on the presidency, " testified before the congressional committee investigating the Watergate scandal opening in May 1973. As an aside, I watched many of those hearin ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to columbialion by: Self
A warning from ex Watergate counsel Dean, on the dire consequences of electing the WRONG President
Mr Shahabi
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, biography
Fucking Bush-chiney administration
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
281 pages. Donated 2010 May.

The most facile presidential comparison one could make for George W. Bush would be his father, who presided over a war in Iraq and a struggling economy. Some "neocons" reject the parallel and compare Bush to his father's predecessor, Ronald Reagan, citing a plainspoken quality and a belief in deep tax cuts. But John Dean goes further back, seeing in Bush all the secrecy and scandal of Dean's former boss, the notorious Richard Nixon. The difference, as the title of Dea
Will Byrnes
Dean focused on the Bush/Cheney obsession with secrecy. He says that while Nixon ultimately resorted to a paranoid concern with secrecy, the Bush/Cheney administration started out with an agenda that called for eliminating any light on White House activities. He is also quite adamant in pointing out that this is the most lawless bunch of crooks to ever wield power, worse, by far, than Nixon. He calls for their impeachment for lying to congress and the American people about their rationale for th ...more
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This isn't new - it was written in Bush's first term but of all of the books written about the last 8 years, this is one of the best. Dean was the guy in the Nixon administration who blew their cover; he's a lawyer and a man of integrity. He doesn't just cover the egregious excesses of this administration but he goes to the underlying issues and motivations and, believe me, it's scary. GWB's father was in office when the cold war ended (even if he wasn't really responsible for it) and now his so ...more
Bill S.
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As White House counsel to Richard Nixon during the Watergate years the author has seen more than his share of behind the scenes shenanigans. His point in this book, written in 2004, was that Bush/Cheney had taken the secrecy and obfuscation to limits that went far past anything Nixon had done! From their gutting already established environmental policy to the fiasco that became the Iraq War, Bush/Cheney lied when necessary, twisted the truth to meet their needs or just simply refused to answer a ...more
Kerissa Ward
Jul 12, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This book was written by John Dean, who was Nixon's special counselor/advisor in the White House. He knew about the Watergate cover-up and all of the other crap Nixon, Haldeman and Erlichman were doing. Things like breaking into psychiatrist's offices and stealing private patient files, rigging the Democratic primaries with slur campaigns, and sabotaging the 1968 Vietnam peace talks (Kissinger helped out with that.)

And with all that he saw in the Nixon White House he is making the case for Bush'
Colleen Clark
Sep 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: citizens
Shelves: politics-terror
This is the John Dean who was Nixon’s White House lawyer. He has gone on to a career in investment banking, I believe. What’s worth everyone’s attention from Dean is his particular perspective on the effects of secrecy in the executive branch. The title reveals his point of view, but the text is copiously documented and what he writes about is not available anywhere else.
Not an easy read but has essential information for anyone who cares about our country. It is NOT outdated (as of 2007). If any
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a scathing indictment of the Bush Administration's secretive, illegal and arrogant behavior Ironically, it is written by John Dean, who served in the Nixon White House during the Watergate scandal. And, tellingly, he has entitled his book "Worse than Watergate."

Dean makes a very strong case that the secrecy of the Bush Administration is both illegal and counterproductive in the effort to counter terrorism.

Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
This was a very interesting book to read at this point in time; about 5-6 years after it was written and long after the Bush Cheney administration is gone. This book verifies many things we suspected were happening but had no verification. Dean has done his homework.Wish I had read this about five years ago.
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
John Dean was Richard Nixon's White House lawyer. Dean went to prison for his sins. What a perspective to look at the sins of Cheney and Bush. His arguments are well written and convincing. Would you expect less from a top lawyer?
Kirk Bower
John Dean would know. I enjoy Deans writing and straight forward approach to diplomacy and learning from past mistakes.
Jun 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read and very scary. If I had known this stuff when Bush was president, I would have moved to Canada!
Mark Welkie
The first of John Dean's "unintended" trilogy on Bush/Cheney & the modern conservative movement.
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dean is a deft writer so his insights are welcome and delivered in a fast-pace manner. When Nixon’s former lawyer tells you Bush’s actions are worse than Watergate, you are hearing it from the horse’s mouth.
May 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The most facile presidential comparison one could make for George W. Bush would be his father, who presided over a war in Iraq and a struggling economy. Some "neocons" reject the parallel and compare Bush to his father's predecessor, Ronald Reagan, citing a plainspoken quality and a belief in deep tax cuts. But John Dean goes further back, seeing in Bush all the secrecy and scandal of Dean's former boss, the notorious Richard Nixon. The difference, as the title of Dean's book indicates, is that ...more
Sep 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
'Reasonably well put together criticism of the Bush administration. It makes no bones about being biased, but most assertions are well footnoted - and IMO, likely true. Some of the content is now a bit dated as it was written and released prior to the president's re-election in 2004. The author closes his text arguing that "storm clouds" were forming and that he thought it likely we'd see a major [Watergate-sized] scandal unfold. Looking at the three-ish years since the book was released, I don' ...more
Kevin Larsen
Mar 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this years ago, I think near George W's reelection. All he needed to say that election was "Don't change horses in midstream" (the same as Lincoln's reelection campaign) and he was voted back in. Anyway, an interesting anecdote about this is that a Republican friend of mine, in the financial services industry (go figure, nowadays you're lucky to find any Democrats there) implied that authors like this are fools or clowns. In this book, though, he may be right. John W. Dean, former attorne ...more
Elizabeth Sulzby
Jan 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had forgotten that John Dean had served as a Watergate informant to avoid his own penalties. From hearing him talk over recent years, I thought he was no longer a Republican. He describes himself as a Goldwater Republican and has strong, clear beliefs. What he believes is ruining our democratic society is secrecy--secrecy, lying, distortion, etc., all of which he accuses Bush and Cheney and their administration of. This was an excellent book but I don't want to write anything more now. Maybe l ...more
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction, pld
During the Watergate years, I was not a fan of John Dean. I didn't think him credible, and thought most of his actions were CYA.

That being said, I think he's done a very credible research job in highlighting all of the illegalities of the Bush/Cheney years. The book is scrupulously annotated and draws reasonable conclusions. I recommend this to any political junkie that enjoys reading about the excesses within the beltway.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of the books in John Dean's trilogy about the Bush (II) administration. When a Goldwater conservative comes out against the Bush regime and takes it apart bit by bit, I am certainly going to sit up and take notice. Dean relates how the Bushies have turned their backs on the roots of conservatism and have used the conservative banner to promote their own agenda.
Paperback has an added chapter after the 2004 election, which it hoped to influence. As one who lived through Watergate minute by minute, it makes me deeply unhappy all over again. Really damning that our investigative media, such as it apparently isn't, did not use and dig into Bush/Cheney governance and abuse of secrecy.
Mar 23, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: political savy
The secrecy of the present administration is astronomical. We must constantly be on alert regarding our civil liberties. Bush is interested in creating a state that is completely pro corporation and cares nothing about the American public. The contents of this book are well documented.
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: foreign-policy
Worse than Watergate is an excellent analysis of the secretive and deceptive means of the Bush Administration whether it involved domestic or foreign issues and how the Bush Administration used deception and secrets to advance their personal agendas and interests.
Jun 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
If you already dislike George Bush & Dick Cheney, this will only further aggravate you. It's the same old story!
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Talk about power going to someone's head....and those nearby too.
Rob Beck
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Good look at the Bush administration and what went on, shocking!
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John W. Dean served as White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973. In this position, he became deeply involved in events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover-up. He was referred to as the "master manipulator of the cover-up" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He pleaded guilty to a single fel ...more