Clare O'Beara's Reviews > All the President's Men

All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein
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it was amazing
bookshelves: america-fact, memoir, journalism

This quintessential tale of investigative journalism is told in third person by the two reporters for the Washington Post who took a minor local break-in item and delved deep into the cellars of the White House. Of course, other publications were on the story and sometimes scooped them but Bernstein and Woodward made a dedicated team and found reliable sources.

The text is full of names, phone calls, visits to homes, checks on allegations, long days and nights, protection of sources, court visits. If you find it sounds like hard work, well it was hard work. Some of the most interesting aspects are contrasts between then and now - now we have Google, mobile phones and an abundance of on-line photos and CCTV, while few females are named and all but one are in a subordinate position. The exception is the owner of the Washington Post, Katharine Graham, who was on the receiving end of sexist remarks and who, as publisher, would have been ultimately responsible if the paper had published libels.

Political power is examined and the efforts of Nixon to remain in power which led to a secret slush fund to pay for underhanded actions. Such as bugging offices, phone taps, false allegations, rigging votes and comments, upsetting the opposition party's rallies and paying for lawyers for burglars.

While we clearly need a free press and those serving the state have a duty to communicate, I also have to wonder how elected representatives and civil servants are supposed to get any work done, if they are to be phoned daily by reporters from every major newspaper and expected to make comments.

I recommend watching the film which speeds up the months of constant work required to crack this case and shows the hectic and disciplined nature of the Post's offices.
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Reading Progress

July 20, 2014 – Shelved
July 20, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
August 29, 2016 – Started Reading
September 11, 2016 – Shelved as: america-fact
September 11, 2016 – Shelved as: memoir
September 11, 2016 – Shelved as: journalism
September 11, 2016 – Finished Reading

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