Lindsey M's Reviews > All the President's Men

All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein
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it was amazing


Lessons learned from this book:
1. It takes a LOT. OF. People. to run a White House. And a newspaper. This books serves as a great sketch of the procedural sides of being both investigative news journalists and presidential aides.

2. There are very specific things you can and can't write in a newspaper. I don't know if it's true today, but I was impressed by how often Woodward and Bernstein would be rebuffed by their editor and told to find a second source to confirm a fact. One person talking does not a story validate.

3. When reading quotes from politicians, if they don't give a flat-out confirmation or denial when asked a question, know that there are about 15 things they are probably withholding from you at that moment: players' names, intent, schisms in the ranks, motives, etc.

4. Nixon was rotten. I always felt a little sorry for him in the past, and I still do, but now I do, NOT because he lost the presidency in the most ignominious way possible, but because he chose to surround himself with militant, morally-elastic yesmen that built him a reelection machine that embezzled money and was in the habit of actively breaking the law to defeat opponents. Disgusting.

5. It was fun to read the book knowing that Mark Felt is Deepthroat (I've even been to the garage parking spot where they met!). This book made me reexamine every place he was mentioned, inserting the phrase "number 2 at FBI HQ" in between his lines. I have come to the conclusion that he was brave, but also that he was just a DC bro, buddies with Woodward and willing to bend the rules to make them fairer for the newspapers and the public they were informing.

3. Love Bob Woodward. There's a reason he and Bernstein are infamous. There's a reason parts of this book were published first in GQ. These men are entertaining writers. They know how to grip you, how to make you feel like you're part of the club, and how to make you empathize with whomever they want you to empathize with.

All in all, a great book by the people who authored a paradigm-shattering chapter of American history. Not recommended for audible books, because there are so many players involved and it's hard to keep them straight even while reading. They placed a handy-dandy list of all the men and their titles at the beginning of the book, and I constantly flipped back to it.
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Reading Progress

April 18, 2016 – Started Reading
April 18, 2016 – Shelved
April 21, 2016 –
page 54
11.25% "I can't believe I lived in DC for six years and never read this book!"
May 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

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