Mr.Jamie's Reviews > All the President's Men

All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

really liked it
bookshelves: crime, non-fiction, government, classics, investigative-reporting, 20th-century, to-reread, americana, history

All The President’s Men Book Review
In the 1968 presidential election, Richard Nixon took the popular vote over Hubert Humphrey to become President of the United States of America. Nixon became and remained an American hero until the Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972. Many parties, including the FBI, reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, and the government, investigated the Watergate scandal. For a year-and-a-half, the conspirators of the burglary were somewhat of a mystery, and few Americans believed that the White House had a hand in the crisis. On January 8, 1973 the Watergate trials began, resulting in either the arrest or indictment of the President’s top advisors due to their involvement in the peculiar event. In August of 1974, Richard Nixon announced his resignation as President of the United States, and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein “became forever identified as the reporters who broke the biggest story in American politics. ”
All The President’s Men, a collaborative work by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, was written and published in 1974. It details all the events that happened during the Watergate scandal from their perspective and their thorough investigation that followed the burglary. Bernstein and Woodward were reporters at the Washington Post, and they saw the Watergate incident through to its bitter end. Together, they published this story because they felt that people deserved to know the whole truth behind the scandal and they wanted to gain back the validity of the Washington Post (they lost some readers due to an inaccurate account of a courtroom statement which they posted in their paper). Throughout the entire incident, people accused Bernstein and Woodward of having a vendetta against President Nixon and his party. These theories were claimed to be false with the publishing of this book as the authors showed that they merely wanted the truth like everyone else.
Bernstein and Woodward had been coworkers at the Washington Post for nearly a year before the Watergate Scandal ; however, Watergate was their first cooperative assignment. The two were in the right place at the right time, as any news of this event became a nationwide must-read. It was clear to Bernstein and Woodward from the start that there was more to Watergate than what appeared on the surface, and with help from numerous sources, they discovered the involvement of the White House and the President. The authors swore to maintain the anonymity of their sources if so desired, so many sources remained unnamed in the writing of All The President’s Men. Still, the sources were revealed to be mainly FBI agents, former and current White House employees, government officials, judges, and others, including Deep Throat and Hugh Sloan, who would have had insider knowledge. Regardless of where it came from, nearly all of the information that the authors received was from secondary sources; however, trying to get sources to talk was very difficult for the Washington Post reporters. For instance, they were sent to court because they tried to pick confidential information from jury members who were under oath. Even contacting White House employees was a hassle, usually ending with responses like, “Please don’t ever call me on the telephone – God, especially not at work, but not here either. ” People were scared of the higher-ups, and it made authors Bernstein and Woodward want to dig deeper into this mystery.
All The President’s Men is extremely fast-paced, making the book a quick read and allowing the reader to follow along easily. One feels like a spectator when reading this book. Traditionally, personal documentaries like this one are written in first person; however, All The President’s Men is written in third person giving the reader an outsider’s view into this historical event. Bernstein and Woodward’s use of many names adds some confusion to the reading as one might get the names confused. Fortunately, the authors included a “Cast of Characters” section in the beginning of the book and an “Index” at the end, both of which prove helpful and provide one with references.
Reporters Bernstein and Woodward left no stone unturned in their investigation of Watergate. This sets up for some insignificant scenes but these are few and far in-between. What holds the reader’s attention is the story’s implications and importance in 20th Century American politics. All The President’s Men is also very informal, providing readers with a lot of behind-the-scenes governmental information. All The President’s Men reads more like a detective story than a documentary.
The Index placed at the end of this book is a very helpful and informative source to be used during and after reading. It lists key terms, people, and places with the page numbers in which they were mentioned. After reading, one can refer to the Index to review terms which s/he had forgotten.
Bernstein and Woodward’s book, which detailed all of the known events about Watergate (1972-1974), was released during Watergate in 1974. It ends with President Nixon stating that he is resolute in his cause and that he has “no intention whatever of ever walking away from the job that the American people elected [him] to do for the people of the United States.” However, the book’s early publication did not capture Richard Nixon stepping down from his position in August of 1974 . To complete the story they started, Bernstein and Woodward sought to find the reasons behind Nixon’s resignation and detailed their findings in 1976 under their second book titled, The Final Days.
For two long years, the Watergate Scandal covered the front pages of nearly every newspaper. Authors Bernstein and Woodward were lucky enough to be the ones covering this story on the Washington Post. Together, they investigated the mystery until the truth was revealed, and they managed to topple a White House. They became America’s most famous reporters and detectives. Their book, All The President’s Men, is an accomplishment in of itself, but it also captures readers’ attentions due to its intriguing story and great cast of characters. Through one reading, one receives extensive knowledge on the Watergate event. Bernstein and Woodward’s book sheds light on the dark aspects of United States government while taking the reader back to this historic event in 20th Century American politics.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read All the President's Men.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

July 2, 2011 – Started Reading
July 2, 2011 – Shelved
July 3, 2011 –
page 40
July 4, 2011 –
page 91
July 5, 2011 –
page 98
July 8, 2011 –
page 389
July 11, 2011 –
page 416
July 11, 2011 – Shelved as: crime
July 11, 2011 – Shelved as: non-fiction
July 11, 2011 – Shelved as: government
July 11, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 28, 2011 – Shelved as: classics
May 23, 2013 – Shelved as: investigative-reporting
February 13, 2016 – Shelved as: 20th-century
February 13, 2016 – Shelved as: to-reread
February 13, 2016 – Shelved as: americana
February 13, 2016 – Shelved as: history

No comments have been added yet.