The fictional, humorous life and times of Gordon Walter, Richard Nixon’s top-secret right-hand man.
During World War II, Walter met young Lt. Richard Nixon in the Navy. While stationed in the South Pacific, Walter proved his worth by helping Nixon make off with a few cases of an admiral’s whiskey for a party. From that moment on, whenever he needed a little covert help behind the scenes, Nixon turned to his old friend. As Nixon’s political career took off, he found himself calling on Walter’s services again and again, especially after he became president. Among other things, Walter secretly oversaw the Plumbers—“a group that we can pin the blame on if things go wrong, so people will have someone and won’t go digging for us”—babysat a deliciously inept Spiro Agnew, helped orchestrate the buildup to a manufactured (ultimately unnecessary) war with Albania and was there throughout the Watergate scandal, which, as Walter explains, was a huge mix-up from the start. As edited by Alaric Thistle, this debut fictional memoir is an uproarious take on the Nixon years as seen from the inside. There are ample laughs throughout the book, but some sections stand out, especially Walter and Agnew’s covert trip to England and Germany to bolster the vice president’s foreign policy–making skills and Walter’s experience tailing Nixon’s burglars while they attempt to nab Ellsberg’s psychiatric file from his doctor’s office. Walter and Nixon’s imagined plotting lends a humorous slant to real-life historical events, and Walter himself is a great character—wry, licentious but with a stubborn loyal streak. Similarly, Nixon’s voice is captured perfectly: Readers will all but hear his jowly baritone. While the tone is satirical, the high level of historical detail adds a layer of richness. Although bound to amuse even casual readers, those more familiar with the politics, personalities and scandals of the Nixon years are likely to especially appreciate this irreverent take on the era.
Sharp, snooping political satire.