Essential to anyone’s library of Nixoniana.



About that 18-and-a-half minutes of lost tape….

In this 40th anniversary year of Richard Nixon’s gloomy evacuation of the White House, former staffer and ever since bête noire Dean (Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches, 2007, etc.) defends himself against a category of accusation Tricky Dick frequently leveled against him: “I’m not going to fire a guy on the basis of a charge made by Dean, who basically is trying to save his ass and get immunity, you see.” Well, sure: Dean was and is no dummy, and he saw what was coming in the grim swirl of the Watergate hearings, during which frequently named figures such as Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Hunt, Liddy, Mitchell and Dean himself became household names. By the author’s account, Liddy—never likable but always honorable, in his own way—took the fall for the foiled break-in and offered to have himself shot on any street corner in Washington at the president’s pleasure; the president declined, but he schemed and maneuvered in other directions. Sometimes, Dean notes, Nixon was brilliant in that maneuvering, turning potential losses into double-edged wins, usually Pyrrhic but still damaging to the opposition. This account, drawing on notes, scrawls on legal pads and transcripts of taped conversations, makes an odd but compelling stroll down Memory Lane for those who remember the time. Dean provides deft portraits of the likes of the unctuous Kissinger, the exceedingly odd Al Haig (“he’s a little bit obnoxious and doesn’t wear well with people, which would be good from our point of view”), and Nixon himself. And as for that missing tape, the one about which so much was made at the Watergate hearings? It would spoil the surprise to tell it here, but Dean has the answers.

Essential to anyone’s library of Nixoniana.

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-670-02536-7

Page Count: 784

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?


Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet