Reporter Kilian transports readers to the scene of the Watergate crime, seeing it in its larger context rather than as an aberration or isolated event. While her presentation is balanced, Kilian also offers her own opinions and judgments to help readers understand the people and times. She describes Liddy, for example, as ""a strange man"" whose plans to break into homes, beat up demonstrators, and break the air conditioners at the Democratic convention were so diabolical that even J. Edgar Hoover objected, and she pictures a ""paranoid President insatiable for information on his enemies."" As introduction or review, the unraveling of the coverup is all here, intertwined with the agony of Vietnam and corruption in high places. Some of the details--like Woodward signaling ""Deep Throat"" by moving an office flowerpot--are delightful. One strength here is Kilian's explanation of why certain actions (e.g., government officials working for political candidates) are unethical. Bibliography (cleverly divided so that books by reporters are separate from books by Watergate figures); chronology; who's who; index.