Skip to comments.Vanity suggestions on books about Watergate
Posted on 02/17/2009 6:47:07 PM PST by pesto
I am in the middle of watching the Frost- Nixon interviews. The only book I've read About Watergate is All The Presidents Men. I am looking for suggestions on other books, Better books on the subject. Thanks
Silent Coup from 1992 is the seminal work on Watergate.
It is somewhat dated but Fred Thompson’s Watergate memoir is: “At That Point in Time: The Inside Story of the Senate Watergate Committee”
I’ve got to agree. Silent Coup is THE book on Watergate. The only error that I can find is their speculation that Haig was Deep Throat. We know now that he was not. That one point notwithstanding, Silent Coup tells the real story on Watergate. G.Gordon Liddy says so and that’s good enough for me. (Plus, it is the only story that makes ANY sense.)
Woodstein were not a big deal at the Pest. Watergate started as a police blotter story. Woodwad (as I once accidentally called him on the air) is not great reporter by any means. Ok? Yes. Great? No.
Bernstein is an excellent reporter, but like any of his era, saw Nixon as a public enemy. He was all to glad to write the story that took Nixon down... and Nixon gave it to him on a silver platter.
Couple of insights. Reston, like so many other reporters so hated Nixon and idolized the Kennedy-types that it became horrible obvious in their writing. Reston Chappaquiddick story began with the line “Tragedy Strikes Kennedy Family Again.” There was no mention of Mary Jo by name until the 4th graf!
Secondly, This is the real secret of Watergate.
Many people on both sides of the Atlantic were worried that Nixon was unstable in closing days of his administration. The Sovs were particularly afraid, in fact terrified he would say “screw it”, launch the ICBMs and go out in a blaze of gory! (no, that's not a typo.)
So, for last 6 weeks of his administration, a member of the Joint Chiefs stayed on duty 24/7 in the war room at the 5-sided puzzle palace. A counterpart from the Sov General Staff was on duty in Moscow.
The idea was that if Nixon pushed the Big Button, or someone in the Kremlin got way too antsy, there were stoppers in the loop to ensure sanity reigned.
Remember, all the high level Pentagon and Kremlin brass knew each other. Many of our generals and admirals spoke Russian. Many of theirs spoke English. They had all been to the same cocktail parties, liaison visits, etc.
They weren't friends, but they knew each other and their values. On both sides of the Cold War, they knew their counterparts were sane military men who all understood the cost of thermonuclear war.
So 24/7, a phone line was open. Every time a “shift” changed, it was something like,
“Hello, Stanislav. How is your wife Olga?”
“She is fine, Frank. How are your Mary and Frank Junior?”
“They are fine, Stanislav. Everything is quiet here in Washington.”
“As it is here in Moscow, Frank. I'll call you if there are any potential "concerns".... and you will do the same for me, yes? ........”
It was just very reassuring to all concerned that the "pros" were there to stop anything in case it began to get out of hand.
The Generals’ and Admiral's “special services” were never needed, but that is one of the great untold stories of Watergate.
Book Club ping. Any suggestions?
P.S. Silent Coup is all B.S.
It’s a great fantasy. That’s all.
I was (and still) more against his enemies than I was (am) for/against Nixon.
His enemies are more the story than Nixon himself. Other presidents bugged, lied, covered up, misused government power -- you name it. Nixon was taken to task. Why?
Chambers' enemies were Nixon's enemies. If you do not already know Chambers learn a little about him and his enemies.
Thanks for your suggestions. I will look for
Silent Coup at the library. It’s a fascinating
Subject for someone to young to remember the events
Also forgive my grammar/typos. I’m on my cell phone posting!
I have read the book twice but I need to re-read it as it has been over a decade. John Dean pulled off the biggest double-cross in modern history.
Two older volumes that are also useful are It Didn't Start with Watergate (Dial, 1977) by veteran investigative reporter Victor Lasky, which came out at the time of the Nixon/Frost interviews, and With Nixon (Viking, 1977) by Raymond Price, an inside account by a White House speech writer, which appeared a few months later.
if you cant find it, I have a copy
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