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Mask Of State: Watergate Portrait (Harvest Book ; Hb283) 1st Harvest ed Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0156573023
ISBN-10: 0156573024
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About the Author

MARY MCCARTHY (1912-1989) was a short-story writer, bestselling novelist, essayist, and critic. She was the author of The Stones of Florence and Birds of America, among other books.


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Product Details

  • Series: Harvest Book ; Hb283
  • Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1st Harvest ed edition (March 19, 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156573024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156573023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,309,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Beginning in June, 1973 and continuing through September, 1974, Mary McCarthy covered the Senate Watergate Hearings as a correspondent for the London Observer and the New York Review of Books. In 1975 the articles - nine in the book, although there may have been more - were released in book form under the title `The Mask of State: Watergate Portraits.' Besides the final chapter, dated September, 1974, which contains McCarthy's reaction to President Ford's pardon of Nixon, a long-ish chapter that ruminates on the Watergate break-in, and one written while the Senate hearings were in short recess during a state visit by Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev, six have as subject the hearing's witness or witnesses of the week. For instance, the first chapter, `The Athlete of Evasion and the Prodigal Son,' report on the appearance of Maurice Stans and Jeb Magruder before the Senate Committee.

McCarthy is at her best in the hearing's chapter, where her novelist's attention to detail and acrid wit allow her to impale the perfidious with a wry thrust of the pen. In `The Wagons Are Drawn Around the White House,' John Dean's testimony chapter, his impression suggests "not so much of a truthful person as of someone resolved to tell the truth about this particular set of events because his intelligence has warned him to do so." An apt description of the somewhat robotic and bloodless ex-counsel to the president. Contrasting John Ehrlichman's belligerent aggression manner before the committee with John Mitchell's earlier dour and somewhat boring appearance, McCarthy notes "the difference between him (Ehrlichman) and Mitchell came down to the difference between the ready insolence of power and a surly nihilism proceeding from defeat.
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