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Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1468309188
ISBN-10: 1468309188
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Forty years after the greatest scandal of the American presidency, Elizabeth Drew’s account in Washington Journal remains fresh and riveting, instructive and evocative. Her afterword on Nixon’s post-Watergate life is equally compelling.” —Tom Brokaw
 
“A journal so meticulous, so coolly absorbing as to render the year almost reasonable.” —Joan Didion
 
“Indispensable . . . Superb . . . [Drew] has succeeded admirably in coolly, clinically, meticulously recording the way it was. Her work is bound to be indispensable.” —The Washington Post
 
“Of all the books on Watergate, this is the one that will last.” —John W. Gardner
 
“Elizabeth Drew made me feel again the strong emotions of those extraordinary months in 1974 when Richard Nixon was unmasked—the doubt, the tension, the relief. It was a time in our lives when the Constitution came alive, and she makes us understand how it happened. It is wonderful to be reminded.” —Anthony Lewis
 
“A sober, thorough, and sensitive report.” —The New York Times Books Review

"One of the pioneers of women in journalism." —Chuck Todd, MSNBC

“Like nothing else I’ve ever read about that period, really shows what it was like to be there.” —Molly Ball, The Atlantic
 
“Full of observations and sensory details that give the word ‘Watergate’ meaning beyond the well-worn symbols of corruption and . . . From the first page, you feel that you are in smoggy, stuffy Washington, watching things get bizarre.” —Barnes and Noble Review
 
“A classic of American political journalism . . . Forty years later, it’s every bit as riveting.” —Judy Woodruff, PBS Newshour

“Unquestionably the best book yet on Watergate, and conceivably the best we will ever get.” —Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone

“A true thriller.”Houston Chronicle

 "[Washington Journal], originally published in 1975, closely chronicled the events leading up to and following the Watergate scandal. Forty years later, Nixon’s secret plan for career rehab is revealed in Drew’s new afterward, including attempts that Nixon made to stay relevant in the political world.” —Politico

"Compelling . . . a reminder that American politicians can rise and respond to crises." —Al Hunt, Bloomberg View
 

 

About the Author

Elizabeth Drew is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and the former Washington correspondent of The New Yorker and The Atlantic. She is the author of fourteen books, including The Corruption of American Politics, also available from The Overlook Press.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (May 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468309188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468309188
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #812,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. Hyde on May 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the real deal here. Superbly crafted and meticulously written, this book captures the essence of a man whose character and behavior would lead to the seminal political event of the latter half of the 20th century. Ms. Drew, who witnessed these events from a front row seat in Washington, has updated her must- read book with additional insights regarding the truth about Richard Nixon, and his attempts at rehabilitating his public persona after his outrageous behavior in one of the biggest political scandals to hit this country. Forget Benghazi, this is what a real scandal and coverup looks like.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sidney on June 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the very first Watergate book I ever read. Got it as soon as it was published in 1975. Since I was not familiar with her writings, I'm not sure why I chose it to be my first (maybe it was because I was young and I think it wasn't as long as "All The President's Men" LOL) -- But, I'm glad I did. Her writing and insight were crisp and held the fascination of this young reader. She and Woodward/Bernstein are my favorite writers on the Nixon-Watergate-Scandal. They were the pioneers that others have built on.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Erik Tarloff on June 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As Nixon's criminality recedes into history, there is a distressing tendency to minimize its enormity. But Watergate and the many other crimes conveniently contained within that rubric constituted an authentic constitutional crisis, an assault on the very nature of the American state. Elizabeth Drew's contemporaneous reporting of the scandal and the subsequent investigations into its nature was the best on offer, the most thoughtful, the most thorough, the most analytical. And it was fired with genuine outrage. Ms. Drew's love of her country, and of its constitution, was scarred by what the White House had wrought. Indignation informed every sentence of her New Yorker dispatches.

There has been important reporting in the years since Richard Nixon's resignation, giving us more detail and often new insight; Max Holland, among others, has been instrumental in filling out the picture. But for a vivid portrayal of the events as they were unfolding and while their outcome remained very much in doubt, there is no more reliable or more exciting chronicler than Elizabeth Drew. Re-reading her Washington Journal is a necessary reminder of why this crisis was without precedent, and why it mattered, and why it continues to resonate. And the new material in this new edition, about Nixon's post-presidential years and his semi-successful efforts to rehabilitate his reputation, is an indispensable antidote to much of the revisionism one encounters today.

Anyone who cares about American history and American governance should have Drew's Washington Journal on his or her shelves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Randall L. Wilson on October 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Drew's Washington Journal is a contemporaneous account of America's biggest political scandal. Reading this today after Monicagate and Iran-Contragate and all the other `gates' of the past forty years, the size, scope and impact of Watergate stands alone.

There are so many threads to disentangle. There is the break-in itself which was only one of many efforts to subvert the Democratic nomination process. There were many other dirty tricks, efforts by Nixon men to undermine Muskie and Wallace. There was the enemies list, the attempt to use the I.R.S to harass citizens. There were the shakedown of big corporations, threatening to use the power of the government to scrutinize licenses or big mergers unless sizeable contributions were forthcoming. There were Nixon's tax returns in which he used questionable deductions to avoid paying significant taxes. There was the plumbers' burglary of the Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office and the discussion about firebombing the Brookings Institute to obtain nonexistent Pentagon Papers-related documentation.

Drew does an excellent job of serving up each revelation as it comes but more than that she captures the dread, fear and growing cynicism of the times. And despite the rapidity of events, she also takes a long view. She is particularly good at explaining how and why Peter Rodino's Judiciary Committee's impeachment investigation was so important constitutionally and in terms of what today we would call 'optics', restored the nation's faith that a Democratic Congress could be fair to a Republican President. The Committee made it clear that the President had violated the Constitution but it allowed vigorous debate that clarified the exact terms of those violations.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Francis OBrien on June 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the most important book written on the Watergate era. Congratulations to Overlook Press for making it available to a whole new generations of readers. And for those who read it when it was first published there is an "Afterword" that is a fascinating portrait of President Nixon after he left office.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn L. Vehe on June 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is fabulous; I agree with the sentiments expressed in the other five-star reviews. However! If you are "of a certain age", be forewarned that the print is very, very small. I have never had any difficulty with print size before, but this borders on the unreadable for me. Of course, if the typeface were bigger the book would be larger - and then I'd warn people about the book's weight. (hah hah)

In any event, if you think this might be an issue, either order a magnifying glass or wait for the Kindle edition in August.
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