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In Nixon's Web: A Year in the Crosshairs of Watergate Hardcover – March 4, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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"A fast-paced, sometimes chilling insider's account of the desperate attempt to save a corrupt administration, without regard to whose lives were destroyed." ---Library Journal --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

L. Patrick Gray III (1916-2005) was acting director of the FBI at the height of the Watergate scandal, from May 1972 to April 1973. He had previously served in the Justice Department as an assistant attorney general, and was a twenty-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. Ed Gray, his son, is a naturalist writer and the founder of Gray's Sporting Journal. He is the author of seven books and lives in Lyme, New Hampshire.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; First Edition edition (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805082565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805082562
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,231,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What a great book. L. Patrick Gray is a tragic figure. Stumbles into the FBI Directorship job, gets caught up in all the FBI backstabbing, and on top of it, gets his name thrown in with the criminals of Watergate. Even more tragic is that Mark Felt comes out a hero for being Deep Throat.

Without giving anything away, Nixon's Web will give the interested Watergate reader a very different perspective. It's really easy and good reading. I like the style, it's to the point, very little fluff if any. It's a shame that Gray didn't come out with this sooner, but the announcement of Deep Throat compelled him to break his long silence.

If you've been a Watergate reader, you absolutely cannot go without reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the book fascinating. It was a real page-turner for me. Parts are absolutely gripping, especially when L. Patrick Gray is sitting in Nixon's office perplexed at what his boss is trying to tell him. Gray is an honest man and a straight-shooter and Nixon is trying to get him to be a conspirator without coming right out and saying it. Gray's mind just doesn't have a place for the idea that the President of the United States is a criminal.

Although I was only a boy when the Watergate scandal broke, it was a
formative chapter in my life. One of my early memories is watching my
father (a Massachusetts McGovern supporter) listen to the 1972 returns
in dismay. Later I watched the Watergate hearings on TV at school, transfixed by the historic importance of what was happening.

I've since been keenly aware of the far-reaching damage Nixon did to our
country. I was less cognizant of the damage he and his henchmen
inflicted on the personal lives of so many. L. Patrick Gray's story brings this starkly to light.

The extent to which the book also puts the press in a bad light is timely. I was one of those, reared on the Woodward and Bernstein myth of reporter as white knight. In the past 15 years I've come to see the press more for what it is, a self-serving business/political entity. I know there are people of good faith in both government and the press, but they don't seem to be the ones running show, bless 'em for keeping at it!

This book starts to rewrite the fictional construct "Deep Throat" that Woodward and Bernstein created in order to sell a book and a movie, and cast themselves as heroes in the process. "All the President's Men" is a good story but it's far from the truth.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Nixon's Web is a valuable source for Watergate junkies. It also provides new information about the Hoover-era FBI and the actions of old guard Hoover loyalists like Mark Felt. Finally, it fleshes out our picture of L. Patrick Gray who for too long has been portrayed as a cardboard villain in order to highlight the noble heroism of Deep Throat.

The flesh and blood Mark felt comes off badly in Gray's telling. He was an inveterate leaker--not just to Woodward but to the New York Times and Time magazine as well. His leaks were not confined to Watergate but were aimed at discrediting Gray and his attempts to curb the tyrannical abuses of Hoover and his minions. Moreover, when confronted about the leaks, Felt lied and tried to direct suspicion at other, innocent parties.

Ed Gray has also unearthed powerful evidence that Woodward overstated Felt's role and credited Deep Throat with information that came from other sources. The "Deep Throat as composite" theory is far from dead.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just finished reading Nixon's Web, L. Patrick Gray III, who spent a tumultuous year as acting director of the FBI in 1972-73. Gray was an amazing guy and part of what has come to be known as America's "Greatest Generation." Born to humble beginnings in Texas, he had almost earned a degree at Rice University when he was accepted to the Naval Academy in 1936. Without any money to get to Annapolis, he convinced the master of a merchant vessel departing Galveston to take him to the east coast. (Along the way the master taught him celestial navigation, and he taught the master calculus.)

Gray graduated from the Naval Academy in 1940, then served as a submariner in WWII. He later attended law school at Navy expense (Order of the Coif and law review at George Washington University) but he went back to submarines during the Korean War.

By the late 1950s he was on the fast track to flag rank. But he left the Navy to campaign for Richard Nixon in 1960 and 1968 and came to Washington as a political appointee. After some time at HEW, he was appointed as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division at DOJ, the Deputy AG, and then Acting Director of the FBI when Hoover died in the spring of 1972. Gray had been on the job just a few weeks when the Watergate burglars were arrested, and the book describes the next year of his life, until he was forced to resign in May of 1973.

Granted, it's a memoir (with some posthumous polishing by Gray's son) but the book makes a strong case Gray was an honest guy who was used by felonious White House staffers like John Dean and John Ehrlichman, who told him they wanted the Bureau to investigate Watergate vigorously while scheming at every turn to cover up what John Mitchell called "the horrors.
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