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Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate Paperback – October 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
In this double career biography, Shepard takes one of the most famous and influential episodes in twentieth-century journalism and shows how it affected the lives of the two Washington Post reporters who gave it life, chronicling the lives of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from their pre-Post days to the present. Using a plethora of interviews with all the leading characters, as well as newly-unearthed archives, Shepard picks up where Woodward and Bernstein's All the President's Men leaves off, filling in the parts of the story that have been obscured by that title's massive popularity-"many have misread their fascinating story as being the only story"-and providing welcome context through vivid cultural snapshots. Shepard shows how the long shadow of their first book and its blockbuster film adaptation led to the duo's 1977 breakup, and how it haunted the rocky solo careers pursued by each. Separating the men from the myth, journalism professor Shepard provides an insightful, highly readable study for fans of journalism, U.S. politics and the work of "Woodstein."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From The New Yorker
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will always be famous for their part in untangling the Watergate scandal. Shepard, though, is far more interested in what happened afterward, and in examining the uneasy rewards of early success. Her prose can be clichéd, but her biographical curiosity is large; she seems to have interviewed almost everyone with a connection to her subjects. Other journalists played important roles in ending the Nixon Presidency, Shepard notes, but it was the film version of "All the President's Men," a retelling that left several colleagues feeling slighted, that enshrined "Woodstein" in "fame and glory." When the pair sold their papers to the University of Texas, for about five million dollars, one observer noted that they had become "as much a part of the story of Watergate and historical record as any of the people they reported on."
Copyright © 2006 Click here to subscribe to The New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
Where did journalism go and how do we see it coming back to help perform its constituional role in our democracy? There are some ansers to these questons and it is worth one's time to read this book and then reflect on how certain changes in our society may endanger it.
Shepard had access to their entire Watergate archives, and my only criticism of the book is its liberal quotations of that material. When "letters and telegrams" pour in from all over the country to them, it is not necessary to quote from so many. It slows down the narrative and you will find yourself skipping over most of these repetitive passages. All in all, it is a 266 page book that would have a much easier read at about 225. But if you love Water¬gate and all that came in its wake, pick up this book and read about how it careened the careers of these little reports to un¬known heights and depths.
Woodward and Bernstien are the perfect example that if you work hard and don't give up, good things happen. I know it's straight from the "water is wet department" but it's the truth. Their work is inspiring. Woodward talks to sources over and over again, literally dozens of times, for each story. That's why he is the best journalists in this county.
First, I read the "All the Presidents Men," then watched the movie, and then read this book. Shepard's book is a excellent follow up to the book and the movie.