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The REAL White House scandal of our time
am 6. Juli 2000
All the President's Men is a timeless work, and will be a valuable reference for historians, political scientists, and (most importantly) citizens for years to come.
The book succeeds on two levels. First, it provides a fascinating description of investigative journalism at its finest - the exhaustive search for reliable sources, the need to check and double-check information, the judicious use of editors in both the writing process and the ultimate decision whether to even publish a piece. To the credit of Woodward, Bernstein, and the entire Washington Post staff, the paper was quite conservative in deciding what (and when) to publish, and quick to make amends in the rare instances when they erred in their accounts.
Second, the book remains the definitive "in the moment" guide to the collapse of the Nixon presidency. In the wake of the Clinton presidency, after the proliferation of such non-scandals as Whitewater, Travelgate, and the laughably irrelevant Lewinsky matter, it is important to understand what REAL presidential misbehavior is all about.
Although the book concludes prior to Nixon's resignation, the detailed elucidation of the activities of both the White House and the Committee to Re-Elect the President leave little doubt that the Nixon Administration was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors against the American people. Both the Nixon presidency and the subsequent "pardoning" from Gerald Ford were disgraces in American history.
As a final note, although Bob Dole is only a minor player in the story, his behavior is worth noting for the insight it provides into his character. His scathing indictment of the Post in his speeches at the time serve as an important reminder of Dole's ties to the most corrupt domestic administration of the 20th century.
ATPM is an important volume in contemporary American history. It should be mandatory reading for all citizens.