In this haunting book, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring to life the demise of a man who was responsible for his own fall. The book is a blow-by-blow account of the 37th presidents handling of the Watergate Controversy, and his brutal failure to accept the new realities that followed. The first part of the book gives us the background of the Watergate mess and how Nixon dug himself deeper and deeper in, through lies, deception, and more lies to cover up the lies he had already told. We watch almost awestruck as this chief executive cuts himself off from the world, and retreat to desperate measures. The burning of bridges with members of Congress, to Nixon’s paranoia regarding the counterculture movement, each step we cant help but be amazed by the depth of the mans own desperate ego. The book walks us through the audio recordings Nixon made for himself, showing himself in all his ugliness and venality. The book allows the reader to analyze for themselves the reason behind Nixon’s thinking during these times. It is merely a walk through of the final nail in the coffin when seven Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee decided to vote along with the Democratic majority, making Nixon’s demise all but an ordained conclusion. At this point in the book, the authors conclude the first half of the retelling, and continue onward with the second half with a day-to-day account of Nixon’s last days in the highest office. The House Judiciary Committee votes to bring a recommendation of impeachment to the full House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court rules unanimously that Nixon cannot take shelter behind the specious shield of executive privilege and refuse to release the tapes that document his complicity.
Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide... We watch Nixon''s fellow Republicans abandoning him one by one as the evidence of his complicity piles up and he realizes he has no support any more, nothing to fall back on. The excruciating scene of his meeting with Kissinger after he has decided to resign his presidency rather than be ignominiously kicked out is gut-wrenching; we are both fascinated and repelled by Kissinger''s evident lack of discretion and sensitivity in telling it afterwards, as he must have done. In the end, we almost feel for this man who has fallen from the highest office in the world into a disgrace which will remain with him for the rest of his life; abandoned by most of his former friends and allies, despised by a wife who hasn''t loved him for years, and supported only by the blind devotion of his children... until we read his farewell speech to the nation and shake our heads as we realize that, at the end of his presidency all the way to the end of his life, Nixon simply did not get it.