Book The Twenty-First

The Secret Man by Bob Woodward

The inside story of Bob Woodward’s relationship with FBI Deputy Director W Mark Felt, the man who was known for thirty years only as Deep Throat.

What got me about this story was how, for lack of a better word, banal it all was. I had a picture in my mind (based on nothing but pop culture, to be fair) of Woodward and Bernstein as angry and righteous crusaders and Deep Throat as the shadowy, all-knowing, possibly even Machiavellian figure. But, as this book reveals, Woodward was an inexperienced reporter who made many stupid mistakes, and Felt was a profoundly paranoid man who had hit the glass ceiling of advancement at the FBI, and seemed to be informing as much out of frustration at what he saw as poor decision-making on behalf of his resented superiors as much as any desire to see justice done.

A nice coda to the Watergate story, but it fills in blanks rather than tells the whole story, so only really for those with a pre-existing interest in the case.

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