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I've read a few Dean books and I like the way he processes reality, and explains it. I could see an actual lawyer at each of these junctures making similar calls and ending up in this particular alley-with-no-exit. But of course there was, and is, an exit -- throwing oneself into the arms of prosecutors and, after some touch-and-go incarceration time, the classic DC exit: a book contract. Dean played it pretty well at every point, all things considered. He was a cat in a very wild jungle that landed on cat feet, if a little erratically mid-air on the way.
I like his admission of alcohol overuse, though I think he soft-played the early playboy life discussed by other authors (all being hearsay, from here). This is Dean's brief on his own behalf, as half a dozen other players were to produce. (Only in the parallax of several can I hope to glean some ultimate factual record.) Meanwhile, this is a masterclass on life at the political top as perceived by a sharp-eyed lawyer. My own lawyer-litigation experience, including the portraits of various personalities found there and various tactics of all players, rang true. I like Dean's appraisals of the motives and strategies behind the words and gestures of the (now infamous) characters. For the cool-as-iced-tea Dean, bits sound perhaps whiny and self-pitying, until one immerses in the scenes and uncertainties where he found himself. Even he could be shaken and stirred.
Unexpected bits include: (1) Chuck Colson as a funny, clever guy, even after being caught, jailed, and having his Christian conversion (I'm not sure in what precise order; I'll have to catch his memoirs next; no wonder Nixon liked him so much!); and (2) half-coincidentally, as I've been checking out the later Howard Hughes story, a wrap-up with Dean's conjecture on why the break-in happened, involving Howard Hughes. USA keeps generating indelible colorful/errant personalities and linking them oh so weirdly! We have always had wild disparities in outcomes and unexpected second acts, and we still do.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Preoccupied, just getting my footing asvan adult, Watergate settled in my memory as a national tragedy. Names of key players were a jumble of familiar sounds and, oh, there are so many names. While listening, I found it helpful to pause and quickly search the Internet to learn a person's significance. The Reader's vocal variety made this production engaging and worthy of my investment.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful