From one of our most esteemed historical novelists comes a remarkable retelling of the Watergate scandal, as seen through a kaleidoscope of its colorful perpetrators and investigators.
For all the monumental documentation that Watergate generated - uncountable volumes of committee records, court transcripts, and memoirs - it falls at last to a novelist to perform the work of inference (and invention) that allows us to solve some of the scandal’s greatest mysteries - who did erase those eighteen-and-a-half minutes of tape? - and to see this gaudy American catastrophe in its human entirety. In Watergate, Thomas Mallon conveys the drama and high comedy of the Nixon presidency through the urgent perspectives of seven characters we only thought we knew before now. Praised by Christopher Hitchens for his “splendid evocation of Washington,” Mallon achieves with Watergate a scope and historical intimacy which surpasses even that attained in his previous novels and turns a “third-rate burglary” into tumultuous, first-rate entertainment.
Thomas Mallon is the author of the novels Henry and Clara, Dewey Defeats Truman, and Fellow Travelers, among others. He has been literary editor of Gentleman’s Quarterly and is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the Atlantic, as well as other publications.
“Mallon, astute and nimble, continues his scintillating, morally inquisitive journey through crises great and absurd in American politics by taking on Watergate… Mallon himself is deliciously witty. But it is his political fluency and unstinting empathy that transform the Watergate debacle into a universal tragicomedy of ludicrous errors and malignant crimes, epic hubris and sorrow.” (Booklist)
“If ever a historical event was worthy of a comic novel, it’s Watergate, and Mallon, with several outstanding historical novels to his credit, has the skills to write it. What a cast of characters we meet!… Mallon writes with such swagger that it all seems new again. A sure winner, for its subject and Mallon’s proven track record as a historical novelist, and because it’s good.” (Library Journal)
“Revisiting the history of the ’70s with our favorite cast of characters… While billed as a novel, this book reads more like a documentary of a fascinating yet unlamented time.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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A great listen
- Tad Davis
Arlo Guthrie's Presidential Rag updated
One of the best. Highlighted all the many things I had forgotten. I was married on the day of the Watergate break in, so I have always been interested in Watergate. This book is a novel told from the inside not like All The President's Men which was told by outsiders.
Wonderful narration, great voices without caricature.
Great characters, humanizes the people involved without forgiving them their sins.
The great characterizations. Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Mrs. Dorothy Hunt, and Fred LaRue are probably my favorites. A great refresher course on the craziness of Watergate.
Fred LaRue was a tragic figure. He lived with the knowledge that he had accidently killed his father and was a true Southern gentleman. He was loyal and did his best to help
Yes, but it was way too long to listen to in one sitting. I did listen to the last 4 hours in one sitting though.
Presidential Rag by Arlo Guthrie
You said you didn't know,
that the cats with the bugs were there,
and you never go along with that kind of stuff no where,
but that just isn't the point man,
that's the wrong wrong way to go,
if you didn't know about that one, well then what else don't you know,
You said that you were lied to,
well that aint hard too see,
but you must have been fooled again by your friends across the sea,
and maybe you were fooled again by your people here at home,
because nobody could talk like you,
and know what's going on,
Nobody elected your family,
and we didn't elect your friends,
no one voted for your advisors,
and nobody wants amends,
You're the one we voted for, so you must take the blame,
For handing out authority to men who were insane,
You say its all fixed up now, you've got new guys on the line,
but you had better remember this while you still got the time,
Mothers still are weeping for their boys that went to war,
father still are asking what the whole damn thing was for,
and People still are hungry and people still are poor,
And an honest week of work these days don't feed the kids no more,
Schools are still like prisons,
cuz we don't learn how to live,
and everybody wants to take, nobody wants to give,
Yes you will be remembered, be remembered very well,
and if I live a long life, all the stories I could tell,
A many who are in in poverty of sickness and of grief,
you will be remembered, be remembered very well,
You said you didn't know,
that the that the cats with the bugs were there,
You'd never go along with that kind of stuff no where
But that just isn't the point man,
That's the wrong ,wrong way to go,
You didn't know about that one,
well then what else don't you know.
- Kristi Richardson