Today I will write about All the president’s men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
The book is not a fiction book, but a memory of the years when the authors investigated and exposed the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of Richard Nixon as the president of the US.
Presented in a clear journalistic style, the book introduces us the world of The Washington Post, and it presents the life of a journalist, with the goods and the bads. Both authors start to work together after a break in the Watergate Hotel , where there was a meeting of one of the US political parties, the ones opposing Nixon in the next upcoming elections. Even though the break-in has little importance on the global world scale, Bernstein and Woodward being to track down who was behind the break-in, eventually leading to high powerful and influencing people around the White House.
The journalists present the facts as they happened, with a lot of professionalism. I was surprised that they did not want to publish fake facts, to look for the outrageous, or scandalous, and just find true facts where they are. This is the opposite of today’s journalism, where people tend to invent anything just to get their names on the front page and attract as much attention as they can get. The facts are discovered piece by piece, and put together in years of hard work, starting from tracking down missing money to Mexico, and interviewing hundred of people.
A turning point represented the information from Deep Throat, a high placed politician that was leaking information to the journalists, but who didn’t want to expose anything, just to try to lead them into the right direction in order to discover themselves what was behind the business. The turning point is represented by an article in The Washington Post , that almost got them fired, when the White House solidly denied the accusations, and missing of evident proof made the word of the White House literally smash the word of two small journalists. However they did not let themselves down, and after publicly apologizing, they continued their research, and came publicly only after having discovered significant facts.
The result of their long investigation was at first the resignation of Haldeman, White House chief of staff, and after some time the president itself resigned due to facing an obvious impeachment.
The long investigations are depicted in a marvelous way, the attention to details, the thorough searching, make the story an example of professional journalism, that I think everyone involved today should follow and take as a model. The book depicts the American’s love for their president, their respect for the state institutions. Nobody even wants to consider the president’s implications in this scandal, and assumes him innocent until the last moment. The American model of state and citizen are also very well depicted, and the role each citizen has for the country, for the good work of the state machine, and for it’s president. Another interesting theme is the fear of the superior power, where everybody tries to hide the truth because of fearing being fired, being accused as traitor, or being harmed.
The world needs people like Bernstein and Woodward, who will go anywhere for justice, and who still believe the world can be a better and fair place for everyone, and the truth will eventually triumph.