All the President's Men

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 12:00am

All the President's Men

by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

Simon and Schuster $92

This 1974 classic has been repackaged since former FBI No2 Mark Felt admitted he was 'Deep Throat', the source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein unravel the Watergate scandal that toppled US president Richard Nixon. All the President's Men is a high point in journalism. Bright-eyed hacks tend to forget it all started with a small event on June 17, 1972, 'a third-rate burglary' neither Woodward nor Bernstein thought would amount to much of a story. As they kept digging, and as Felt guided them to 'follow the money', the depth of White House deceit was revealed in scoop after scoop. A combination of slow, hard work, an editorial demand for scrupulous sourcing beyond Felt's tips, and a publisher, the Washington Post's Katherine Graham, prepared to face the wrath of an angry administration, made the story possible. It's doubtful such a story would, or could, be written today. Every journalist should read, or reread, this book. Every newspaper reader should do so, too. Woodward has a book about Felt, The Secret Man, due out next month.