3.8 5
by Fred Emery

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anyone who needs to be reminded that Watergate was more than a ``third-rate burglary'' should read Emery's retelling of the scandal that drove Nixon from office. Drawing on the memoirs of many of the Watergate figures as well as an examination of the most recently released Nixon tapes, Emery, former Washington bureau chief of the London Times , relates an engrossing story of how the Watergate break-in came to pass, and how the coverup spread like wildfire throughout Nixon's re-election committee and the White House. Describing one criminal act after another, beginning with the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, Emery makes it clear that, in the words of special prosecutor Leon Jaworski, the Oval Office had been transformed by Nixon ``into a mean den where perjury and low schemes became a way of life.'' Given the illegal activities Nixon condoned and/or conducted, as related by Emery, most readers will find it hard to feel much sympathy for him even as the author relates the agony of the late president and his family during his final days in the White House as resignation became inevitable. This devastating account of presidential disgrace will give pause especially to those feeling bereaved by Nixon's death. (July)
Library Journal
As the 20th anniversary of Richard Nixon's fall and tarnishing of the presidential image approaches, Emery provides an intricate, meticulously researched narrative that draws heavily on interviews with the principals to explain how and why the Watergate break-in occurred. A former Washington correspondent of The Times of London who is now with the BBC, Emery is also the author of a five-part TV series on Watergate to be aired this August on the Discovery Channel. In addition to an introductory section on the cast of characters involved, Emery provides a detailed examination of the Committee To Re-elect the President (CRP) and its dirty tricks: wiretapping, money laundering campaigns, and the infamous burglary of Democratic National Committee headquarters. Unlike much of the psychopersonal material that has come out on Nixon, Emery's book focuses on the tough political problems, documenting the need for impeachment and ultimately endorsing it. Riveting reading that is based on an unprecedented combing of the primary sources, this work will be especially helpful to the generations for whom Watergate is a nebulous historical event and will provide an excellent corrective to the whitewashing that ocurred on Nixon's recent death. [See also Jonathan Aitken's Nixon: A Life, LJ 5/1/94.-Ed.]-Frank Kessler, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph

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