In the Shadow of the White House: A Memoir of the Washington and Watergate Years, 1968-1978

In the Shadow of the White House: A Memoir of the Washington and Watergate Years, 1968-1978


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For her first forty years, Jo Haldeman’s life followed a conventional path. While her husband, Bob, built his career in advertising, Jo comfortably settled into her role as mother of four, housewife, and community volunteer.

In 1968, Jo’s world changed dramatically. Richard Nixon was elected President of the United States, and Bob was offered the job of a lifetime—White House Chief of Staff. As Jo and Bob discussed the opportunities and challenges that this move would entail, little did she anticipate the course that her life, and her relationship with Bob, would take over the next ten years.

In this insightful, poignant, and guileless memoir of those ten years, Jo shares her story as the wife of H. R. Haldeman, often referred to as the second most powerful person in the White House. She offers a window into the world of trips on Air Force One, weekends at Camp David, and events at the White House, as well as family vignettes and the growing stresses of her husband’s demanding job.

Then a bungled burglary at the Watergate erupted into a national scandal. The news began to feature the Haldeman name. Blaring headlines and vicious political cartoons accompanied new revelations of a cover-up. Multiple investigations and Senate hearings followed. Criminal proceedings loomed.

Jo’s compelling account takes the reader on her journey from the heady heights of Washington life through an excruciating public resignation and trial to her husband’s conviction and imprisonment. In a true period piece, Jo illuminates the story of the “woman behind the man” and personalizes the Watergate experience. Enhanced by her personal photographs and the immediacy of her present tense delivery, Mrs. H. R. Haldeman: From the White House through Watergate: A Memoir is a fascinating work of nonfiction that reads like a novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945572081
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 847,889
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Jo Haldeman was married to H. R. “Bob” Haldeman—Richard Nixon's Chief of Staff—for forty-four years. She lives in Santa Barbara, California, and has four children and six grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Prologue 17

Preface 19

Part 1 California

Jo, We Need to Talk 23

Nixon's the One 27

Let's Win this One for Harry 30

Mr. President-elect 32

Alone in the Crowd 36

Historically Significant 38

Seashells 41

Transition 43

The Inauguration 46

This Place is a Zoo 51

Chief of Staff 54

The Women Behind the Men 57

Air force One 62

Say "Cheese" 64

It's Called the Watergate 69

H. R. H. His Royal Highness 73

The Presidents' Men 76

Part 2 The White House

Super Non 83

Camp David 85

Things Are Never Going to Be the Same 89

Shades of Gray 92

Antisocial and Nonsocial 99

Dignity in the White House 105

Mr. Haldeman, It's the President 108

Flaps 113

Parental Concerns 117

Perks 119

Weird 123

All the King's Krauts 130

May I? 134

The Silent Majority 141

Newsmakers 144

Overboard 147

Can You Keep a Secret? 152

Bob, We Need to Talk 154

Tennis Lessons 160

Here Comes the Bride 164

Pentagon Papers and Peas 167

What Would the President Do Without You? 169

Washington Daze 172

Housewives and Treason 178

China 181

A White House Docent Program 184

A Third-Rate Burglary 189

Georgetown, Here We Come 192

Four More Years 195

The Post Finally Does It 200

White House Hatchet Man 206

Ripping the Place Apart 209

Flawless 213

1,461 Days Left 217

Part 3 Watergate

What's Going to Happen, Will Happen 223

Chip, Chip, Chip 227

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times 232

A Super-Major Watergate Day 237

We'll he Eaten Alive 244

The Final Journal Entry 250

An Outsider 256

Wax Begonias 262

The Ervin Show 266

Under Siege 270

Reservations? 274

The Elusive Mr. Haldeman 278

Nixon Bugged Himself 282

Mr. Inside 286

Son of Nixonstein 290

The Attic and the Puppy 293

The Saturday Night Massacre 296

The Tapes, the Tapes, the Tapes 298

The Long Wait is Over 302

Expletive Deleted 308

The Smoking Gun 312

I Do Not Want to Go to Jail 315

Resignation and a Pardon 320

Friction Benefits Me 325

Part 4 The Trail

An Arabian Tent and the Courtroom 331

Had by His Boss 336

John Wesley Dean, III 338

Bedlam 341

Intense, Tedious, and Boring 343

Jeb Stuart Magruder 348

An Island and a Monument 351

Don't Be Absurd, Jo 354

Bob's Day in Court 357

Four Days of Cross-Examination 361

John Daniel Ehrlichman 366

From One Ham to Another 370

Artfully Weaving the Web 373

A Jar of Jam 379

The Jury Deliberates 383

We Have a Verdict 386

Part 5 Prison

Mike Wallace Interview 393

I Find a Purpose 398

Appeal Denied 401

The David Frost Interviews 404

Night Thoughts 408

The Camp 412

Handelman, You Have a Visit 415

Good Days, Bad Days 418

The Sewer Plant and Poppies 424

A Commutation of Sentence 428

Two Birthday Picnics 431

The Ends of Power 435

Six More Months 444

Heat 449

Truly Whole 453

Epilogue 459

Afterword 461

Acknowledgments 463

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"No president of the postwar era has been more consequential and more controversial than Richard Nixon. Bob Haldeman, his Chief of Staff, was there for almost every instant of those stormy and glorious and then sad days. So was his brilliant wife, Jo. Here is a must-read account of the days that changed the world from an authentic insider, devoted wife, and vital memoirist."
Ben Stein, bestselling author and former speechwriter to Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford

"Jo Haldeman has traced her journey—the highs and the lows—during some very challenging and consequential times. It is an inspiring story. Our friend Jo is a strong, steady, and devoted woman, and she tells her story with love, with wisdom, and with perspective."
Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld

“When President Nixon had blue hearts created for his senior advisors to recognize their “valor in times of stress,” he should have included a heart for Bob’s wife, Jo. Always present with her camera and her genuine warmth, Jo was—and still is—a class act. In this memoir, she shares what it was like to be the woman behind the man behind the president.”
Henry Kissinger

“What a terrific, moving, and wise book! It should be required reading for Washington wives and, maybe more importantly, their husbands. A very personal and sometimes painful book—a story about service, the temptations of power, and the power of love.”
Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Being Nixon

“Jo, you have a story to tell.”
H. R. Haldeman

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In the Shadow of the White House: A Memoir of the Washington and Watergate Years, 1968-1978 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 2 days ago
A typical housewife’s view of history. Sad really. Not well written but ok. No depth. A nice lady who comes out merely as a victim of her husband’s ambition.