Ugh this is the hands down best book about Watergate as it provides lots of insight into the scandal that is often not found in other books as the author John Dean was apart of the administration during the time When the book hit its marks i felt immense levels of intrigue in the story it was telling and it made me coming back for If there was one thing i could compliment about the writing style of the book it would be that it was official and makes ou feel like ou are pulling the papers out of a White House filing cabinet and reading them aloud as it feels so official in a scene that most books cannot capture like this one The author feels like he put is heart and sole into this book He put most of is political biases behind and told the truth full story of what really happened behind the scenes This goal is achieved masterfully as it resonates this feeling of moving apart the curtains to see what was going on The book feels like it is all there and is the best Watergate book i have read to date Everything is down to earth and very little things are exaggerated and everything is based on noted historical events and occurrences My favorite part of the entire book was when Dean describes the breakin at the Watergate Hotel and the discovering of the use of the CIA in the breakin who were hired and paid off by the Nixon administration itself These points are almost unbelievable If i was the author i would shorten it down atleast anywhere by 50 100 pages and compact the text although this mindset may be a bit ignorant as there is a lot of important stuff that would need to be trimmed down and that is a most likely a bad ideaThe Nixon Defence is a outstanding and intriguing book that deserves praise and is amazing for people who can get past the minor problems The text describes one of the most trying times in American Politics by one of the persons involved in the scandal Although it was a good read i can only give this book a stars It is interesting and really up my alley when it comes to books I just lost interest at times because of how honestly boring it could get the book could use a bit intriguing language as way to get the reader sucked in like lots of other good book John Dean is a man with a mission one that has lasted him most of his adult life This comprehensive tome is the sort of documented primary evidence that is only done by someone who s got a large stake in setting the historical record straight Dean is that man It goes to show that even though the First Amendment has become narrower in some ways what with the NSA helping itself to all of our phone records and no reporters or photographers being permitted in war zones any et in some ways it has become much broader If ou are curious about these transcripts ourself Goodbye Soldier War Biography you can get onto the website Dean offers at the very beginning of his missive orou can do as I did and go to YouTube I don t know whether all of the transcripts are there I wasn t on a mission with a scope as large as Dean s and there were many many hours of taped conversation YouTube has so much material some of it historical andor arcane But during my surf I did note that there was a lot of what would previously have been considered restricted material there It wasn t just the resignation and the Checkers speech it was a tremendous amount of data Send out our thanks to the gods of technology which is what made Dean s newer and comprehensive transcription possibleI was in high school during the Watergate scandal in a nearly 100% Caucasianmostly affluent Republican suburb outside Portland Oregon My high school peers said things like Oh well of course he lied but he s still a better president than McGovern would have been and Wow Rose Mary Woods Now there s loyalty My own father a conservative Republican scowled at my sister and me as we avidly viewed the presidential resignation speech He poured himself another another and et another glass of bourbon and shook his head telling us that the president was a fine man who had been viciously hounded by a liberal press For those of us who lived through this American political saga it s about context For those who seek less detail than is included here or want a novel like story arc I would recommend All the President s Men which is a briefer and less repetitive narrative told by one of the investigative journalists who uncovered the Watergate scandal For those who are sticklers for detail either for academic or professional reasons or because like me Valkea kuin lumi you are addicted to Watergate material this will be a deeply satisfying readTo put it another way if like meou had to get a copy of The Pentagon Papers and read what the US government tried to suppress then How To Think Like A Manager for the CISSP Exam you also ought to read this bookAt first I thought Dean s tone was a little too plaintive given that he had cooperated in a cover up himself albeit under protest for nearly aear Once I got into the trial material and saw the vindictive and purposeful way Richard Nixon and those who worked for him set about to destroy Dean I no longer felt that he protested too much The machinations #OF NIXON S REVENGE ARE WORTH #Nixon s revenge are worth thesis unto themselves so I will let that bit go and move on You ll have to read the book if The Lady of Larkspur Lotion you want about Nixon s vengeanceWhat did Nixon know I started to provide it in bullet points here and realized it was just no fun that way Let me say this much Dean does answer the uestion Nobody living knows about this subject than John Dean It has become his life s work Ifou invest Five Wealth Secrets 96% of Us Dont Know yourself in 700 pages of textou will not come away feeling cheated unless ou skim and miss things I didn tIt was not only Nixon s self righteous attitude when it was clear that he was legally and morally wrong that I found disturbing but also the tone The racist and sexist remarks that punctuate the conversations he has with his highest level advisors cannot simply be written off as relics of that point in history It is appalling What is eually appalling is that upon learning of the burglary at the Democratic headuarters Nixon Haldeman and Ehrlichman find no moral objection to what has been done hell they ve authorized far worse things as we later learn No what disturbs them is how badly the job was done how unprofessional the burglars were It sounds like something out of a Godfather seuel And it just gets worse By the time Dean decides that Nixon cannot be redeemed and goes to the prosecutor to explain what has happened and try to gain immunity we see Nixon vow first not to speak to him and to fire him as White House counsel then to destroy him which is ugly but can have multiple meanings literal and figurative and then ultimately Dean must enter a witness protection program for awhile because of the mountains of death threats that are received daily Dean s counsel wants to know whether Nixon would try to have him killed and at first Dean who does not ruffle easily thinks not But then he muses that it s possible the president would arrange something through his pal Bebe RebozoI had heard from friends who had read than I had that Mitchell Haldeman and Ehrlichman were serious thugs This transcript and the brief paraphrasing that connects its pieces not unlike Sheehan s Pentagon Papers makes all of it uite real This man was supposedly the leader of the free world He used public monies to bring down retribution on his enemies his own word and used other people s tax dollars to fund a remodeling and extension of his home in San Clemente He continually revised the truth according to what was convenient for him At first I wondered did Nixon have some sort of psychiatric disorder that made him unable to process clearly But as the story unfolded I could see exactly how well he tracked events His temperament and loyalties were ever changing and always in line with his own self interest He could not absolutely could not bear for the burglary scandal to touch his dear friend and former law partner John Mitchell who headed up the Committee to Re elect the President Absolutely not It was unthinkable but only until the jig was obviously up And when Mitchell had to be sacrificed then Nixon just didn t talk to him any That was it over done And then everything was Mitchell s fault his old friend was like a waste basket by the door When ou see a problem toss it onto the Mitchell pile He did itThen of course he had other two best friends Haldeman and Ehrlichman who were the only people he still trusted and though this book is about politics it s interesting that the First Lady is never mentioned he doesn t eat dinner with her doesn t have her out on the presidential achtwe hear from Tricia and Julie his daughters during the peak of crisis but the guy s wife is practically invisibleBut Haldeman and Ehrlichman should not be culpable for all the illegal things they have helped him plan and execute and so he decides that his counsel John Dean should serve as the go between so that everything that is told to Nixon by Dean would he thought be covered by attorney client privilege And this is when Dean begins to suirm as things that are illegal immoral and untenable are sent via him as the presidential filter At first he just does what the boss says then he starts to tentatively warn him that he s getting into some deep water here and eventually he is laying it on the line and Nixon tells him that of course those discussions never occurred and these things never happenedLater when Dean realizes that he cannot work with Nixon without breaking the law he goes to the prosecutor hoping to avoid prison Then Dean is no longer the guy Nixon trusts and in fact every bad thing anyone who ever worked for Nixon ever did is said to have been done by Dean It is a fascinating transformation And the way Nixon first clings to Haldeman and Ehrlichman and seems to actually be a little afraid to fire them but he then is ready to lay blame at their door while suggesting to Haldeman on the side that he can pardon him when the whole thing is over Fascinating It is so dreadful that I found myself tempted to add this book to my horror shelfHere s the obvious analogy I see when people go to the zoo some of them "want to see the giraffes the hippos the monkeys and then they get their cotton candy and take "to see the giraffes the hippos the monkeys and then they get their cotton candy and take kiddies homeBut others have to visit the small dark building where the reptiles slither aroundAnd so it is with Nixon buffs we cannot help but be transfixed by that which seems so sinister so repulsive to our own humanity We look because we can t stand not to look Once we look we cannot look awayDean s revenge is in having the last word about what was done during that terrible time and in making absolutely plain what the truth is He is painstaking in using new technology to improve the historical record Payback is sweetest when ou are absolutely correct and if there is a theme to this publication there it is And now most of the ugliest players are dead and cannot come back to wreck havoc upon the living any May they rot where they lieIf like me Hooking Him you cannot look away read Dean s record of this criminal conspiracy to cover up covered up obstructed justice by the man who held power than any other politician and by his loyal minions The repetition of the conversations in some ways is entirely appropriate because it shows the level of obsession and in particular of Nixon s obsession with the power that his presidency provided at least for a time and how badly the public s trust and resources can be misused and abusedIfou read it at night Training the Trainer you may want to leave the light on whenou go to sleep Nixon is dead but Karsh Portfolio you just never know who the hell is out there This book was exactly what I expected long tedious and full of information Watergate is my first political memory and I went through a Watergate fixation in junior high school I remember learning the meaning of the word scapegoat and the idea of a snowball effect Reading this book reminded me of that period in my life and Dean answered some uestions for me as well I recommend it ifou are truly interested in what Nixon knew and when he knew it Be sure to make it all the way to the end to get the full scoop on the eighteen and a half minute gap in the secret recordings I listened to the audio version Obviously Mr Dean and others researched dug and worked hard to produce this work It helped me further delve into the Watergate scandal from a person who was not only lived through it but was a part of it I loved the details and the evidence provided by Mr Dean which he backed with evidence from the tape transcribing and from other sources I would recommend this book for Watergate and other political scandal fans like myself You will definitely learn some things Before Atlantis you did not already know I am a Watergate junkie I watched the proceedings on television nightly and read the newspapers and columnists and 60 minutes religiously This book helps bring all of my personal experiences back to me and Mr Dean gets a chance to tell the rest of the storyMr Dean points out that not all of the tapes in the White House were transcribed by the end of the Watergate hearings and he personally went to work on them the last tenears with assistants to help him so that he could put to rest in his own mind what the President knew and when he knew it There are a lot of uestions that get answered in this book It seems the White House was pretty sure the entire time who Deep Throat was and they believed it was due to Mr Felt s desire to be head of the FBI and not have to report to a non FBI political appointee This could just be the bias of Mr Dean and the White House so I take that part with a large grain of salt I found it very interesting the accolades Dean was given by the President and Haldeman and Ehrlichman in the early tapes and how they turned on him when they knew he was going to testify He also gives us a deeper understanding of what the burglars were doing at the Watergate after all these The Gypsy Wisdom Spellbook years Obsession was something Mr Nixon was very good at The 18 12 minute gap is explored and the plausible explanation on what was on this tape and who did the actual erasing is shared in the second Appendix of this volume I would recommend Mr Dean s previous book of Blind Ambition as a companion piece to this book This is a great follow up to the former tome as there is a lot information available than was at the time of the first book s publication For anyone worried about the NSA s spying on usou should read this book The Nixon White House was obsessed with dirty tricks bugging and enemies getting payback Do we really want anyone to attempt such over stepping of laws and boundaries again Mr Nixon honestly believed that as President he was above the law and they didn t apply to him I received a copy of this book as part of the first reads giveawaysRead this book. Gue Dean connects dots that have never been connected including revealing how and why the Watergate break in occurred what was on the mysterious 185 minute gap in Nixon’s recorded conversations and In what will stand as the most authoritative account of one of America’s worst political scandals The Nixon Defense shows how the disastrous mistakes of Watergate could have been avoided and offers a cautionary tale for our own tim. ,
Arged with wrongdoing for those conversations with Peterson eventually ceding control of the investigation to Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox Nixon was not shy about asking and without uestion received information that he should not have had from both Peterson and Kleindienst I was a little surprised by the extent of the involvement of Haldeman and Ehrlichman in the operational side of the intelligence operations mounted by the Administration I never realized the extent to which they had participated especially Ehrlichman They had greater legal exposure than the conspiracy to obstruct which is likely a key reason that Nixon could not go down the full hang out road I also learned that the Nixon Administration through Haldeman had a very clear understanding that some of the most damaging press leaks were coming from FBI Associate Director Mark Felt Deep Throat of Woodward and Bernstein fame Dean paints Felt as eager to undermine Acting Director Gray who was not considered to be a true FBI man as well as ambitious for the FBI Director s job In today s world Felt might be characterized as part of the Deep State If Nixon had survived politically Felt would not have been in a very good position The times were different but some important lessons can be taken from the Watergate scandal Having the President interfere at a Justice Department charged with investigating crimes committed by members of his Administration with the President possibly being a subject of investigation is a pretty bad idea When the facts came to light on Nixon s actions major figures in the GOP decided that the country was important than the Party and made it clear to Nixon that they could not support his continuing in office When Nixon fired the Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox it was Republican Attorney General Eliot Richardson and then his Deputy William Ruckelshaus that refused his order and created a political firestorm by themselves being fired by Nixon Nixon always considered his actions fighting back politically and consistently pointed to the actions of Democratic Presidents who he felt had committed similar illegalities The What Aboutism argument is not a recent creation But as Nixon came to find out obstructing justice is not the same as political infighting For those looking to learn about Watergate I highly recommend this book One doesn t need to crib a Roger Stone interview as one person on did to find problems with this bookIndeed per the nonpartisan Nixon Tapes website one can read about Dean blaming his previous book s editor the well known Alice Mayhew for allegedly inserting material into his previous book a claim she has called an L I E with previous Dean writings on Watergate there are two main uestions1 How much is he whitewashing Richard Nixon2 How much is he whitewashing John DeanOn the first we can see that at play in the opening pages of the prologue Dean contrasts Nixon and McGovern s approaches to Vietnam and makes it look like McGovern wanted to cruelly callously abandon South Vietnam But Dean never mentions Nixon s late 1968 violation of the Logan Act and possibly treasonous activity with his contact via Anna Chennault with South Vietnamese leaders encouraging them to reject the Johnson peace planNor does he note in his brief discussions of Nixon s orders to burgle the Brookings Institute in 1971 that what Nixon sought was NOT or not just a copy OF THE Pentagon Papers but copies of Lyndon B Johnson s intercepts of Nixon campaign contacts with Chennault which he wrongly suspected were held thereBeyond that while Nixon may not have technically ordered the June 17 1972 burglary of the Watergate with the burglaries of Daniel Ellsburg s psychiatrist the discussed burglary of Brookings even though not carried out and other things it s clear that Nixon s general marching order to the Committee to Re Elect the President indicated no stone should be unturned in doing this Given that the idea under Project GEMSTONE was first discussed in January 1972 and that both Dean and Jeb Magruder were parties to such discussions at a minimum the fact that neither of them alerted Nixon to this or if they did he didn t suelch it show that Nixon himself contra Dean s claims must be considered as at least an indirect father of the actionDean who is still a definite conservative despite books rejecting certain aspects of modern GOP conservativism he went to military school with Barry Goldwater Jr is still good friends with him and still calls himself a Goldwaterite has long sought to polish Nixon s apple as best he could on Watergate in particular and his administration in generalAt the same time of course he s sought to polish his own apple vs other key players in the Nixon Administration in general and Watergate in particularBy ending the narrative at July 16 1973 and putting what happened after that in just a few pages of appendix Dean s able to do that The flip side of him turning state s evidence is that before Nixon could show that he would be disloyal to him or others Dean acted first rather than taking the fall a la Haldeman and Ehrlichman In turn that shows that this book is still missing psychological elements starting with those of Dean himself How does he feel about being the first larger player to jump the sinking ship of the man he "still tries to connect to the Goldwater version of RepublicanismAnd to the degree Dean is still trying to "tries to connect to the Goldwater version of RepublicanismAnd to the degree Dean is still trying to for himself or his old boss or both the death of Colson 2 ears ago made it another bit easierFinally Dean s one appendix on the 18 12 minute tape gap serves nothing After narrowing down the list of likely erasers of the tape Dean refuses to look at any one of them as likely than the others He even claims it s not that important real professional historians would certainly disagree He also gets coy on exactly what was likely erased after giving some general parametersThis isn t uite a one star book It does fill in some edges and corners And it sheds new light on the character of Dean even though that surely wasn t his intentionI ll take a look at the new Brinkley book on the tapes to see if it shines any important new historic light but it appears even wooden than this book Although somewhat tedious and not edited very effectively in a few spots this is probably going to be considered the definitive book on Watergate If ou like the Oliver Stone film Nixon The Destruction of Jerusalem An Absolute and Irresistible Proof of the Divine Origin of Christianity you will most likely enjoy reading Dean s perspective Amazing how nobody in politics today has fully learned from Nixon s downfall of hubris We keep making the same tired mistakes repeatedly to what end Loved it I opted for the audiobook which was not only entertaining but informative I was 11 when he finally resigned but I didn t grasp what had happened It was a fascinating time in history And appalling behavior by the president The Nixon Defence is a outstandingly good book about the Watergate scandal of the Nixon presidency It objectively tells the story of one of the most defining occurrences in American politics As a book that not only makes the standard points it also takesou inside the Nixon Whitehouse The author was an employee in the Nixon administration This Book accels in all ways to tell a competent interesting and mostly unbiased view This allows the reader to take their own stance and come to their own conclusions and their own opinionsThe Nixon Defence is a book that describes the 1972 Watergate break in and the lies and events that led to the impeachment of Richard Nixon It tells the inside story by the author John W Dean Dean was an attorney who served as White House Counsel for United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973 This book is not apart of any series but is among many in depth reviews of related topics in American politics by Dean The book is 635 pages long and is uite a challenging read as it at times is very bland However it gets rolling when Three Cups of Tea you are interested in an event it is describing As a person who studied a whole unit for the Watergate scandal and played the role of H R Haldeman voluntarily it is safe to say I love to read about this topic But even for me it was a bit dry and boring at times The most important thing for the reader to do before reading this book is to get an unbiased look at the occurances of the story as this book has a noticeable lean to the conservative views of this scandal As this problem is relevant this is hands down the best way to look at the watergate scandal and the Nixon administration as it is written by a person who stuck with Nixon till the bitter end John Dean served jail time for his actions The book is shaped in a formal method at times It feels likeou are reading the transcript of a documentary You definitely get the information and the juicy details of the scandal But it is so boring and uninteresting that ou need to be intrigued by the topic to stay with it for the long run as I personally was The book is set during the administration of the 37th President of the United States Richard Nixon The book covers the topic of the watergate scandal and the attempted coverup of the truth by the Nixon Administration The book is written by John W Dean who was an attorney who served as White House Counsel The book documents the inside view of the Watergate scandal of 1972 Where unknown assailants broke into the Watergate Hotel which was the Democratic National Committee headuarters and the stealing of secret documents and the installing off wiretaps to key members of the Democratic Parties phones This was done in order to gain dirt on Nixon s opponents The book goes over the investigation through the events in chronological order to show the gradual proof of guilt of President Nixon and the information that eventually led to his impeachment This book shows the inside view of the scandal from the viewpoint of John Dean who was a diehard Nixon supporter He was referred to as the master manipulator of the cover up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Dean often voluntarily interfered with the FBI investigation He did this by means of slander and attempts to blackmail members of the FBI Dean later plead guilty to a single felony count in exchange for becoming a key witness for the plead guilty to a single felony count in exchange for becoming a key witness for the By doing this he successfully received a reduced time in prison for his actions As an insider his story in this book plays a key part in understanding the Watergate scandal and the inner workings of the Nixon AdministrationThe book is mainly set around the events of the 1972 Watergate trial of members of the Nixon Administration and the accusations of the ties of the break in to the Administration This setting is portrayed clearly as there are very few times the book deviates from the context and only to give context to another occurrence or part of Nixon s administration John dean describes these events in the immense detail His writing style is crucial in the telling of the story and how he conveys it to the reader This is a book about events it doesn t focus on the individuals The reader can assume the main character could be Nixon or Dean himself That being said Nixon is portrayed in his true scummy but et cunning personality and style uniue to him To best describe Nixon would be to compare him to a con man such as Al Capone A lot of his career is overshadowed by crime whether that be the Watergate breakin or the illegal invasion of Cambodia during Vietnam War Nixon did some good things He founded many new governmental environmental agencies It is up to the reader to determine whether it was that he truly cared about those issues or if that was just a front to block criticism and build his positive public reputation As with politics based books All God's Children Are Lost but Only a Few Can Play the Piano Finding a Life That Is Truly Your Own your opinion on whether Nixon is likeable depends onour political stance and our values importantly The book doesn t describe much interactions between Nixon and Dean Nixon was his boss and it can be assumed that they had met often in person while he was in the White House Although there are many books about Nixon it is hard to relate to him because of his actions Nixon s behavior pushes the reader farther and farther into the mindset of disliking him and it is understandable and effective in the context of the book Through his actions Nixon cheated the system of elections in his attempts to cover up the details of the Watergate break in He entered a metaphorical minefield His crazy behavior was interesting and it made him a somewhat good antagonist to the author and his perspective The book mainly takes a focus on the Watergate break in and the trial It gives a brief insight into the personal details of the Nixon Administration including things like the Nixon tapes or how he acted behind the scenes while in office The book paints a good picture as it makes the metaphorical battle between good and evil The Nixon Administration takes the role as the evil and the public and the press as good This book doesn t shy away from the public attacks on the media by the administration in order to silence the opposition and the attempts to bribe or cover up details of the crimes Nixon was committing while in office The book keeps to the idea that it is important to search for the truth and to have nothing stop ou in the way of finding said truth or getting to a conclusion at the end of the day The book has a theme of the importance of facts as that it is the most important thing to have when it comes to finding the truth Facts and not feelings One of the most memorable uotes comes from not the author or Richard Nixon but from H R Hadelman He says Now on the investigation ou know the Democratic break in thing we re back to the problem area because the FBI is not under control This is a chilling view of the thought process of the White House at the time to stop by all means of the continuing the investigation into Watergate It sets the vibe for all the actions and people inside of the White House at the time uotes like these is what made the book interesting and tolerable through the dry and bland at times Although the story of the Nixon administration and the Watergate scandal are interesting It is important now than ever to understand what happened then and what is going on in modern day politics The events back then are a lot like what is going on inside of the current Presidential Administration Although the story is interesting it is hard to recommend this book to everyone because it is bland and very padded out The wording is lackluster It is also sophisticated but a bit too so and it ends up being draining and hard to get into This is a book to definitely read occasionally so ou don t lose interest in it It is definitely aimed at a much mature audience like college students adults and for people who are really into politics and American history Altho. E former White House Counsel John Dean one of the last major surviving figures of Watergate draws on his own transcripts of almost a thousand conversations a wealth of Nixon’s secretly recorded information and than 150000 pages of documents in the National Archives and the Nixon Library to provide the definitive answer to the uestion What did President Nixon know and when did he know it Through narrative and contemporaneous dialo. John Dean offers this insightful look into the build up of the Watergate affair and the subseuent demolition of trust in America s political core Dean presents not an argument from his own perspective but cobbles together a narrative that includes actual conversations caught on the infamous Nixon taping system as well as diary entries of the POTUS and his closest advisors Dean does parachute into the narrative at times offering his own perspective but allows the conversations and entries to speak for themselves The narrative builds from Nixon learning of the break in at the Democratic National Committee in June 1972 through to the realisation that those within his inner circle were complicit in sending directives or sullying their hands during this and one other break in Building from there Dean offers the fast paced scramble that took place once Nixon realised what was going on and how to create a buffer for himself while trying to protect some of his key advisors with ideas of immunity or pardons As the political damage deepens and Nixon is searching for a scapegoat he turns to his counsel Dean and throws him to the lions forcing Dean s resignation in hopes this will uell the storm Dean remains stalwart as he is called before the grand jury and the Senate Committee tasked with investigating the Watergate events Told in such a way that the reader is left in awe at some of the admissions made in private to obfuscate justice and protect a few men Not to be missed by the political fanatic especially those who are opened minded to the taint that politics can leave on certain people and how power acts as an intoxicant than aphrodisiacThe seamless nature of the narrative remains one of the book s greatest assets It reads as fiction not because it is so bombastic but due to the smooth nature of the delivery and flow from day to day character to character Dean has removed the choppiness one might expect in even a uasi academic piece where uotes from the telephone conversations or diary entries would leave the pace jilted Instead it is a collaboration of paraphrasing and when important direct uotes that allows the reader to forge onwards so effectively Breaking the narrative down into smaller and digestible pieces both segments of importance and individual days Dean allows all the actors to have their time in the spotlight and implicate themselves thoroughly There are too many to name here but the list of men whose choices insights and decisions helped shape the decision by Nixon to cover up what he knew and when goes to the core Eually effective is the brash nature that Nixon takes to all this that he can sweep it under the rug or delegate whipping boys to take the fall The amount of detail is staggering but not crippling to the lay reader whose interest may be the scheming but not the intricate political or criminal details that could be trudged up by a legal mind Minutiae is left to the law review articles while Dean offers up the most comprehensive collection of summaries I have ever come across to develop an understanding of who knew what and when as well as the fabrication of events and documents to protect certain people and flay others Brilliant and sinister all in one collection I would be remiss not to address certain key elements of the overall presentation of this book The attentive reader will realise that one cannot approach any piece of non fiction that deals in history or document interpretation without understanding the inherent bias in a narrative Add to that an author who has been seriously scorned and betrayed by some of the key players in the story and ou have red flags at every chapter break The reader must invest so much trust in Dean s accounts both that they are not marred in the passage of four decades as recollections tend to get at least become partially foggy after that time and that the paraphrasing of tapes or inclusionexclusion of certain passages will not skew the larger narrative While Dean is clear to elucidate in the preface that he scoured the tapes and their transcripts there is a certain degree of scepticism necessary in any reader unless one chooses blind faith Even then it remains solely one man s interpretation of events Not to get too philosophical here but isn t that the foundation of history biased interpretation That being said the reader must take this all in with a grain of salt and see where things go during the analytical process Surely there will be some gobsmacked moments as well as the raising of at least one eyebrow during certain passagesDean pulls no punches but does not seek to exonerate himself while leaving others to hold the blame As the title suggests he tries to give the reader a chance to see what Nixon might say he knew or did not know as it related to Watergate Additionally it might give the reader some insight into what the Senate Committee might have discovered or both Houses discussed if impeachment had moved forward Whatever the take it is an eerie view into how dirty politics could be The reader must thank the late President Richard Nixon For Installing Richard Nixon for installing taping system leaving hours and hours of incriminating evidence on hand for synthesizing Power corrupts but it also gives a false sense of This John Dean book should be very interesting to those that remain fascinated by Watergate or Richard Nixon I watched all of the Dean testimony before the Watergate Committee and I was amazed as a oungster at his command of detail That same command is exhibited here with Dean having access to the library of Watergate tapes that are now part of the public record Dean s testimony before the Ervin Committee as detailed as it was was made without the benefit of review of the tapes made by President Nixon This book allows Dean a participant in the acts of conspiracy and obstruction of justice to review the audio tapes and create a truly impressive record of how the Watergate matter unfolded using those tapes to let us hear directly from the participants taking us from the start of the cover up to the end The book brings us some of the major figures of the Nixon Administration and some of the lesser lights that played an outsized role in the Watergate scandal For those that might not be familiar with those players the book may not be the best place to start a study of Watergate but ou will get here eventually From Jeb Magruder all the way to John Mitchell the story has a large cast of individuals that were wrapped up in the Watergate scandal and other acts of the Nixon Administration that toppled the President Richard Nixon truly was if nothing else a ruthless and brilliant politician who was on every national ticket from 1952 1972 with the exception of 1964 The White House recordings show us how Nixon tried to manage the Watergate affair from the start and truly botched it badly despite his usually strong political instincts Dean takes us along on a calendar ride examining the White House political response to the initial break in at the Watergate and then follows the calendar expertly showing us how this initial political brush fire turned into a conflagration As time passes whether it be Watergate or other matters our memory tends to fade with the motivations of those involved part of that memory loss Dean gives us not only a good review of the timeline but a pretty good narrative on the motivations of the individuals we get to hear through President Nixon s taping system So what happened to Nixon s usually solid political instincts and how did he manage to get himself directly caught up in the conspiracy to obstruct justice As badly as Nixon handled the matter the tapes show us a President who almost made it out of this mess wounded but intact Without the tapes Nixon might have been able to weather the storm Nixon started by looking to limit the fall out to the five burglars and E Howard Hunt and G Gordon Liddy hoping to get guilty pleas and light sentences that would contain the scandal there But the connection between these 7 and the White House through the Nixon re elect committee and the direct connection between Hunt and Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman and Presidential Domestic Advisor John Ehrlichman and Presidential troubleshooter Charles Colson presented some real political problems for the Nixon White House These problems were not limited to the Watergate matter which was the true crux of Nixon s problem A real investigation of Watergate would likely uncover other unrelated to Watergate illegalities that might come to light and that were directly tied to the Nixon White House and likely to Nixon himself That fact than Nixon s direct handling of Watergate in my view led to the unraveling of the cover up As Nixon plugged one hole in the dike other leaks sprung forward eventually overwhelming Nixon and leading to disaster for his presidency Bob Haldeman saw the risk after the break in on June 20 1972 Haldeman however did record in his diary that evening I had a long meeting with Ehrlichman and Mitchell We added Kleindienst for a little while and John Dean for uite a while The conclusion was that we ve got to hope the FBI doesn t go beyond what is necessary in developing evidence and that we can keep a lid on that as well as keeping all the characters involved from getting carried away with any unnecessary testimony Dean John The Nixon Defense Page 19As the White House and the Nixon re elect Committee both scrambled to find out what the exposure was they came into information that would likely have put former Attorney General and head of the Nixon re elect Committee John Mitchell at serious risk Activities related to the break in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg s the man who released the Pentagon Papers doctor presented a real problem The tangled web of illegal activities directed by the Nixon Administration made localizing the Watergate break in to the actual burglars next to impossible Nixon s desire to protect an old associate and the former Attorney General of the United States John Mitchell from legal peril contributed greatly to the eventual collapse of the cover up Beyond the direct connection to the White House the investigators were able to trace the money connecting the dots on money found back to the Nixon re elect Committee and eventually back to major "Players In The Nixon Money "in the Nixon money Haldeman outlined the problem for Nixon on June 23 1972 Now on the investigation ou know the Democratic break in thing Haldeman began we re back to the problem area because the FBI is not under control because Gray doesn t exactly know how to control them and their investigation is now leading into some productive areas More specifically he explained the FBI had been able to trace the money found on the burglars to the bank that issued the new hundred dollar bills although not to the individuals to whom the bills had been given And and it goes in some directions we don t want it to go Dean John The Nixon Defense Page 56Acting FBI Director L Patrick Gray appointed on an interim basis to replace J Edgar Hoover proved to be a disaster in every respect as FBI Director When Nixon reluctantly at a later point sent Gray up for confirmation as Director the Senate hearing on that appointment turned into a major disaster for Nixon as well as for Gray The Nixon team realizing that matters were indeed getting out of hand concocted the idea to use the CIA to warn off the FBI and get them to limit or stop the investigation Haldeman then continued with his recommendation regarding the out of control FBI That the way to handle this now is for us to have CIA deputy director Vernon Walters call Pat Gray and just say stay the hell out of this business here we don t want ou to go any further on it Dean John The Nixon Defense Page 56Nixon bought in and so directed Haldeman on June 23 in advance of a Haldeman meeting with Vernon Walters and Richard Helms of the CIA I d say the primary reason ou ve got to cut it the hell off I just don t think ah it would be very bad to have this fellow Hunt ou know he knows too damn much And he was involved in the Watergate break in we happen to know that And if it gets out the whole this is all involved in the Cuban thing it s a fiasco and it s going to make the FBI he had misspoken and corrected himself the CIA look bad it s going to make Hunt look bad and it s likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing which we think would be very unfortunate for the CIA and for the country at this time and for American foreign policy And he s just got to tell them lay off Dean John The Nixon Defense Page 61That tape would eventually be considered the Nixon smoking gun tape which would when released finish him off politically Nixon s involvement in the cover up was clear and it also involved knowledge of perjured testimony suborning additional perjury and approval of the payment of hush money to the original Watergate defendants This book brings us much than an indictment of Nixon Dean shows us Nixon and his staff trying to their best to seal this off before it crippled them and largely failing each step of the way It really is a fascinating story with Dean showing in my view a bit of sympathy for Nixon He never whitewashes Nixon s actions but shows that Nixon really was trying to ascertain some of the particulars with regards to people close to him What was Mitchell s level of knowledge in advance of the Watergate break in Who authorized what and when Dean speculates and shows fairly convincingly that Nixon for all his faults was pretty poorly served by his closest associates including Haldeman but especially Ehrlichman and Mitchell Plenty of blame to go around but Nixon had to weed his way through some internal evasions and outright lies from top staff who came to realize the legal jeopardy that they were in As Nixon came to the same realization he continued to try to contain the matter but as his co conspirators fled the ship John Dean initially but many others later he resorted to the same types of internal evasions and outright lies that had helped to get him into the mess Dean realizing before the others that the group including Nixon was likely guilty of a conspiracy to obstruct justice warned Nixon in his cancer on the Presidency talk of March 21 1973 that serious legal problems lay ahead for the key staff including Haldeman Ehrlichman Mitchell and Dean himself It would not be possible in light of that tape to make the case that Nixon did not understand the conspiracy to obstruct justice that was ongoing Did I learn anything new from the Dean book I did in fact find out that the Nixon White House through the President himself had a pretty good feel for what the Justice Department was doing by Presidential talks with AAG Henry Peterson and with AG Richard Kleindienst Neither man was ch. Based on Nixon’s previously overlooked secret recordings a revelatory new look at Watergate by one of its key figures Watergate forever changed American politics and in light of the revelations about the NSA’s widespread surveillance program the scandal has taken on new significance Yet remarkably four decades after he was forced to resign no one has told the full story of Nixon’s involvement in Watergate In The Nixon Defens.