Even after repeat viewings of the film "All the President's Men" on DVD, and really appreciating what a classic it is, it cannot beat the original book. In fact, along with "The Final Days," the film is even *better* when read in tandem with the book. Students should be reading it in either high school or college - it is not only compulsively readable, but manages to help those of us born after Watergate understand what really happened. And it's also a great introduction to life inside the (Washington D.C.) Beltway.
The reputation of journalism as a profession, and the ideal of truth and accuracy in reporting, has taken a beating. In the last few years, between the Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times and the New Republic embarassment with Stephen Glass, it's refreshing to read this book and see what journalism is meant to be. For one thing, Woodward and Bernstein endeavored to be objective even when describing themselves, and their own actions - being honest about their own weaknesses and habits as reporters. There is no bombast or ego here, or in "Final Days", about what brilliant reporting they did, or how they broke this white-hot story when they were both quite young. It makes Blair and Glass's arrogance much harder to stomach.