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Great book, but Ben Bradlee was the hero
on May 24, 2007
Ben Bradlee is the real hero in this book. The Washington Post's editor stood by his young reporters, when there was no apparent story to Watergate.
The fact that Woodward was a former naval intelligence officer and also a registered Republican gave weight to this classic, and to the articles which preceded it. Woodward cannot be portrayed as "anti-Republican" by a long stretch; rather, it was a Republican Administration that shot itself in the foot.
Or so goes the conventional wisdom.
In recent years, Woodward himself has admitted that he believes that Watergate has had something of a corrosive effect on the relationship between the Executive, the media and the law. 'All the President's Men' is a masterpiece and period piece all on its own, but it could usefully be read with Woodward's much later 'Shadow of Watergate', detailing the deepseated influence that the events leading to Nixon's resignation have had on subsequent presidencies.
This book is a classic, and it's amazing to think that it was issued actually before Nixon resigned in 1974, but it's a pity Bradlee's name didn't appear on the work as well as Woodward's and Bernstein's.