Shadow: Five Presidents And The Legacy Of Watergate ***SIGNED***
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About this title:
Twenty-five years ago, after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Gerald Ford promised a return to normalcy. "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," President Ford declared.
But it was not. The Watergate scandal, and the remedies against future abuses of power, would have an enduring impact on presidents and the country. In Shadow, Bob Woodward takes us deep into the administrations of Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton to describe how each discovered that the presidency was forever altered. With special emphasis on the human toll, Woodward shows the consequences of the new ethics laws, and the emboldened Congress and media. Powerful investigations increasingly stripped away the privacy and protections once expected by the nation's chief executive.
Using presidential documents, diaries, prosecutorial records and hundreds of interviews with firsthand witnesses, Woodward chronicles how all five men failed first to understand and then to manage the inquisitorial environment.
"The mood was mean," Gerald Ford says. Woodward explains how Ford believed he had been offered a deal to pardon Nixon, then clumsily rejected it and later withheld all the details from Congress and the public, leaving lasting suspicions that compromised his years in the White House.
Jimmy Carter used Watergate to win an election, and then watched in bewilderment as the rules of strict accountability engulfed his budget director, Bert Lance, and challenged his own credibility. From his public pronouncements to the Iranian hostage crisis, Carter never found the decisive, healing style of leadership the first elected post-Watergate president had promised.
Woodward also provides the first behind-the-scenes account of how President Reagan and a special team of more than 60 attorneys and archivists beat Iran-contra. They turned the Reagan White House and United States intelligence agencies upside down investigating the president with orders to disclose any incriminating information they found. A fresh portrait of an engaged Reagan emerges as he realizes his presidency is in peril and attempts to prove his innocence.
In Shadow, a bitter and disoriented President Bush routinely pours out his anger at the permanent scandal culture to his personal diary as a dozen investigations touch some of those closest to him. At one point, Bush pounds a plastic mallet on his Oval Office desk because of the continuing investigation of Iran-contra Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh. "Take that, Walsh!" he shouts. "I'd like to get rid of this guy." Woodward also reveals why Bush avoided telling one of the remaining secrets of the Gulf War.
The second half of Shadow focuses on President Clinton's scandals. Woodward shows how and why Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation became a state of permanent war with the Clintons. He reveals who Clinton really feared in the Paula Jones case, and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering and ruthless, cynical legal strategies to protect the Clintons. Shadow also describes how impeachment affected Clinton's war decisions and scarred his life, his marriage and his presidency. "How can I go on?" First Lady Hillary Clinton asked in 1996, when she was under scrutiny by Starr and the media, two years before the Lewinsky scandal broke. "How can I?"
Shadow is an authoritative, unsettling narrative of the modern, beleaguered presidency.
Review: There are two ways to look at this bestseller by Watergate scoopmeister Woodward. First, it's an original take on Clinton's sex scandal, framing it as the latest consequence of Nixon's assault on the U.S. political system. Woodward sketches each president's tussles with scandal managing after Watergate permanently turned up the press heat on the White House. Ford lies about a meeting concerning a potential deal to pardon Nixon, but remains convinced he did nothing wrong. Carter's pious advocacy of truth telling backfires when he's confronted with conundrums involving his pal Bert Lance, the fallout from CIA-provided hookers, and cash for King Hussein. Reagan's men try to make him understand the lies and shocking wrongness of the Iran-Contra debacle, but he simply, stubbornly doesn't get it. And by the time prosecutors interview Reagan in 1992, he's so ill he can't remember his own oldest friends and advisers.
All provocative stuff, some of it new. But most readers will flip to the book's second half, a fly-on-the-wall account of the backroom mud-wrestling in both the Clinton and Starr camps in the Monicagate morass. It's a trove of racy facts (mostly from anonymous sources). We read that Clinton called Nixon a "war criminal," yet tried to minimize Watergate in his Nixon eulogy, that he disgusted Ford and Jack Nicklaus by cheating while golfing with them, and that he kept falsely assuring aides, "I'm retired! [as an adulterer]." We hear Hillary's alleged words of agony and see the pain on Bill's face after Chelsea reads The Starr Report on the Internet. Starr comes off like RoboCop without the human side. Woodward calls him "pathetic and unwise" in rejecting his staff's urgent demand not to send the lurid details of presidential sex to Congress. "I love the narrative!" Starr weirdly exulted, according to Woodward's new Deep Throat (or Throats). Since Monica was interrogated at Starr's mother-in-law's apartment, which he called "Grandma's place," ethics expert Sam Dash suggested they call it "Operation Red Riding Hood." What sharp teeth everyone in this book has!
To tell the truth, Woodward doesn't really knit together 25 years' worth of scandals into a single strong narrative. But the Clinton part is the closest thing yet to what we all crave: a tale of Monicagate with some of the flavor of a John Grisham thriller. --Tim Appelo
Title: Shadow: Five Presidents And The Legacy Of ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, NY
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author on Full Title Page
Edition: 1st. Edition, 1st. Printing.
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