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First Puppet, Now Scapegoat

Inigo Thomas: Ass-Chewing in Washington, 30 November 2006

State of Denial: Bush at War 
by Bob Woodward.
Simon and Schuster, 560 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7432 9566 8
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... Who is Bob Woodward? If his books had no jackets, if the prefaces and acknowledgments were ripped away; if you’d never watched American television or read the US papers; if all you had were the texts and you read them from cover to cover, would you know who Bob Woodward is? No, you wouldn’t, but if you read the jackets, acknowledgments and prefaces and followed the TV news, you still wouldn’t know that much about him ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Kicking Dick Cheney, 2 August 2007

... bound to bring to mind the Washington Post’s most famous piece of investigative reporting. But Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein helped to bring down a president mid-term, whereas Gellman and Becker are kicking an administration that’s already down (which isn’t to say it doesn’t deserve it). There’s no question that their investigation into ...

Trashing the Supreme Court

Ronald Dworkin, 19 June 1980

The Bretheren: Inside the Supreme Court 
by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong.
Secker, 467 pp., £7.95, March 1980, 0 436 58122 1
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... clerks as sons and daughters – and is in every case supposed to be based on confidentiality. Woodward (the famous hero of Watergate journalism) and Armstrong, his colleague at the Washington Post, apparently succeeded in shattering that confidentiality, for most of their ‘inside stories’ (if true) come from among the 170 former clerks they say they ...

I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place

David Runciman: In the White House, 11 October 2018

Fear: Trump in the White House 
by Bob Woodward.
Simon & Schuster, 448 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 4711 8129 0
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... joke about academic life: ‘Why are the disputes so poisonous? Because the stakes are so low.’ Bob Woodward’s new book about the first year of the Trump administration raises some of these thorny issues, but it turns them on their head. No one could doubt that having Trump in the White House is an existential matter: the president’s decisions have ...

At the Party

Christopher Hitchens, 17 April 1986

Hollywood Babylon II 
by Kenneth Anger.
Arrow, 323 pp., £5.95, January 1986, 0 09 945110 7
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Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan 
by Robin Wood.
Columbia, 336 pp., $25, October 1985, 0 231 05776 8
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... written by her daughter Brooke Hayward, was entitled Haywire – much like the heading under which Bob Woodward interred John Belushi. I remember being given a tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills by a screenwriter friend a few years ago. With unmistakable civic pride he pointed out the house on Cielo Drive where (putting an end to the Sixties for some ...

Paper this thing over

Colin Kidd: The Watergate Tapes, 5 November 2015

The Nixon Tapes: 1971-72 
by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 758 pp., $35, July 2014, 978 0 544 27415 0
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The Nixon Defence: What He Knew and When He Knew It 
by John W. Dean.
Penguin, 784 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 0 14 312738 3
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Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall 
by Elizabeth Drew.
Duckworth Overlook, 450 pp., £20, August 2014, 978 0 7156 4916 9
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Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate 
by Ken Hughes.
Virginia, 228 pp., $16.95, August 2015, 978 0 8139 3664 2
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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan 
by Rick Perlstein.
Simon and Schuster, 860 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4767 8241 6
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... seemed to be nothing more than a ‘caper’ undertaken by over-enthusiastic underlings. Only Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, two inexperienced journalists on the local beat, persisted with the story. For the moment, the burglars kept quiet, and no mud stuck. On 7 November Nixon was re-elected in the biggest landslide in ...

From Lying to Leering

Rebecca Solnit: Penis Power, 19 January 2017

... while MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell gave her public instructions on how to use a microphone, Bob Woodward bitched that she was ‘screaming’ and Bob Cusack, the editor of the political newspaper the Hill, said: ‘When Hillary Clinton raises her voice, she loses.’ One could get the impression that a woman ...

Those Genes!

Charles Wheeler, 17 July 1997

Personal History 
by Katharine Graham.
Weidenfeld, 642 pp., £25, May 1997, 9780297819646
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... strong local section, promptly put three reporters to work on the story, including two youngsters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, whose position on the paper had been, at best, precarious. From the day the story surfaced until Nixon’s resignation the Post led the way, leaving the New York Times, hampered by slim resources in its relatively small ...

Sucking up to P

Greg Grandin: Henry Kissinger’s Vanity, 29 November 2007

Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power 
by Robert Dallek.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, August 2007, 978 0 7139 9796 5
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Henry Kissinger and the American Century 
by Jeremi Suri.
Harvard, 368 pp., £18.95, July 2007, 978 0 674 02579 0
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... their anger on the neo-Jacobinism of Paul Wolfowitz and Co, the old Metternich hand was, as Bob Woodward reported, exerting a ‘powerful, largely invisible influence on Bush’s Iraq policy’, regularly meeting with the president and Cheney, dusting off his old Vietnam-era memos to urge the administration to stay the course: ‘Withdrawal of US ...

The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland, 23 September 2004

... would remake his politics and get his father out of his system. In more recent times, asked by Bob Woodward why he didn’t seek the opinion of his father before going to war with Saddam Hussein (given that his father was the only other person in the world to have been a president and to have done that), he said: ‘He is the wrong father to appeal to ...

De-Nazification

Noël Annan, 15 October 1981

Blind Eye to Murder 
by Tom Bower.
Deutsch, 501 pp., £9.95, July 1981, 0 233 97292 7
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The Road to Nuremberg 
by Bradley Smith.
Deutsch, 303 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 0 233 97410 5
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... hubris can sometimes get the better of professional caution. The prestigious Washington Post and Bob Woodward himself failed, despite warnings, to check out the story on a five-year-old drug addict written by the wretched Janet Cooke, who won her Pulitzer Prize and subsequently had to return it when her report was proved to be a fabrication. It is also ...

Advantage Pyongyang

Richard Lloyd Parry, 9 May 2013

The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future 
by Victor Cha.
Bodley Head, 527 pp., £14.99, August 2012, 978 1 84792 236 6
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... with a group of senators, he called Kim Jong Il ‘a spoiled child’ and a ‘pygmy’. When Bob Woodward raised the subject, he feared the president was about to vault out of his chair. ‘I loathe Kim Jong Il,’ Bush told him, ‘waving his finger in the air’. Human rights in North Korea became a political weapon, wielded by the right as a ...

Obama’s Delusion

David Bromwich: The Presidential Letdown, 22 October 2009

... troops, as in Vietnam, in increments of tens of thousands. Their current request was leaked to Bob Woodward, who published it in the Washington Post on 21 September, after Obama asked that it be kept from the public for a longer interval while he deliberated. The leak was an act of military politics if not insubordination; its aim was to show the ...

I need money

Christian Lorentzen: Biden Tries Again, 10 September 2020

Yesterday’s Man: The Case against Joe Biden 
by Branko Marcetic.
Verso, 288 pp., £12.99, March, 978 1 83976 028 0
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... But the pose had been proven to work.‘We’re Eisenhower Republicans here,’ Bill Clinton told Bob Woodward after taking office in 1993. ‘We stand for lower deficits, free trade and the bond market. Isn’t that great?’‘My dad always said you couldn’t blame a guy for being rich,’ Biden writes. ‘I love Bernie, but I’m not Bernie ...

Miss Fleur gave me the most awful restyle

Elaine Showalter: Joe Orton, 10 December 1998

Between Us Girls 
by Joe Orton.
Hern, 224 pp., £14.99, October 1998, 1 85459 374 9
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‘Fred & Madge’ and ‘The Visitors’ 
by Joe Orton.
Hern, 224 pp., £12.99, October 1998, 1 85459 354 4
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... the most awful restyle. Just terrible.’ Susan spends her evenings with life-of-the-party Monty Woodward, who dresses up in women’s clothes and pretends to be Lucrezia Borgia or Cleopatra. She has to take him home after one party when he is ‘feeling ill’. Susan is genuinely thrilled when she gets a part in Little by Little at the Rainier Revuebar. She ...

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