Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat

Max Holland. Univ. Press of Kansas, $29.95 (302p) ISBN 978-0-7006-1829-3
Holland (The Kennedy Assassination Tapes) digs in to another great American mystery: the true character of Mark Felt, a.k.a. Deep Throat, primum mobile of the Watergate scandal's spread to national consciousness and the 20th century's most fabled whistleblower. Holland maintains that Felt was motivated primarily by "self-interest, rather than a principle." The then second-in-charge of the FBI was seeking to discredit his boss L. Patrick Gray III, a perceived "crony" of Nixon, whose appointment from outside the bureau following the death of J. Edgar Hoover was cause for discord within—especially for Felt, the heir apparent. As opposed to the transgression itself, the public trauma known as Watergate seeped from insidious rivalries in and around the house that Hoover built. These were the same men who had been involved in COINTELPRO, then the most unrestrained invasion of domestic privacy to date; what the Nixon administration was guilty of could hardly be cause for moral outrage on their part. Holland's storytelling is often less than fluid, his analytical bent tending to intrude on the narrative. That his thesis of frustrated ambition has been around since the '70s is the least of it: no room is allowed the possibility that Felt's motivations evolved right along with public consciousness of the facts he relayed. Still, for the world's haggard realists, those who would seek out Kurtz in the jungle, Holland's attempt to illuminate Deep Throat's motives is compelling. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 302 pages - 978-0-7006-1973-3
Paperback - 302 pages - 978-0-7006-2342-6
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