The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate

Tom Brokaw. Random House, $26 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6970-5
Former White House correspondent Brokaw (A Lucky Life Interrupted) presents a brisk account of his “reporter’s experience of Watergate, the final act,” in this affable memoir. Brokaw joined the White House press corps in the summer of 1973 after serving as nightly news anchor for L.A.’s KNBC. Some of his new colleagues wrote to the president of NBC News that Brokaw wasn’t qualified for the role, but future rival Dan Rather, Brokaw notes, was “immediately cordial.” By August, Watergate and its related scandals had reached Nixon’s inner circle; Brokaw recalls an awkward encounter in a Washington, D.C., burger joint with John Ehrlichman and his 10-year-old son shortly after the ex–White House adviser had been indicted for planning to steal whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg’s psychological profile. Chronicling the 12 months leading up to Nixon’s resignation in August 1974, Brokaw describes major milestones—the “I’m not a crook” press conference; the revelation that 18-and-a-half minutes were missing from a key tape recording—and pays tribute to his fellow journalists who covered the historical events. Though he makes a handful of references to Donald Trump and the current “chaotic time in the American presidency,” the theme isn’t developed in detail. Watergate completists will appreciate Brokaw’s clubby reminiscences; those seeking a substantive analysis, however, should look elsewhere. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/13/2019
Release date: 11/12/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-593-17213-1
Paperback - 385 pages - 978-0-593-20925-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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