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Today's quote:

Saturday, March 26, 2022

It's now fifty years ago


You know you're old when one of the defining events of your lifetime is already fifty years ago. The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal in the United States involving the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1974 that led to Nixon's resignation.

"All the President's Men" is a 1974 non-fiction book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two of the journalists who investigated the first Watergate break-in and ensuing scandal for The Washington Post. The book chronicles the investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from Woodward's initial report on the Watergate break-in through the resignations of H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and the revelation of the Nixon tapes by Alexander Butterfield in 1973. It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward's secret meetings with his source Deep Throat, whose identity was kept hidden for over 30 years. Gene Roberts, the former executive editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, has called the work of Woodward and Bernstein "maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time."


Read the book online here


The name of the book alludes to the nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty: "All the king's horses and all the king's men / Couldn't put Humpty together again". A film adaptation, produced by Robert Redford, starring Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, respectively, was released in 1976. That same year, a sequel to the book, "The Final Days", was published, which chronicled the last months of Nixon's presidency, starting around the time their previous book ended.

I must be getting old because all this is now fifty years ago. I remember it well because at the time I was working as "Secretary" (Business Manager - Accountant) for the the British Solomon Islands Electrcity Authority in Honiara in the then British Solomon Islands Protectorate, and Watergate was fiercely debated on the seaward-looking terrace of the Mendana Hotel and around the bar at the Point Cruz Yacht Club and the G-Club. We thought the world as we knew it had come to an end.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

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P.S. Not to be confused with both the book and movie of the same name about the rise and fall of populist politician Willie Stark (based on Huey Long) - see here and here.