The Secret Man by Bob Woodward
The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat

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Synopsis

In Washington, D.C., where little stays secret for long, the identity of Deep Throat -- the mysterious source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scandal in 1972 -- remained hidden for 33 years. Now, Woodward tells the story of his long, complex relationship with W. Mark Felt, the enigmatic former No. 2 man in the Federal Bureau of Investigation who helped end the presidency of Richard Nixon.
The Secret Man chronicles the story in intimate detail, from Woodward's first, chance encounter with Felt in the Nixon White House, to their covert, middle-of-the-night meetings in an underground parking garage, to the aftermath of Watergate and decades beyond, until Felt finally stepped forward at age 91 to unmask himself as Deep Throat.
The Secret Man reveals the struggles of a patriotic career FBI man, an admirer of J. Edgar Hoover, the Bureau's legendary director. After Hoover's death, Mark Felt found himself in the cross fire of one of Washington's historic contests, as Nixon and his men tried to dominate the Bureau and cover up the crimes of the administration. This book illuminates the ongoing clash between temporary political power and the permanent bureaucracy of government. Woodward explores Felt's conflicts and motives as he became Deep Throat, not only secretly confirming Woodward and Bernstein's findings from dozens of other sources, but giving a sense of the staggering sweep of Nixon's criminal abuses.
In this volume, part memoir, part morality tale, part political and journalistic history, Woodward provides context and detail about The Washington Post's expose of Watergate. He examines his later, tense relationship with Felt, when the FBI man stood charged with authorizing FBI burglaries. (Not knowing Felt's secret role in the demise of his own presidency, Nixon testified at Felt's trial, and Ronald Reagan later pardoned him.) Woodward lays bare his own personal struggles as he tries to define his relationship, his obligations, and his gratitude to this extraordinary confidential source.
The Secret Man is an intense, 33-year journey, providing a one-of-a-kind study of trust, deception, pressures, alliances, doubts and a lifetime of secrets. Woodward has spent more than three decades asking himself why Mark Felt became Deep Throat. Now the world can see what happened and why, bringing to a close one of the last chapters of Watergate.
 

About Bob Woodward

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Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked for forty-one years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for The Washington Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal, and later for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored twelve #1 national nonfiction bestsellers. He has two daughters, Tali and Diana, and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, writer Elsa Walsh.
 
Published July 6, 2005 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret Man

The New York Times

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Bob Woodward finally traces his complicated relationship with W. Mark Felt, better known as Deep Throat.

Jul 24 2005 | Read Full Review of The Secret Man: The Story of ...

The New York Times

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Three Decades Later, 'Woodstein' Takes a Victory Lap (June 3, 2005) The TV Watch: Woodward and Bernstein, Dynamic Duo, Together Again (June 3, 2005) The Overview: In the Prelude to Publication, Intrigue Worthy of Deep Throat (June 2, 2005) The Ethics: Felt Is Praised as a Hero and ...

Jul 24 2005 | Read Full Review of The Secret Man: The Story of ...

Publishers Weekly

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Woodward recounts his cultivation of the avuncular Felt as mentor and source during his days as a cub reporter, the cloak-and-dagger parking garage meetings where Felt leaked conclusions from the FBI's Watergate investigation, Felt's ambivalence about his actions and the chilling of their post-Wa...

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Entertainment Weekly

And it is, of course, impossible to read Secret Man as anything but a ringing defense of the importance of confidential sources, and to wonder what turns history might have taken if Felt — who the author makes clear protected his identity with a fierce and wily instinct for self-preservation ...

Jul 20 2005 | Read Full Review of The Secret Man: The Story of ...

USA Today

But Woodward lets himself off for violating the agreement he made with Felt at the time "that there would be no identification of him, his agency, or even a suggestion in print that such a source existed."In 1974, Woodward and fellow reporter Carl Bernstein (who contributes a 12-page addendum to ...

Jul 14 2005 | Read Full Review of The Secret Man: The Story of ...

Bookmarks Magazine

… In fact, much of this book’s narrative consists of the author’s dovetailing accounts of the work he and Bernstein did in piecing together the Watergate scandal (accounts that will be highly familiar to anyone who has read their 1974 bestseller All the President’s Men) …" Michiko Kakutani Orego...

Jan 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The Secret Man: The Story of ...

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