The August book of the month is “The Nixon Defense” by John W. Dean.
Summary (from the publisher):
Watergate forever changed American politics, and in light of the revelations about the NSA’s widespread surveillance program, the scandal has taken on new significance. Yet remarkably, four decades after Nixon was forced to resign, no one has told the full story of his involvement in Watergate.
In The Nixon Defense, former White House Counsel John W. Dean, one of the last major surviving figures of Watergate, draws on his own transcripts of almost a thousand conversations, a wealth of Nixon’s secretly recorded information, and more than 150,000 pages of documents in the National Archives and the Nixon Library to provide the definitive answer to the question: What did President
Nixon know and when did he know it?
Through narrative and contemporaneous dialogue, Dean connects dots that have never been connected, including revealing how and why the Watergate break-in occurred, what was on the mysterious 18 1/2 minute gap in Nixon’s recorded conversations, and more.
In what will stand as the most authoritative account of one of America’s worst political scandals, The Nixon Defense shows how the disastrous mistakes of Watergate could have been avoided and offers a cautionary tale for our own time.
The New York Times –
Mr. Dean’s book will remind people of why Nixon deserves so unflattering a historical reputation, despite the opening to China and détente with the Soviet Union. It should also serve as a renewed cautionary tale about elevating politicians with questionable character to high office…
The secret of Nixon tapes’ 18-minute gap revealed – Lauren Tousignant
Despite four decades of literature from historians, journalists, academics and politicians, questions remain. Who ordered the break-in at the DNC headquarters on June 17, 1972? What was erased from the infamous 18 ½ minute gap? How much did Nixon know about the cover-up?
John W. Dean, a member of Nixon’s White House counsel who would spend four months in jail for his involvement in the cover-up, aims to finally answer these questions in his latest book, “The Nixon Defense.”
Reviews: ‘The Nixon Defense,’ – Bob Woodward
The book contains no new blockbusters, but the new tapes suggest that the full story of the Nixon administration’s secret operations may forever remain buried along with their now-deceased perpetrators. For example, on Oct. 10, 1972, Carl Bernstein and I wrote in The Washington Post that Watergate was not an isolated operation but only part of a massive campaign of political espionage and sabotage run by the Nixon reelection committee and the White House. Dean writes that the story “reframed Watergate as more than a mere bungled burglary at the DNC.”
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Contact us for information on when the book club meets, or to secure one of the generously donated books.