Book Review (Non Fiction): Author Says Watergate Scandal is Classic Tragedy in ‘King Richard’ | Books

By JAY STAFFORD For The Free Lance-Star

When clumsy burglars broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at Watergate compound in 1972, their act ultimately plunged the nation into constitutional crisis and ousted a corrupt president from office.

Since then, dozens of writers have studied the scandal through multiple prisms. The latest, journalist, author and university professor Michael Dobbs, tackles the subject with conceptual originality in “King Richard”.

To compress the story – rich in Shakespearean connotations, as the title suggests – Dobbs focuses on the 100 days from the second inauguration of President Richard M. Nixon on January 20, 1973, until his dismissal of key HR Haldeman associates and John Ehrlichman on April 30. , 1973.

With access to thousands of hours of released tapes, as well as other primary sources, Dobbs offers compelling details and individual anecdotes about Nixon and his co-conspirators.

About Burglary Coordinator Howard Hunt: “A damning effectiveness report dismissed him as ‘the kind of spy who would trip over his cloak and fall on his sword.’ “

Regarding cover-up John Dean: “He went from buying fifths of scotch to half a gallon to convince himself he was using fewer bottles.

On Nixon: “He approached the subject of relaxation with the same grim determination that he applied to all other subjects. “

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