What is the summary for All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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All the President's Men is a non-fiction book written by journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who investigated the Watergate burglary and consequent scandal. The book details their investigation, events behind stories they published in The Washington Post, the disclosure of the Nixon tapes, and the release of sources' names who previously needed to remain anonymous.

On June 17, 1972, Bob Woodward was assigned by The Washington Post to jointly cover the burglary of the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex; his assignment partner was Carl Bernstein, a man he actually couldn't stand due to rumors of Bernstein's pushiness.

While witnessing the trial of the burglary, Woodward began to see that the story may actually run quite deeper than just a mere burglary. Meanwhile, Bernstein began doing private research and conducting interviews to learn that some of those working closest to the President were seen as having questionable characters.

After President Nixon publicly declared on June 22 that "the White House has had no involvement whatever in this particular incident," further investigations led to an uncovering of scandalous campaign strategies to thwart the Democratic party, including tapping news reporters' phones in an effort to find news leaks, using other spying tactics, and even issuing threats. However, all of their informants refused to speak out, so neither Bernstein nor Woodward could find the proof they needed to publish the story.

Deep Throat was their key informant; in secret meetings, Deep Throat validated or refuted evidence the reporters uncovered, told them where to look for more clues, but would not release names. Their investigation unearthed 50 conspirators and even a secret bank account President aids had authority to withdraw from.

As the reporters released their stories to The Washington Post, The Post had to fend off a barrage of attacks from the White House. However, soon, other newspapers began taking up the story too, uncovering even more evidence and exonerating The Post. Arrests were made, but the reporters also saw that some innocent people were taking blame for culprits. The more they tried to tie up the loose ends, the more they saw that President Nixon was involved in the conspiracy.

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