Read as part of CBR11 bingo: History
Elizabeth Drew’s Washington Journal is making me wish I had kept a diary about the Trump era to document these last few years. I often talk about how the Trump Era is the “lol nothing matters” times of nihilism and obstinance. Seems like a lot of that was going on in 1973-1974.
Drew covers the last year of Nixon’s presidency from the perspective of an insider journalist living in the hermetically sealed bubble of Washington, DC. She did a great job chronicling the national mood and trying to keep up with the firehose of information that was coming out daily. I once read a headline that said something to the effect of “The Trump Presidency is a stress test our democracy cannot handle.” That’s how drew made the Nixon presidency feel. Small events that I slightly remembered reading about, or buried stories that had been lost to the sands of time, surprised and at times downright shocked me.
I did a deep dive on Watergate last year. This may have been on one of the recommended lists but I don’t recall it getting as much love as others. I think it’s an excellent compendium to Woodward and Bernstein’s The Final Days, which is more of an insider’s account as to what was going on in the Nixon White House. This one shows the perspective of a typical citizen trying to parse the awfulness and palace intrigue.
It gets redundant at times and Drew has far more reverence for congressmen than I do but if you’re into Watergate, this is an absolute must read. I wish I had gotten to it last year.