old school detective work


pix source (my own has Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman on the cover)

I’m re-reading All The President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein since Friday night. The first time I read it was last year some time in August. At the time, the book just blew me away. It was like, “Why haven’t I read it earlier?”

Anyway, this time around, I spent more time imagining what the two reporters as well as the whole Washington Post went through during that time trying to gather information on the infamous scandal.

First published in 1974, it was turned into a movie in 1976 (I’ve yet to see it but will do it soon). After 30 years, it is still considered a good read for (aspiring) journalists everywhere, especially in the US. I think that was why my dad had it, since he was one too, back in the 70’s when Watergate happened and was covering the politics beat.

One website dubbed Woodward and Bernstein the most famous journalists in the 20th century.

After my first reading, I felt rejuvenated, sort like having my existence as a journalist justified (although I was just writing about business and people I know almost never read what I wrote).

Now that I’m no longer in the business, I still love the book. It tells the passion of people trying to bring the truth to the public, of power and how it can be abused in the most outrageous manner and of the conflicts in the media business.

And can you imagine not having a pc to write your story but a typewriter? Then there’s going through the archives manually, that is really beyond me. My former colleagues and I would moan if the on-line archive were down for even five minutes and I only went to the library as a last resort (less than five times I think, throughout my three years there).

Back to the book, I’d recommend it to everyone who has interest in journalism, media or people who just love a good read. Not much drama, just straight forward accounts of what happened in a very important event in the history of US politics. And I was told the movie’s good too.

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