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June 18, 2005 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2005-06-18

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 18, 2005

Powerful 'Secret'
unearths legacy

By Imran Syed
Daily Arts Writer
More than 30 years after a couple
of punk, amateur, twentysomething
Washington Post reporters exposed
the biggest politi-
cal scandal in
American histo- The Secret
ry, we finally get Man: The
to hear the whole Story of
truth behind the Watergate's
story directly Deep Throat
from the source.
Written by the By Bob Woodward
most well-known Simon and Schuster
and lauded inves-
tigative reporter of all time, Bob
Woodward, and with an epilogue
by his muckraking partner in crime,
Carl Bernstein, "The Secret Man"
is a must read for history buffs and
casual observers alike, expertly por-
traying the struggles the reporters
and their secret man faced while
bringing down a president.
"The Secret Man" is as much a
biography of Bob Woodward as it
is a tell-all about Deep Throat. The
reader walks in Woodward's shoes
as the young Harvard graduate
struggles to find himself in the Navy
and afterward.
We are also on hand for the pro-
phetic first meeting between Wood-
ward and Mark Felt, now revealed
to be the infamous Deep Throat.
Woodward paints a convincing pic-

ture of the times, the bullying of the
Nixon administration and the unde-
niable will of a patriotic Felt to pro-
tect the FBI, the institution to which
he devoted his life.
Near the end, we are taken to
the emotional last meeting between
Woodward and Felt, now a frail old
man losing his memory, unable even
to remember the details of his piv-
otal role in American history.
Here, Woodward fruitlessly prods
the former understudy of J. Edgar
Hoover, hoping to find answers for
himself and his readers. He hopes
to find out why Felt did what he did
and why he wanted to remain anony-
mous so many years later but real-
izes that the degenerative old man
sitting across from him is not the
same Mark Felt he once knew - the
one who risked his own honor for
that of the FBI.
Throughout the book, Woodward
returns to his own internal struggle
on how much longer he must keep
Deep Throat's identity hidden. His
conclusion is a very important les-
son for reporters everywhere - pro-
tect your source at all costs.
Woodward finally expresses his
hesitation in confirming that Mark
Felt was indeed Deep Throat even
after the Vanity Fair article that first
revealed his identity. Did he still
owe allegiance to the Felt of 1973,
even while the Felt of 2005 wanted
to be unmasked?
The book is undeniably a power-
ful, though not as ground-breaking or

THe or odwrd TERGATeS
authoritative as "All the President's
Men" or Woodward's more recent
bestseller, "Plan Of Attack." Much of
what is revealed in the book we have
already known or could have guessed,
but there are some new tidbits (Felt
accidentally compromised himself at
a Senate hearing but was covered by
a committee member). But even what
we have always known is still nice to
hear in Woodward's own words and,
at times, in those of Felt himself.
Woodward's message in the book:
Mark Felt should never be seen as a
traitor, but rather as a hero with who
stood alone in the face of a corrupt
White House and refused to compro-
mise his principles
At a time when secret sources are
coming under fire everywhere and
the secrecy of the Watergate era
seems restored, Woodward's memoir
of the most important anonymous
source ever acts as a timely remind-
er that the freedom of the press, no
matter the circumstances, must never
be compromised.





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