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The Secret Man

The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat
Narrated by: Boyd Gaines
Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Summary

In Washington, D.C., where little stays secret for long, the identity of Deep Throat, the mysterious source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scandal in 1972, remained hidden for 33 years. Now, Woodward tells the story of his long, complex relationship with W. Mark Felt, the enigmatic No. 2 man in the Federal Bureau of Investigation who helped end the presidency of Richard Nixon.

The Secret Man chronicles the story in intimate detail, from Woodward's first, chance encounter with Felt in the Nixon White House, to their covert, middle-of-the-night meetings in an underground parking garage, to the aftermath of Watergate and decades beyond, until Felt finally stepped forward at age 91 to unmask himself as Deep Throat.

The Secret Man is an intense 33-year journey, providing a one-of-a-kind study of trust, deception, pressures, alliances, doubts, and a lifetime of secrets. Woodward has spent more than three decades asking himself why Mark Felt became Deep Throat. Now the world can see what happened and why, bringing to a close one of the last chapters of Watergate.

This audiobook also includes a reporter's assessment by Carl Bernstein.

Don't miss Bob Woodward on Fresh Air and at the Tribeca Talks with Carl Bernstein.
©2005 Bob Woodward (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Question of Trust

Trust, confidentiality, and the keeping of secrets is the core subject of this book. That the central character happens to be 'Deep Throat' is incidental. It is a wonderful exploration, occasionally repetitive, of a relationship between a investigative reporter and his or her source. It is a human story, occasionally touching, sometimes frustratingly complex, but always human of the cost of betrayal and lies even for the noblest of causes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patti
  • 15-10-05

Highly Reccomended

I do not consider myself to be a big fan of non-fiction. But anyone who lived through the events of Watergate and the Nixon Administration should read this story. It is truly a real-life mixture of good fortune and good skill to see the conclusion of it all.

Bob Woodward gives an excellent summary of the events leading up to the disclosure of Deep Throat. The details were not exhaustive but filled in what was needed. In fact, I have gone and purchased All The President's Men in an attempt to recapture more details. (That book was of no interest to me at the time it was first published, as the movie certainly was sufficient to inform me.) But at this stage of my life, I want to go back to the original source.

The narrator did a wonderful job. I cannot say enough about how important it is to "risten" to this title. It will be well worth your investment of a book credit and time.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janet
  • 21-01-08

This is History

Perhaps it is a generational thing -- I was in college during the Watergate era. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to The Secret Man. The narrator does an excellent job and if you didn't know better, you could imagine it was Woodward himself telling the story. The reader (ok, listener) almost feels like an eavesdropper into Woodward's private thoughts.

The book is more about Woodward's struggle and less about Felt but I was in no way disappointed by that. A framework for a discussion on journalistic integrity, this should be required reading for J students everywhere (after All the President's Men of course).

I suspect that some of the younger listeners/reviewers do not fully appreciate a story based on accuracy of information and protecting a source because the media today is more interested in getting information out quickly and less with getting it right.

The only way to make the audiobook better, would have been to have a different narrator for Carl Bernstein's reporter's assessment at the end -- just to help the listener "switch gears."

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia
  • 25-08-05

Closure

The Watergate break-in occurred on my 15th birthday. My views of politics were shaped by this and the previous assassinations of several good men. I needed to listen to this book as a form of closure. The book meanders a few times, and one wonders where it's going, but the connection is eventually made. It felt like the final chapter of a very long unfinished story, with all the main characters finally filled in. I was glad to have listened.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Ann O'Toole
  • 19-08-20

The Final Chapter on Deep Throat

My Favorite Movie is 'All the Presidents Men'. This is the behind-the-scenes that includes the Final Chapter of Deep Throat ~ His reveal. At 86 his memory preserved some secrets for eternity that perhaps are just as well lost with no inconvenience to history or truth. Beyond US Knowing, the BEST Part was HIS Knowing WE KNEW & IT WAS OK! He was Safe. His family was safe and HE WAS A HERO! BRAVO!

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  • HungryHippo
  • 02-05-20

Perfect End Cap to the Watergate Reporting Saga

You've probably read/listened to "All The President's Men" and have already learned the identity of the informant, Deep Throat, but this book gives you insight into the ethics and mechanics of keeping it a secret for decades as well as the big reveal in 2005. Woodward discusses some of the philosophy behind protecting sources, which seems apt during these current times. He also reviews informant/source motives. You get a clear picture of the work of protecting DT's identity was in itself. If you liked ANY of the Bernstein/Woodward books on the Watergate reporting, this one is 100% recommended. It's also not very long and the narration is great.

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  • W. Savage
  • 05-03-19

No questions are answered

Wanted more information on Mark Felt. Why did he do it? Most of the information can be found in All the President's Men.

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  • Steven
  • 28-02-19

good that this finally came out!

for anyone with the least interested Watergate, this is an important book. it was sad because felt had dementia and there's a lot of questions that are still not answered but I believe this is as close as we'll get.

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  • Catherine
  • 11-02-19

Mystery solved

As a child, I watched the Watergate hearings on TV and heard about this mystery man called Deep Throat. The adults around me could go on for hours trying to guess the identity of Deep Throat. Now I know.

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  • Sid
  • 01-12-18

Gretchen parallels to today.

History repeats itself. The parallels between then and now are interesting. A big theme throughout is “the true will come out”. Hopefully this true.

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  • Annie Ashe Fields
  • 06-08-18

A chance meeting and then... history.

I never knew Navy Lieutenant Bob Woodward first met Mark Felt by chance in the waiting room outside the Oval Office! I also never knew Felt & Reagan's paths intersected but I won't say how because I don't want to ruin the story. The narrator's voice & style are just marvelous. Very, very listenable. The story itself is FASCINATING! I was just a young girl when Watergate happened so I don't remember anything but Nixon resigning. I can still smell the rug and remember it was really humid that day. But what I know about the episode came from the movie & subsequent reading. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.