Woodward’s Secret Man Reveals the True Story of “Deep Throat”


Secret Man CoverI interrupted my reading of John Dean’s new book, The Nixon Defense, to tackle a 2005 best-seller by Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.Bob Woodward picture

Woodward, as you know, met with a character named “Deep Throat” in a parking garage during the Watergate saga.  Before he died, at age 91, Mark Felt identified himself in a Vanity Fair article as “Deep Throat.”  Felt was # 2, but he never made it to the top of the FBI, a position he greatly coveted.  You can read the article, published on July 1, 2005 by clicking here.

This book is entitled The Secret Man:  The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat (New York:  Simon and Schuster), and includes a “reporter’s assessment” by Carl Bernstein.

Although I am reading this nine years late, and had to purchase it through third-party sellers as it is out of print, I find the story intriguing and revealing.  I particularly enjoy the corroboration of Woodward’s recollections with the factual Nixon recordings, his own notes and memos, and FBI file reports.

Perhaps more than anything else, I am moved by the personal reactions that Woodward had before, during, and after these sessions with Felt.  And, the fact that while Felt could no longer remember others in that era, he could still remember Woodward.

To be clear, Dean obviously held Felt in great contempt.  In his new book, he calls him highly manipulative.  I don’t think Woodward would disagree with that assessment.  Felt gave Woodward what he wanted to give him, in his own way, on his own terms, and sometimes, not at all.  Felt was often very early, very late, or even a no-show for the scheduled parking garage meetings with Woodward.

I will go back and finish the Dean book now.  I think I am better prepared as a reader having made this quick diversion.

By the way, these are two pictures of Mark Felt.  The one on the left is from his FBI days.  The one on the right is from the day he announced himself as “Deep Throat” for the Vanity Fair article.

MarkFelt1    MarkFelt2

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