Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Watergate Again, and Remembering Tony Lukas
University of Kansas Press must be pleasantly surprised that they've got a kind of hit on their hands (we're #24,450!) with Max Holland's Leaks, yet one more presentation of the oft-told tale of Watergate and Nixon's fall. Holland's main point, it seems (I haven't read the book) is to whisk away whatever aura may have surrounded Mark Felt, the man we remember as "Deep Throat." I say "whatever" because it's not obvious to me that he ever had that much of an aura to begin with; some of the raised eyebrows today may be no more than readers who have forgotten what we knew about the whole episode before. Which brings to mind what I've long thought was (and what I suspect remains) the best single narrative of the whole sorry episode, the under appreciated Nightmare by J. Anthony Lukas. There are only three Amazon reviews (one by me) all five-star and I gather it has enjoyed a steady positive reception. Lukas himself committed suicide a few years later, apparently afflicted with depression. He remains a name among people who care about good journalism, though mostly for projects other than this. So now is as good a time as any to remember him and his one sturdy and durable contribution to the Watergate saga.