Picks and Pans Review: The Secret Man

UPDATED 07/18/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/18/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

By Bob Woodward

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The secret, of course, is out: Deep Throat, the anonymous source who tipped Woodward and fellow Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein and helped bring down the Nixon Administration, is former FBI second in command W. Mark Felt, now 91, who last month revealed his identity in a Vanity Fair article. So what's left for Woodward to offer up? Enough to make this memoir an interesting—if ultimately frustrating—read. From soon after they met in a White House waiting room in 1969 or '70, Woodward recalls looking up to the "gentlemanly" older man as a father figure. Initially he is surprised at Felt's decision to spill about the Watergate break-in, and Woodward comes to regret taking advantage of the situation. "I was pushy, secretive, I used Mark Felt," he writes. Anxious to keep his identity secret, Felt discouraged Woodward from maintaining contact, so Woodward never asked what he longed to know: "Why were you Deep Throat? What was your motive? Who are you?" With Felt now suffering from confusion and memory loss, it's likely Woodward—and the rest of us—may never know.


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