Twenty-five years ago, after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Gerald Ford promised a return to normalcy. "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," President Ford declared. But it was not. The Watergate scandal, and the remedies against future abuses of power, would have an enduring impact on presidents and the country.
In Shadow, Bob Woodward takes us deep into the administrations of Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton to describe how each discovered that the presidency was forever altered. With special emphasis on the human toll, Woodward shows the consequences of the new ethics laws, and the emboldened Congress and media. Powerful investigations increasingly stripped away the privacy and protections once expected by the nation’s chief executive. Using presidential documents, diaries, prosecutorial records and hundreds of interviews with firsthand witnesses, Woodward chronicles how all five men failed first to understand and then to manage the inquisitorial environment. Shadow is an unsettling narrative of the modern, beleaguered presidency.
“Shadow is a meticulously documented chronicle of self-delusion and self-pity. It is like an illuminated manuscript expanding on an old adage, ‘Honesty is the best policy.’ It is also riveting reading.” -Mary McGrory, The Washington Post
“What drove Kenneth Starr?…As good an answer as any, I think, emerges from Bob Woodward’s new book, Shadow.” -Anthony Lewis, The New York Times
“Presidential candidates should read this book—and consider themselves warned.” -Paula Dwyer, BusinessWeek
“The chapters on the Clinton administration are poignant and painful for mistakes made and many regrets, for reputations lost and epic disillusionment after working at the White House.” -Helen Thomas, United Press International
“Woodward does an excellent job of laying out how each president, starting with Gerald Ford and extending through Bill Clinton, failed to heed the lessons Nixon learned the hard way….The highly readable book tells a bleak cautionary tale of warning signs not heeded.” -Richard Bendette, USA Today
“Investigative journalist Bob Woodward has a new book you should read. And I can think of a couple of guys who absolutely need to read it and take it to heart. They are Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore, leading the 2000 Republican and Democratic White House candidates.” –M. Charles Bakst, The Providence Sunday Journal
“Shadow contains vivid details, might-have-beens, and events hitherto unknown.” -The New Yorker
“If you eat up political gossip, this is a gallon of premium ice cream, a tub of hot fudge and a long spoon…Shadow is a damning indictment of government-by-special-prosecutor.” -Peter Rowe, The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Captivating…Woodward’s revealing book provides the clearest picture to date of how close Clinton came to losing his job — and his marriage — and how isolated the president became as Monica [Lewinsky]’s story unfolded.” -Ann McDaniel, Newsweek
“A thought-provoking and worthwhile book for even a casual student of the modern presidency. It moves quickly, for the most part, and contains a wealth of insight and insider detail.” -Kevin O’Brien, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
“But the anecdotes…oh, the anecdotes! Shadow is swimming in them… Shadow is an engrossing work. And no one — no one — but Bob Woodward could have written it” -Jay Nordlinger, National Review