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Blind Ambition: The White House Years by…

Blind Ambition: The White House Years (1976)

by John Dean

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About average as a memoir, this book’s special interest is, of course, the downfall of Richard Nixon and his presidency. Dean pulls no punches and doesn’t try to excuse himself in any way. ( )
  bohemima | Aug 5, 2018 |
The White House years
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
In Blind Ambition, John Dean chronicled his experience as US President Richard Nixon's attorney, with a focus on the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's impeachment and resignation. Ghost written with Taylor Branch, Dean's book is a frank portrayal of the criminality of the Nixon administration and of the cover - up that led to prosecution and conviction of several top administration officials. The book also is Dean's personal account of how he became so blinded by loyalty and ambition as to participate in obstruction of justice and the payment of hush money to the Watergate burglars -- crimes to which he pleaded guilty in federal court.

More than three decades later, Blind Ambition retains iconic status as the most revealing personal account of the inner workings of the Nixon administration, certainly moreso than the self- serving accounts of the other personalities of the Watergate scandal. Anyone interested in understanding the Nixon administration and its downfall should read this book -- ideally in the updated edition of 2009. For other views of the scandal, see Woodward and Bernstein's All the President's Men and The Final Days. ( )
6 vote danielx | Nov 23, 2011 |
Dean does not hide his role in this personal tale of Watergate, and is not defensive of some questionable activity, including his behavior to other inmates when he was behind bars. A good read. It is one of the best explanations of the Watergate caper from one who was there. Essential for any study of Nixon for this period. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Jul 3, 2011 |
Blind Ambition is a personal confession -- one that recounts Dean's succumbing to the baser aspects of power and the quest for it. But it is more than that. It's a look inside the world of White House aides who, despite their access to huge amounts of information about the state of the country, seem to be so disconnected from the values of the people they are appointed to serve.

Some have said it is self-serving, and it probably is. But I was impressed by Dean's willingness to identify his own mistakes, transgressions, and crimes. It's a very human story he tells, and tells well. ( )
1 vote Oreillynsf | Feb 15, 2010 |
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Please do not combine the 2009 "Blind Ambition: The End of the Story" with the 1976 version "Blind Edition: The White House Years."
The 2009 edition includes extended additions in response to the Watergate revisionists.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671224387, Hardcover)

Blind Ambition: The White House Years by John Dean 1976 Hardcover

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A six-month New York Times bestseller: "Not only the best Watergate book, but a very good book indeed" ( The Sunday Times ). As White House counsel to Richard Nixon, a young John W. Dean was one of the primary players in the Watergate scandal?and ultimately became the government's key witness in the investigations that ended the Nixon presidency. After the scandal subsided, Dean rebuilt his career, first in business and then as a bestselling author and lecturer. But while the events were still fresh in his mind, he wrote this remarkable memoir about the operations of the Nixon White House and the crisis that led to the president's resignation. Called "fascinating" by Commentary , which noted that "there can be little doubt of his memory or his candor," Blind Ambition offers an insider's view of the deceptions and machinations that brought down an administration and changed the American people's view of politics and power. It also contains Dean's own unsparing reflections on the personal demons that drove him to participate in the sordid affair. Upon its original publication, Kirkus Reviews hailed it "the flip side of All the President's Men ?a document, a minefield, and prime entertainment." Today, Dean is a respected and outspoken advocate for transparency and ethics in government, and the bestselling author of such books as The Nixon Defense , Worse Than Watergate , and Conservatives Without Conscience . Here, in Blind Ambition , he "paints a candid picture of the sickening moral bankruptcy which permeated the White House and to which he contributed. His memory of who said what and to whom is astounding" ( Foreign Affairs ).… (more)

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