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|Bringing down a president : the Watergate scandal|
Author: Balis, Andrea
A re-telling of one of the biggest scandals to rock our nation, the trials and tribulations of the Nixon Administration during Watergate.
Kirkus Reviews (-) (06/01/19)
School Library Journal (08/01/19)
Booklist (+) (07/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/07/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2019 *Starred Review* With Watergate much in the news of late, the coauthors’ reconstruction of the national debacle that resulted in the resignation of then President Richard M. Nixon is both timely and relevant. It is also an absolutely riveting story told partly in quotations from documented sources and partly in crisply written expository sections called “Fly on the Wall” (as in, “I wish I had been a fly on the wall”) that augment and expand the quotations. The lively and informative text is enriched by illustrator Foley’s many expert black-and-white pictures that capture the spirit of the words and the character of those involved. Particularly revealing are his portraits of the president and the other principal, larger-than-life players in the drama. Though the scandal sparked a constitutional crisis, it had at least one salutary result: it evidenced, as the authors write, that “nobody is above the law, not even the president . . . the country is ruled by laws, not by a king.” And yet they caution, “The cynicism and skepticism of our current political culture has its roots in the years of the Nixon scandals.” That said, this valuable book reminds us that we can learn from the lessons of history and so avoid reprising the dark days of this national nightmare. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 7–10—Richard Nixon wrote a single sentence to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on August 9, 1974. It read: "I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States." Nixon became the first president ever to resign from office. What led up to the resignation, including possible impeachment, is the premise of Balis and Levy's book that features well-placed illustrations by Foley. Organized in chronological order that introduces the cast of characters with the heading "The Game Begins," the presentation of the accounts of the Watergate scandal adequately brings the story to life with primary source materials. Yet there is one distracting element: the repetition of "fly on the wall" in the narrative. While Balis and Levy introduce the idiom in their introduction, it is an unnecessary and distracting addition to this straightforward nonfiction that reads like any captivating true crime novel. Idiom aside, breaking down the confusing sequence of events about this presidential cover-up from nearly a half century ago provides an opportunity for historical reflection that may have escaped the consciousness of teen readers. VERDICT The book's unbiased presentation is refreshing. Its focus on the human aspects of Watergate, equally so. Ultimately, Balis and Levy walk readers through the scandal with expertise. A compelling book that deserves to be on the shelf.—Alicia Abdul, Albany High School, NY - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.