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John Burns and James Rosen

Tuesday, June 3, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My last hour today will feature an interview with the New York Times John Burns, one of the world’s most accomplished journalists. Don’t miss it.

And don’t fail to pick up a copy of The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the secrets of Watergate by James Rosen. This book is a wonder and I can’t put it down. When it first arrived on my desk I couldn’t believe as accomplished a reporter as Rosen had put so much effort into a biography of former Attorney General John Mitchell –an interesting figure but also one long ago eclipsed by history’s march.

But not only has Rosen done an incredible job of unearthing many new documents and conveying the drama of the Nixon White House years, he has also provided an insight on the years 1963 to 1974 which had never been so obvious before.

To get any sort of a grip on the tumult of those times it is necessary to do so from the fixed perspective of one of the participants. Too much is happening, too many dramas are simultaneously unfolding and too many good and bad and mostly mixed players on the stage at the same time to provide any sort of a comprehensive, objective overview of the years between the assassination of JFK and Nixon’s resignation.

The only way to get a view of the events is to take the approach that biography allows. Rosen does not defend Mitchell’s many failures, but his extraordinary attention to the path of one key player allows these years to be made sense of forty years after the events began.

After I have finished the book, I’ll have Rosen on for a full show if it can be arranged, but here is a fine Father’s Day Gift to accompany the subscription to Townhalll Magazine that your dad or granddad really covets.

The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate

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