The Final Days, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, is a magnificent book retelling a very sad tale, with details from the key sources. It does not demean President Nixon, but it does not let him off the hook. You do not get a sense that the authors were “out to get” the president; they simply wanted to tell the true story.
My takeaways from this and other readings regarding Nixon:
He could have gone down as one of our great presidents, but the politics took over. Whether or not he knew about the Watergate break-in prior to the event will probably be forever unknown. But Nixon was clearly involved in the attempted cover-up from the days right after the burglary. At several points in the unfolding drama, Nixon should have just come clean and admitted mistakes and the American people probable would have been forgiving.