REVIEW: THE WATERGATE GIRL, BY JILL WINE-BANKS

It was a time, much like today, when Americans feared for the future of their democracy, and women stood up for equal treatment. At the crossroads of the Watergate scandal and the women’s movement was a young lawyer named Jill Wine Volner (as she was then known), barely thirty years old and the only woman on the team that prosecuted the highest-ranking White House officials. Called “the mini-skirted lawyer” by the press, she fought to receive the respect accorded her male counterparts―and prevailed.

In The Watergate Girl, Jill Wine-Banks opens a window on this troubled time in American history. It is impossible to read about the crimes of Richard Nixon and the people around him without drawing parallels to today’s headlines. The book is also the story of a young woman who sought to make her professional mark while trapped in a failing marriage, buffeted by sexist preconceptions, and harboring secrets of her own. Her house was burgled, her phones were tapped, and even her office garbage was rifled through.

At once a cautionary tale and an inspiration for those who believe in the power of justice and the rule of law, The Watergate Girl is a revelation about our country, our politics, and who we are as a society.

 

My memories of Watergate are quite vivid, as I experienced them in adulthood. I was a thirty-year-old social worker with a husband and three children as the scandal began playing out. I was opposed to many of the actions taken by then-President Nixon, but despite these feelings, I was appalled by how events unfolded during those Watergate years. The author of The Watergate Girl was part of the prosecution team that tried the Watergate burglars and those that were part of the cover-up, including Nixon himself.

In view of recent political scandals and the Impeachment of President Trump, I completely agree with the author who has drawn parallels between then and now, but concludes with the assessment that our current situation presents even greater dangers. She writes:

“Today we are up against a deeper existential threat to democracy than we faced during Watergate, a peril exacerbated by a more complicated political, social, and cultural landscape than existed in the 1970s. The country is more divided now, and today’s media is a minefield of fake news and shrill voices from a multiplicity of sources.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the detailed account of the Watergate investigation and hearings, and also liked reading about the author herself, then and now. A brilliant 5 star read. #2020ReadNonFic

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9 thoughts on “REVIEW: THE WATERGATE GIRL, BY JILL WINE-BANKS

  1. I remember Watergate but have to admit that I couldn’t quite follow what it was all about apart from the fact it involved Nixon. I think a book like this would help me understand.. Ah so many voices today. In your country too it is so huge and all the States – fake news. Screechy voices. Ouch. Ouch Ouch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have believed from the beginning of Trump that he and his actions are more dangerous even than Nixon’s. It was so sad to realize that he wouldn’t be gone, like Nixon was.

      Thanks for visiting, Kathryn; you are fortunate to have a better leader. Of course, all countries have issues, but I think we won the worst case scenario. LOL

      Like

  2. Susan

    Oh good so glad to hear you liked this one. I hope to get to it; would you call it a memoir? I was young during the WG hearings so don’t recall them well but remember Ford taking over. I too was very disappointed that we didn’t get rid of Trump during impeachment. The evidence was right there in front of everyone …. yet the GOP swept it all under the rug. Now once again the U.S. is paying for his terrible & criminal presidency. bahh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Susan, it does seem more like a memoir, but with all the historical elements, too. She also included personal things about her life.

      And I cannot believe the deterioration of the GOP. While I have never been a fan of their party, now I see them as criminal, just as Trump is, IMO.

      As some say now, with the handling of the coronavirus, and the delays and how he minimized its impact, there is blood on his hands.

      Yet there are still people who support him!

      Like

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