This review originally appeared in the Washington Post on May 6, 2012, and is being reprinted by permission of the Post.
Jeff Himmelman uses his new book, Yours in Truth, to take shots at Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and their 1974 book, All the President’s Men. But Himmelman’s fire does not come from the usual redoubt of Watergate revisionism. He is a former researcher for Woodward, one who worked so diligently on Maestro the reporter’s 2001 book about Alan Greenspan, that Woodward gushed about him in his author’s note.
“Jeff Himmelman,” he wrote, “was my full-time collaborator at every step of this book—reporting, writing and editing. … A truly remarkable man of unusual maturity, brainpower and charm, Jeff is an original thinker who retains a deep sense of idealism. … This book would never have been completed without him, and it is his as much as mine. I consider him a friend for life.”
After he finishes reading Yours in Truth, Woodward will probably consider a different sort of life sentence for Himmelman.
Although former Washington Post executive editor Benjamin C. Bradlee gets top billing in Himmelman’s book, he plays a supporting role, not the lead. The book is chockablock with Bradlee—drawing on more than 60 boxes containing his papers and other private archives, and countless hours of interviews with him and his colleagues, to tell the story of his life, which Bradlee already covered in his 1995 autobiography, A Good Life. But the genuine subject is Woodward.