Beyond the Book: Background information when reading State of Denial

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State of Denial

Bush at War, Part III

by Bob Woodward

State of Denial by Bob Woodward X
State of Denial by Bob Woodward
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 576 pages
    Sep 2007, 576 pages

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Robert Upshur Woodward, known as Bob, was born in March 1943 in Geneva, Illinois. He studied history and English literature at Yale, receiving his B.A. in 1965, after which he spent four years as a Naval officer. He was discharged as a Lieutenant in 1970 after serving as an aide to the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Thomas H Moorer. He was hired by The Washington Post but was let go after his two-week trial because he lacked any experience as a journalist. After a year working for the Montgomery Sentinel, he reapplied to The Washington Post and was given a job in August 1971. Less than a year, later Woodward and Carl Bernstein were assigned to investigate the burglary of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in a Washington D.C. hotel called Watergate, which led to them uncovering various "dirty tricks" used by Nixon's re-election committee. The resulting book, All The President's Men, became a bestseller, and the movie staring Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein turned them into celebrities. The facts revealed in the book also directly contributed to Nixon's impeachment.

Since then, Woodward has continued to write books and work for The Washington Post, where he is now assistant managing editor. Woodward sees his books as "self portraits"; he says, "I go to people and I say — I check them and I double check them but — but who are you? What are you doing? Where do you fit in? What did you say? What did you feel?"

He lives in the Georgetown section of Washington and is married to Elsa Walsh, who writes for The New Yorker; they have two daughters.


  • All the President's Men (1974, Watergate).
  • The Final Days (1976, Nixon's resignation).
  • The Brethren (1979, about the Supreme Court).
  • Wired (1985, John Belushi and the dark side of Hollywood's drug culture).
  • Veil (1987, about the CIA).
  • The Commanders (1991, the first two years of George H.W. Bush's presidency).
  • The Agenda (1994, the first 18 months of Clinton's presidency).
  • The Choice (1996, Bob Dole & Clinton's re-election bid).
  • Shadow (1999, the legacy of Watergate and the scandals that later administrations have faced).
  • Maestro (2000, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan).
  • Bush at War (2002, the path from 9/11 to war with Afghanistan).
  • Plan of Attack (2005, the path to war with Iraq).
  • The Secret Man (2005, Mark Felt's disclosure that he was Deep Throat).
  • State of Denial (2007, an overview of the G.W. Bush presidency to 2006).

This article is from the September 20, 2007 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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