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The Breach:
Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton

by Peter Baker

ISBN 068486813X / 9780684868134 / 0-684-86813-X
Publisher Scribner
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

In case you missed "our long national nightmare" the first time around, or have recovered from the stunning deluge of coverage and pundit-babble inflicted upon the nation, or if you're just hazy on some of the details, The Breach is for you. Peter Baker, a longtime reporter for the Washington Post, covered the White House from 1996 to1999. He has used his experience and access to write the ultimate Beltway book about the six-month saga of the impeachment and trial of President Clinton, from the unfortunate, verb-parsing grand jury testimony of August 1998 to the Senate acquittal in February 1999.

The Breach is a refreshing departure from the daily onslaught of revelations, spin, and commentary that characterized the affair as it unfolded; it's a rigorously researched and extremely detailed account of what happened. Some of the information is new, even shocking, and often depressing. But mostly it's a reminder of how savage and surreal the whole thing was, with adulterers accusing adulterers and the fate of the Executive held to ransom. In a tale of rampant male ego, it is the old feminist saw "the personal is political" that perhaps best encapsulates the experience. Though The Breach is detailed, compiled from hundreds of interviews, investigation files, diaries, and recordings, it lacks that numbing quality the contemporary coverage had. This is inside baseball, written for C-SPAN geeks, Beltway bandits--wannabe or actual--and curious citizens alike. Perhaps the highest praise for such an endeavor is that even after all the hype, this book still manages to be a page-turner. --J. Riches [via]