Review of the Watergate

The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address by Joseph Rodota

My rating: 4.2 of 5 stars

The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address is a delightful biography of the ‘infamous’ building complex. Joseph Rodota does a superb job of drawing the tangents of the various lives and events surrounding The Watergate is a sumptuous tale. The multiple controversies dating back to wartime plans to develop the site, the long struggle to build anything continuing through the challenges of construction and business struggles to market and maintain the prestigious place of The Watergate.

From architects, builders, financiers, politicians and the tapestry of residents that have made the Watergate home and office, the human dimension is evocatively captured. This one is well companioned to the similar volume I reviewed on the building of the Pentagon – a close neighbour.

A tale well told. It tends to be dominated by the Anna Chennault (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Ch…) story, but this is possibly an intriguing and inventive choice by the author to find an apt main character that personifies the development itself. But there is a vast panoply of characters – the Watergate shaped and shaped by some astounding people and shaped lives in this unique city within a city. It is, of course, much more than the break-in or Monica Lewinsky, but its hallways and apartments are full of stories, and the author does a superb job of drawing them together and spinning them out in a captivating fashion. I only wish there were more photos, plans and diagrams to help bring it even further to life.

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