Having recently seen the movie for the 3rd time, and STILL not sure of "who" did "what" to "who", or "why", I picked the paperback version up over the past holiday...and read it in 3 days/nites. Yes, there ARE a LOT of "players", but the p'back version has a great listing of who they are, and their relationship to the story. With photos in the middle of the book, you even have a 2nd source of reference. While checking back and forth does take time...so did the uncovering of how totally corrupt the Nixon administration was. EQUALLY as valuable is the story of how the Washington Post editors and reporters went to GREAT lengths to confirm 2, and 3, and 4 times, the info they were discovering...to ensure "fair", and more importantly, "accurate" reporting. EVERY US citizen, not just those in school, should read this book to see just how low print/radio/TV "news" has sunk in the collective race to be "first to report", even if what is said is false. (Examples: The TWA explosion off Long Island, and Richard Jewell's (spell?) arrest for the Atlanta bombing.) What worked best for me: Saw the movie, then read the book, then watched the movie again with the list of players. I think you will never doubt that Nixon got off easy... especially since Gerry Ford gave him a "full pardon". Slick Willie Clinton is a true "bushleaguer" in comparison. Remember too, that Tricky Dick taped both enemies AND friends (and erased a bunch too), and he was PRESIDENT, not a GS-12 informant for Ken Starr. As I wrote in the beginning, a great detective story about one of the lowest points in US presidential history.