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on 11 January 2009
With the release of the New Film Frost/Nixon I read this to try and help me enjoy the film more and it certainly helps.

Much of the films dialogue is here in the book and not just the actual interviews themselves although these are at the back of the book as transcripts along with comments from Frost.

Frost outlines just how he went about securing the interviews and the team he asselmbled to help him prepare for the interviews I thinbk what surpised me was that it seemed Frost got far more from Nixon that he ever thought he would.

The book itself is a bit jumbled by that I mean by page 130 Frost has already taken us through the actual interviews thereafter we go back explaining the background on Nixon's policies and of course Watergate. There are some very up to date perspectives from Frost indeed mentions of the actual play and fim Frost/Nixon.

The reason for the jumble is that this is a book that incorporates previous text from an earlier book written by Frost in the late 70s.

Despite all that if you love the fim then I would say read this to gain a bit more background and if you really don't know much about the story and are looking for something to read before seeing the film then I don't think this will spoil it.

I also had the Amazon copy of the actual Watergate interview and reading the transcript while viewing this was even better as Frost writes comments in these stating the key points of when he knew Nixon was on the ropes.
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on 19 April 2009
This is an odd book, really, as it is really two books in one. The first half tells the story of how the interviews came about, and the behind the scenes story of the actual taping, followed by a short biography covering the rest of Richard Nixon's life and his re-emergence from obscurity. David Frost also takes some time to reflect on the man himself, thirty years on, and you do get the impression that he can't really decide now whether he actually dislikes him as much as he seems to have done at the time of the actual recordings. Time, it would appear, is going to be kinder to Richard Nixon than we might have thought. His foreign policy, race relations policy and economic policy are all viewed much more favourably with the passage of the years... if only everyone could forget about that little matter of Watergate...
The second half is the actual transcripts of the "Frost/Nixon" interviews themselves, including guidance notes from David Frost injected into the text referring to quite what he was thinking and/or trying to achieve at that moment. On the page as cold, dry text, the interviews tend to lose some of their impact - part of the fascination of the originals was seeing Mr Nixon himself and his various reactions - also, the "ums", "ahs" and half finished phrases don't really help clarify the arguments when they are in written form. The transcripts are, of course, very necessary to put the first half of the book in context, and are obviously a very good written reference work for anyone researching Richard Nixon to dip into rather than constantly having to refer to the taped interviews.
The photographic section is not great as the "backstage" source photographs seem to be rather smudgy (1970s film not aging well, I suppose) and the rest are off air images, which are seldom great.
Maybe a more straightforward retelling of the Watergate story at the top of the book and an appendix listing the main people involved would have helped to tell the overall story. If you hadn't read any other books about Watergate, you might get a bit lost with all the references - it does assume a lot of foreknowledge on the part of the reader. Even a basic Nixon timeline would have helped put things in context. Of course, maybe David Frost assumes his readers are clever enough not to need that.
Overall, slightly flawed, but a fascinating study of a very bizarre chapter in recent American history.
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on 22 February 2009
More than or as much as a history work, the point in Frost's book is to review the process that he, as an independant journalist, had to go through to get the interviews made. Nevertheless, it gives a very good account of the main protagonists : Nixon, of course, but also Kissinger and the close bunch - Haldeman, Elrichman and Mitchell.
Altogether a very intersting book.
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on 11 October 2010
I must admit I was a little disappointed with this book. It is about David Frost's famous interviews with Richard Nixon in the 70s, how they managed to get the interviews, and what the reaction was to them. The second part of the book has the transcripts of the interviews. I know very little about American history, so I hoped this book would help describe what Watergate was and why it had the outcomes that it did. Unfortunately it did seem to assume that you knew about what happened and who everyone who was involved in it was, so I was a bit lost at times. I could see the importance of what Nixon said in the interviews and why they were so important, but I couldn't really put it in context, which made it at times a difficult read. I would only really recommend this to someone who knows about American history and what happened with Watergate, although it was well written.
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on 16 August 2009
Whether or not you remember Watergate or have just seen the fantastic film or play about these ground-breaking interviews, this is a fascinating book. Looking both at how the interviews came about and what was said and what it meant for the future of international politics, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in politics, journalism and the modern world. Brilliantly written, it is gripping without being sensationalist and gives enough background for those coming to the subjects fresh without boring those who know all about this time in US history. At times it lacks some of the pace of the film and play but the transcipts at the end read like a film script showing how truly remarkable these interviews were.
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on 29 January 2016
Such a well written account from the master interviewer himself. A must read for all students and interested parties alike of not only Water gate but Vietnam and the Cold War. Frostie hurries us through what it was like to deal with the Trickiest Dick in the business. And the only Call to Account he ever really had to make. A very useful addendum to the works of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
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on 9 November 2012
Although it does shed some more light on the back story, this was clearly cobbled together to capitalise on the movie and doesn't do anybody involved full justice, least of all David Frost who came across far better in the film and on television. Spend your money on the DVD instead.
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on 18 September 2009
Having watched the film about the interview, this book was a perfect behind the scenes account of the build up and actual interview process. Well written, thorough and eminently enjoyable
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