A Book Review by Scott Hughes
After 30 years of secrecy, W. Mark Felt and his family decided to reveal that his identity as Deep Throat. In The Secret Man, Bob Woodward finally gets to describe the details of his encounters with W. Mark Felt without having to censor the story to conceal Felt's identity.
Deep Throat was, of course, Woodward's confidential informant who gave the journalist enough insider information about government corruption to bring down Nixon.
The Secret Man gives a look into this enigmatic person. The book gives insight into the motivations and desires of W. Mark Felt, an FBI loyalist who had to take his disgust for government corruption and balance it with a fear of persecution for leaking government secrets. Felt worked as second-in-command at the FBI, and he didn't want people to see him as a traitor.
Beyond that, the book also details the relationship between Felt and Woodward. Woodward, who saw Felt as a father-figure, uses honesty to write about it from their first encounter to Felt's decision to admit his identity, plus all the rockiness in-between.
Though interesting because of its reality, the story grows slightly morbid as it develops. In his old age, Felt suffers from dementia, and he has little memories remaining from his time at the FBI and as Deep Throat.