... invaluable in understanding what happened then and, sadly, raises questions of whether we, as a nation, learned anything at all from that experience ... Wine-Banks puts readers inside the prosecutors’ war room, picking up where congressional committees left off. She offers insights into prosecutorial decisions and little known, or previously unknown, stories that offer a new appreciation for hard-working lawyers who endured the thankless task of taking on the most powerful man in the world ... Although Wine-Banks also finds time to weigh in on the current state of political affairs, and their parallels to the Nixon era, the book’s real value lies in lessons learned, and perhaps some not learned, from the past. It’s one thing to watch an impeachment proceeding play out on television. It’s another to be behind closed doors where strategies are devised and decisions made. The Watergate Girl puts the reader in that room. For the history or politics junkie, there is no better place to be.
... contributes a new perspective and details to an already massive literature, but no earth-shattering revelations ... The time lag does afford some advantages. Riding the crest of the #MeToo movement, Wine-Banks describes the mostly workaday sexism she encountered on the job. Reflecting the contemporary penchant for soul-baring, she depicts her sexually unsatisfying and psychologically abusive marriage, a clandestine love affair, and a happy second marriage to her high school beau ... raises questions, particularly about her disastrous first marriage, which it never fully answers. But the book’s fast-moving narrative and crisp prose should hook readers.
In this sprightly and engrossing memoir of her time in those fraught, gender-challenged trenches, Wine-Banks reveals tantalizing behind-the-scenes details that bring that pivotal time in the nation’s history back to life and relevancy ... A captivating and candid look back on a storied career.
Wine-Banks has chosen to employ a highly passionate and personal voice in crafting the narrative. The more you read, the more uncannily effective this choice becomes. She has been a trailblazer in many legal skirmishes since Watergate, but her decision to write this book in the excited, impressionistic tones of her 1971 self serves to make the book very immediate reading ... Her portraits of her colleagues, especially of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, are warmly affectionate, but it’s her cumulative portrait of herself as a smart, courageous true believer during one of the country’s darkest moments that becomes the book’s most memorable feat of dramatic reconstruction.
Details are generally presented in a straightforward manner; likely, readers with a casual interest in U.S. history will learn something new about how the scandal unfolded. The epilog is an excellent addition, touching on the parallels between the Watergate investigation and the actions of Donald Trump during his time in office ... Though the storytelling is not always engaging, the author’s earnest desire to tell a story that matters is evident throughout. This insider’s perspective on the Watergate investigation will be most relevant to those who study politics, law, gender, and U.S. history.
... brisk and empowering ... [Wine-Banks] packs the books with insider details and helpful legal analysis, and offers a revealing glimpse of a professional woman’s life in the post–Feminine Mystique era. This unique and intimate perspective on Watergate shines a well-deserved spotlight on the people who seek to hold the powerful to account.
Wine-Banks not only brings to life the urgency of the Watergate years in vivid detail and color (including the clothes), and with a blow-by-blow delivery that makes the chronology easy to follow; she reveals her own personal and professional struggle with sexism, both at home and in the workplace. Through her own example, she reminds the reader of the obstacles that women of her era had to overcome to make progress for themselves and for the next generation—progress which, like an honorable White House, cannot be taken for granted, and can be lost if not staunchly defended.