Study Guide

All the President's Men Perseverance

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News stories don't write themselves. Even in today's blog-saturated culture (go follow "Ugly Renaissance Babies " on Tumblr right now) there's a human back there typing up all these posts and articles. Sometimes they have to dig hard to find sources, get quotes, or discover the ugliest Renaissance baby of them all.

This movie is called All the President's Men, not Two or Three of the President's Men, so Woodward and Bernstein have a lot of work to do. They have to talk to all of them, and none of them actually want to talk. Being a journalist involves a lot of talking, a lot of hunting, and a lot of typing, and when investigating a case of presidential corruption, carpal tunnel is the least of their worries.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. When do Woodward and Bernstein feel like giving up? What keeps them motivated to continue?
  2. How is their perseverance rewarded? Are there instances where maybe they should have taken a break?
  3. What must Woodward and Bernstein sacrifice in order to devote their lives to the story?

Chew on This

The only reason Woodward and Bernstein, who are relatively inexperienced, are kept on the story is because they pursue it ruthlessly. With their inexperience comes determination.

Uncovering the Watergate scandal is a battle of wills. The reporters have to chip away at the seemingly impenetrable Nixon administration like two prisoners trying to break out of jail.

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