Monday, August 1, 2011

35. Martha; the life of Martha Mitchell

By:  Winzola McLendon
From Library
Format:  Hardcover

I've been in a terrible reading slump but I'm going to give reading another shot.  I have here before me:

Martha, The life of Martha Mitchell, an example of an Uppity Woman who was quite a character .  I found this review and it's lengthy but I found it very interesting.  I wish this mail program had block quote boxes.  Politics is a dirty, dirty business.  After spending darn near a month reading this book off and on I am firmly of the opinion that a) she was right all along, b) she was surrounded by very bad people and c) she fought back in the only way she knew how.  Her husband was a scum bag!

"Martha is the startling, behind-the-scenes story of one of the most famous and controversial woman in American politics -- of what motivated Martha Mitchell and what really happened to her after the Watergate scandal broke -- as told by the journalist who was her close friend and confidante in her last years."

"Here are those legendary middle-of-the-night phone calls; the television appearance when she revealed that her husband, Attorney General John Mitchell, said he'd like to trade some of the liberals in this country for Russian Communists; the time she ordered the Arkansas Gazette to "crucify" Senator J. William Fulbright; declaring "the Vietnam War stinks!" when Nixon desperately trying to justify it; calling for Nixon's resignation before the nation was ready to hear of it."

"Her husband labeled her his "unguided missile," creating the impression that he was an unfortunate but compassionate man saddled with a slightly flaky wife whom he adored too much to suppress. But here Martha reveals that John, with White House backing, put her up to almost all her early outbursts. And a former Nixon aide confirms that Martha was deliberately used by the White House to represent an outspoken view from the right, but one for which the Attorney General and the White House would not be held accountable."

"Most dramatic of all is the story of what happened to Martha after Watergate: how she was manhandled, and sedated to keep her from talking. And when it became necessary to discredit Martha, the White House confidentially "leaked" that she had gone "bonkers." Word was also passed that Martha didn't know anything, anyway, although Administration insiders knew that Martha was an incurable eavesdropper who listened in on John's telephone conversations and on his talks with people who came for meetings at the Watergate apartment. They knew, too, that after John went to sleep, she rummaged through his briefcase, reading secret papers. That these efforts to quiet and discredit Martha were a failure is evident from the message on a floral wreath sent anonymously to her funeral: MARTHA WAS RIGHT. "

"Martha reveals, for the first time, the full impact drinking combined with drugs had on Martha's life, and the poignant story of her love for her husband: though she died penniless and almost alone, Martha never ceased wanting John Mitchell to return to her."