Book Reviews,  Journalism,  Politics,  Resistance

How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes From An Impeachment Summer by Jimmy Breslin | Book Review

How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes From An Impeachment Summer by Jimmy Breslin | Book Review How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes from an Impeachment Summer by Jimmy Breslin
Genres: History, Non-Fiction
Original Publication Date: 1975
Source: I purchased this book
Find the Author: Goodreads, Amazon

How The Good Guys Finally Won: Not long after burglars were caught raiding the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, Congressman Tip O’Neill noticed that Democratic fundraising efforts for the 1972 election had stalled. Major contributors were under IRS investigation, and Republican lackeys were threatening further trouble if those donors didn’t close their checkbooks. O’Neill sensed a conspiracy coming from the Nixon administration, but it wasn’t until the scandal broke that he connected the threatened donors with the Watergate burglary. But as evidence mounted against Nixon and his cronies, O’Neill led the charge against the President.

How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes from an Impeachment Summer by Jimmy Breslin Is another book about Watergate with an interesting angle.

All the President’s Men, which I recently reviewed,  was written from the view of the reporters covering the story, and the hard work in putting the pieces together.

The Good Guys vs. The Bad Guys

This book covers when Jimmy Breslin followed Thomas “Tip” O’Neill (D-MA) in the summer of 1974. Tip was the House Majority Leader at the time of Watergate. Two years after this book was published, he became Speaker of the House.

Tip was universally liked by his colleagues from both parties in the House.

He was a mountain of a man and a true old-fashioned Boston politician.

Years later, he even showed up on a Cheers episode:

Tip became convinced pretty early on that they would get the votes to impeach Nixon. Yes, the Democrats were in the majority. But he knew that Republicans would be dismayed by Nixon’s corruption and want him gone.

Imagine – Republican politicians with a conscience.

The U.S. Congress wasn’t as bitterly divided along partisan lines as it is today. That really started with the rise of Ronald Reagan, and later, the rise of the Tea Party.

The Law Would Prevail

The story is a great story of Tip’s utter confidence that the law would prevail and also the very hard work that was put into drawing up impeachment papers.

Tip decided that Peter Rodino (D-NJ), who was the chairman of the House Judiciary, was the right man for overseeing the impeachment process.

If you are wondering, no, Nixon was not impeached. He resigned because it was obvious he was GOING to be impeached.

Final Analysis

One evening during the process of impeachment they were driving by the United States Capitol:

“No matter how many times I pass by it, “ O’Neill said, “I still get a feeling right in here.” He punched his stomach with his fist. “It stands for stability. You see that dome up there, you know that nobody is going to let anything bad happen. You die before you let this country down.”

I completely broke down at this point.

Tip’s heart would be broken if he saw what was happening today. This book has such an upbeat ending, but it devastated me.

Why did I cry so hard?

Because the Republican Party has changed drastically since Watergate. They don’t care how crooked a Republican is. They ONLY care about power and money.

Jimmy Breslin later compared Watergate to Trump’s brazen criminality:

An important lesson on covering Trump from Jimmy Breslin

Further Reading

Please read my other posts on RESISTANCE and politics:

State of the Blog Address 2024

A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France by Caroline Moorehead | Book Review

Heronfield by Dorothy Balchin | Book Review

Marie: A True Story by Peter Maas | Book Review

Democracy Dies in Darkness

How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes From An Impeachment Summer by Jimmy Breslin | Book Review


All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein | Book Review

World Press Freedom Day 2018


When I read the above paragraphs about O’Neill’s feelings about the Capitol building, I think how horrified he would be about the January 6th, 2021 coup attempt that was undoubtedly pre-approved by Donald J. Trump.

I wrote this review in 2018 and was aware that Trump would NEVER accept defeat, and I will NEVER forgive anyone involved in planning and THEY ALL NEED TO GO TO PRISON.

Please watch the read my review of All The President’s Men.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Jimmy Breslin

Jimmy Breslin was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American columnist and author. He wrote numerous novels, and pieces of his appeared regularly in New York newspapers, especially The New York Daily News. He was a regular columnist for the newspaper Newsday until his retirement on November 2, 2004.

I love books, writing, film, and television.

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