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Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House

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In 1971, Egil "Bud" Krogh was summoned to a closed-door meeting by John Ehrlichman, his mentor and key confidant of President Richard Nixon, in a secluded office in the Western White House. Krogh thought he was walking into a meeting to discuss the drug control program launched on his most recent trip to South Vietnam. Instead, he was handed a file and the responsibility f In 1971, Egil "Bud" Krogh was summoned to a closed-door meeting by John Ehrlichman, his mentor and key confidant of President Richard Nixon, in a secluded office in the Western White House. Krogh thought he was walking into a meeting to discuss the drug control program launched on his most recent trip to South Vietnam. Instead, he was handed a file and the responsibility for the SIU, Special Investigations Unit, later to become notorious as "The Plumbers." The unit was to investigate the leaks of top-secret government documents, particularly the Pentagon Papers, to the press. The president considered this task critical to national security. Nixon said he wanted the unit headed up by a "real son of a bitch." He got the studious, zealous, and loyal-to-a-fault Bud Krogh instead. In that instant, Krogh was handed the job that would lead to one of the most famous conspiracies in presidential history and the demise of the Nixon administration. Integrity is Krogh's memoir of his experiences—of what really went on behind closed doors, of how a good man can lose his moral compass, of how exercising power without integrity can destroy a life. It also tells the moving story of how he turned his life back around. For anyone interested in the ethical challenges of leadership, or of professional life, Integrity is thought-provoking and inspiring reading.


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In 1971, Egil "Bud" Krogh was summoned to a closed-door meeting by John Ehrlichman, his mentor and key confidant of President Richard Nixon, in a secluded office in the Western White House. Krogh thought he was walking into a meeting to discuss the drug control program launched on his most recent trip to South Vietnam. Instead, he was handed a file and the responsibility f In 1971, Egil "Bud" Krogh was summoned to a closed-door meeting by John Ehrlichman, his mentor and key confidant of President Richard Nixon, in a secluded office in the Western White House. Krogh thought he was walking into a meeting to discuss the drug control program launched on his most recent trip to South Vietnam. Instead, he was handed a file and the responsibility for the SIU, Special Investigations Unit, later to become notorious as "The Plumbers." The unit was to investigate the leaks of top-secret government documents, particularly the Pentagon Papers, to the press. The president considered this task critical to national security. Nixon said he wanted the unit headed up by a "real son of a bitch." He got the studious, zealous, and loyal-to-a-fault Bud Krogh instead. In that instant, Krogh was handed the job that would lead to one of the most famous conspiracies in presidential history and the demise of the Nixon administration. Integrity is Krogh's memoir of his experiences—of what really went on behind closed doors, of how a good man can lose his moral compass, of how exercising power without integrity can destroy a life. It also tells the moving story of how he turned his life back around. For anyone interested in the ethical challenges of leadership, or of professional life, Integrity is thought-provoking and inspiring reading.

30 review for Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jim Leckband

    It's interesting to think that Bud Krogh is famous for doing the right thing on crimes that are essentially pre-school to the crimes of the George W. and Moron administrations. What he did was so piddly in comparison that it boggles the mind to read of the seriousness that the prosecutors, defense attorneys and everyone in his orbit treated his Plumber's leadership. Integrity in the Republican party today is making sure your grift doesn't overshadow your boss's grift. Other than that, "we cool". I It's interesting to think that Bud Krogh is famous for doing the right thing on crimes that are essentially pre-school to the crimes of the George W. and Moron administrations. What he did was so piddly in comparison that it boggles the mind to read of the seriousness that the prosecutors, defense attorneys and everyone in his orbit treated his Plumber's leadership. Integrity in the Republican party today is making sure your grift doesn't overshadow your boss's grift. Other than that, "we cool". I did like his characterization that in any given tough situation there is usually one obvious way out with integrity - all we have to do is find out what it is that is blinding us from doing it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    Fundamental look at values during the Watergate era by one who was intimately involved in the scandal. Very easy to read, definitely a take on morality which I would want to teach my children. If ever you've experienced this kind of loyalty vs morality question in life you can relate and feel for what he faced and admire how he faced it. Fundamental look at values during the Watergate era by one who was intimately involved in the scandal. Very easy to read, definitely a take on morality which I would want to teach my children. If ever you've experienced this kind of loyalty vs morality question in life you can relate and feel for what he faced and admire how he faced it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Fred Klein

    Egil Krogh tells about his own experience in the Watergate controversy and how he concluded that he was guilty and had to take his punishment. He relates this in the larger context of the decisions we make and how to uphold our integrity. It's a quick read, but an important one, and everyone should read it and think about it when faced with decisions that may compromise our own integrity. We need to ask ourselves sometimes not just 'is it legal?' (a question Krogh failed to ask), but also 'is it Egil Krogh tells about his own experience in the Watergate controversy and how he concluded that he was guilty and had to take his punishment. He relates this in the larger context of the decisions we make and how to uphold our integrity. It's a quick read, but an important one, and everyone should read it and think about it when faced with decisions that may compromise our own integrity. We need to ask ourselves sometimes not just 'is it legal?' (a question Krogh failed to ask), but also 'is it good?'

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    a heartfelt look at a life affected by Watergate and the need for integrity in out elected representives

  5. 4 out of 5

    Austin Hunt

    Author clearly considers himself a highly principled man and has been properly advised by the media and popular culture what he should be sorry for, which is everything he did circa 1971. What he completely neglects is the Cold War context and the fact that his now-buddy Ellsberg was a left-wing neo-Marxist activist who betrayed the trust his country placed in him to guard its secrets and who was playing right into the hands of Soviet Active Measures, if he wasn’t in fact a recruited agent. In a Author clearly considers himself a highly principled man and has been properly advised by the media and popular culture what he should be sorry for, which is everything he did circa 1971. What he completely neglects is the Cold War context and the fact that his now-buddy Ellsberg was a left-wing neo-Marxist activist who betrayed the trust his country placed in him to guard its secrets and who was playing right into the hands of Soviet Active Measures, if he wasn’t in fact a recruited agent. In any case, even if he wasn’t, that’s the lens through which the SIU was operating. And at what point in the Cold War (1945-90) WASN'T the US Government thoroughly penetrated by the USSR? We were pathetically naive and SIU knew this. Egil has the benefit of 20/20, but gives no credit to the totally legitimate threats posed by a hostile, totalitarian nuclear adversary. That’s not to excuse constitutional violations for which almost everyone involved more than sufficiently paid, but Egil really oversimplifies it and paints himself as the guy who has it all figured out now and can lecture everyone else involved on their moral responsibilities. Pretty self-acquitting work, but it was pretty well-written and a fascinating dive into some crucial American history.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike Medeiros

    Having read over a dozen Nixon/Watergate related books I still learned details in this slim volume. I helps to hear directly from one of those involved with the Special Investigations Unit ("The Plumbers") though he left before the Watergate break-in he was involved in an earlier break-in that set the stage for Watergate. My favorite part was reading about one of my favorite Nixon incidents. Krogh was on duty the night the President decided to go to the Lincoln Memorial, at 4 am, to talk to the Having read over a dozen Nixon/Watergate related books I still learned details in this slim volume. I helps to hear directly from one of those involved with the Special Investigations Unit ("The Plumbers") though he left before the Watergate break-in he was involved in an earlier break-in that set the stage for Watergate. My favorite part was reading about one of my favorite Nixon incidents. Krogh was on duty the night the President decided to go to the Lincoln Memorial, at 4 am, to talk to the kids protesting the Vietnam war. I was fully aware and had heard several of those involved tell it but reading it in even more detail in this book was even better.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pam Allyn

    I read this years ago, and it has stuck with me, at least the general nature of it. The author was involved in Watergate, saw his error, pleaded guilty, and spent years rebuilding his integrity and reputation. I think everyone in DC should read it now. I recommend this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I am super-biased, about as biased as you can be, since I am a) the agent and b) the step-sister/step-daughter of the authors. I sold this book about 14 years ago, but recently been spending much time with it again, as there is TV/movie interest. I've been struck all over again by how well-written it is, how jaw-dropping the story, and oh, the parallels, the terrible parallels. This inside-history of the Plumbers is for true crime fans and political junkies, for philosophers and ethicists. For e I am super-biased, about as biased as you can be, since I am a) the agent and b) the step-sister/step-daughter of the authors. I sold this book about 14 years ago, but recently been spending much time with it again, as there is TV/movie interest. I've been struck all over again by how well-written it is, how jaw-dropping the story, and oh, the parallels, the terrible parallels. This inside-history of the Plumbers is for true crime fans and political junkies, for philosophers and ethicists. For everyone who just loves a fascinating, reliable, authoritative, fast-paced page-turning read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robert K

    I loved the lessons Bud Krough learned from Watergate--right from wrong. Paying for your crimes, coming clean & his unwavering support for Richard Nixon, a flawed genius!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Crissy Wesson Brooks

    Saw Egil "Bud" Krogh speak in person and he was FANTASTIC. His book is decent, but hard to plow through if you're not a biography person. I admire him for his ability to admit wrong. Saw Egil "Bud" Krogh speak in person and he was FANTASTIC. His book is decent, but hard to plow through if you're not a biography person. I admire him for his ability to admit wrong.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    good background on the Nixon plumbers. nit sure viability feel about taking ethics advice. but who would know better?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Bartz

  14. 5 out of 5

    David Fisher

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma Weiss

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Page

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashlynn

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luis Morales

  19. 5 out of 5

    F. Clifford Gibbons

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Cox

  22. 4 out of 5

    John R Bartels

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Atkins

  24. 5 out of 5

    James

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zidaan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Zunker

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  30. 4 out of 5

    Allie

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