The first full-scale biography of John N. Mitchell, the central figure in the rise and ruin of Richard Nixon and the highest-ranking American official ever convicted on criminal charges. As U.S. attorney general from 1969 to 1972, the most powerful man in the Nixon cabinet, Mitchell stood at the center of the upheavals of the late sixties. Biographer Rosen traces Mitchell's early life and career from his Long Island boyhood to his mastery of Wall Street. Mitchell brilliantly managed Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign, then reluctantly agreed to serve as attorney general. He steered Nixon through the Pentagon Papers and Joint Chiefs spying crises; after leaving office, Mitchell survived his own scandals--but was ultimately destroyed by Watergate. Rosen resolves the central mysteries of the Nixon era: the true purpose of the Watergate break-in, who ordered it, the hidden role played by the Central Intelligence Agency, and those behind the cover-up.--From publisher description.