Nixon. According to this account,nRichard Helms and other leaders of thenintelligence service, had actually plannednthe failure of the Plumbers’ operations.nSupposedly Howard Hunt, JamesnMcCord, and several of their Cubannaccomplices were taking orders from thenCIA at the very time they were committingnthe Watergate break-in. Haldemanncontrasts the conspicuous record ofnbotched operations left by the Plumbersnfrom their organization in 1971 downnthrough the Watergate fiasco, with thenpast efficiency of the individual participantsnas undercover agents. He insistsnthat the CIA had a serious interest innundermining Nixon’s prestige. For whatnits administrators most feared was havingntheir agency degraded to what the F.B.I,nhad already become after Hoover’s death,nan instrument of presidential power.nHaldeman focuses on the spoiled relationsnbetween Nixon and the CIA, andndwells on the continuing links betweennthe individual Plumbers and the CIAnleaders long after the former had supposedlynresigned from the intelligencencommunity. Nonetheless, the evidencenmarshaled does not suffice to provenHaldeman’s most far-reaching assertions.nFor, while it is possible to concede a greatndeal of animus between the White Housenand Richard Helms, Haldeman does notnconvincingly show that the Plumbersnfailed in their work for obeying the latter,nnot the former. Nor does he ever proventhat CIA administrators did in fact sendnorders to the Plumbers.nX he most perceptive part of hisnwork, however, is to be found in hisnpresentation of Nixon’s political encirclement.nThe impression here conveyed isnthat Nixon never fully understood thentrue power of his enemies, and that, oncenhaving challenged them on grounds ofnpersonal vanity, was then forced to fightnwithout being able to gain for himselfnthe appearance of battling for principle.nDuring recent years, political analysts,nsuch as Kevin Phillips and Irving Kristol,nhave proclaimed the accession to powernof a new ruling class in America. Encompassingnthe producers of services rathernthan commodities and exercising controlnover a vast empire of printed and televisednwords, this new class is now engaged inna struggle against capitalism as the selfstylednchampions of greater social equality.nIn my opinion, most studies of thisnnew class have focused far too much onnits cultural aspect. For example, Kristolnhas stressed the snobbish contempt ofnthe academic and literary community,nand of its numerous supporters, for thenprosaic world of businessmen and industrialists.nPhillips has been interested innthe difference of values between thenmedia, educators, and publicists on thenone side, and the commercial-productivensector of society on the other.nSuch pictures of purely cultural confrontationndo scant justice to what theynattempt to describe. The new class maynbe aesthetically and morally significant,nbut what makes it a class, as JamesnBurnham has recently argued, is thenshared socio-economic interest of itsnmembers. The radical egalitarian stancesncharacteristic of public functionaries andneducators are, among other things, thenideological props of an ascending socialnclass dependent upon ever greater exactionsnof tax money. The struggle of thisnclass against the private sector, and simultaneouslynagainst capitalism, should benseen, at least in part, as the attempt of anrising power elite to expand its economicnand political base. To be sure, this worknis something which must be pursued withnthe appropriate cultural symbols. Sonpublicly financed reformers denouncenphilistine homeowners and ridicule RotariannBabbitts, while being applaudednby the self-hating sons of successful immigrantncraftsmen and by Harvardeducatednjournalists. And yet, thendemands of Kristol’s new class for socialismnand social engineering, for enforcednends to sexism and racism, are ancall for still greater power to the publicnsector, the ultimate beneficiaries of thennew politics, and perhaps nowhere elsenare these beneficiaries of radical chic asnacclimated to privilege as in the civilnservice in Washington.nDescribing this officialdom, Haldemannmakes the observation: “Nixon couldnnnrave and rant. Civil servants, almost allnliberal Democrats, would thumb theirnnoses at him.” Elsewhere he notes thatn”Republican cabinet officers, installed atnthe heads of departments, soon find thatnthey rule nothing. The real decisions arenmade below by people who cannot benfired under Civil Service rules and whonwill be there long after the RepublicannCabinet officers depart. As far as civilnservants are concerned, every Republicannadministration is a transient phenomenonnof no lasting importance.” Haldeman wasnespecially struck by Nixon’s inability tondeal from a position of power with thenIRS. He cites the refusal of IRS officialsnto audit the taxes of Nixon’s politicalnopponents, while doing unsolicited auditsnon the President’s backers. He also notesnthe frequency with which the embarrassingnresults of these audits were thennleaked to anti-administration newspapers.nBureaucratic insubordination alsonabounded in the Justice Departmentnthroughout Nixon’s tenure of office. Onenmedium-level Department employee,nRichard McLaren, filed an anti-trust suitnto have ITT divested of some recentlynacquired holdings. Although the suit wasnsubsequently dismissed in court,nMcLaren proceeded anyhow to appealnthe verdict. Neither the Attorney Generalnnor the Deputy Attorney General couldnget him to drop the case, even thoughnthe President, who was then hoping tonwin financial support from ITT for then’72 election, emphatically opposed continuingnthe suit. Perhaps it is all too easy,nat first blush, to side with McLaren, thenapparent underdog in the situation. Andnyet, as Haldeman carefully notes, thensuit against ITT was in fact once turnedndown in a court of law, and so the attemptnto appeal the case could be seen as “annact of government harassment againstnbusiness.” In addition, the failure of thenAttorney General to make his will prevailnfollowing the dismissal of the suit,npointed up the difficulty of Nixon’s cabinetnappointees in dealing with theirnbureaucracies.nHaldeman sets the Watergate disasterninto the context of Nixon’s unsuc-n15nChronicles of Culturen