but if they corrupt near there we were also called back. nobody told us. we did not know what was happening. the rumor was the plant was operated by a dow chemical favor making household cleaning supplies. my mother thought they were making scrubbing bubbles. but now there has been a controversial cleanup with levels of contamination remaining in the soil. 1300 acres are so profoundly contaminated they can never be opened for human habitation the rest will open as a wildlife refuge for hiking and biking and possibly hunting. and there is a lot of homebuilding, shopping malls and and highways going on
thomas mallon who has written this book, watergate a novel. now, we are a nonfiction work. how do you write a novel about watergate? how you approach that? >> the reader will find that the agreed upon facts, most of the big ones are still intact. president nixon resigns in 1974, the same basic time line. it is not what sometimes it's altered, the history. but i think what they can do with the existing history is in
certain things in between. and then try to get an inside the heads of some of the peripheral players as well as some of the main players. >> a republican operative in the nixon white house without a business card bought in the white house directory. it fell to have to be the man who coordinated the payments to the burglars. >> historical fact. >> is this historical fact. and a very small softspoken intriguing man. he had a tragedy in his life when he was young, when he was in his late 20's he accidentally killed his father while they were out hunting. and he was an intriguing figure.
i remember thinking he had the kind of personality i want to think about and export. he becomes a main player in the novel even though he was a relatively minor one in the scandal itself. >> is the protagonist in your novel? >> i'm not sure there is. about seven different points of view. some big people, some less figures. president nixon, this is nixon, the main character. eleanor roosevelt longworth approaching 90 at the time of the watergate scandal, teddy roosevelt staffer, still very sharp, still very humorous and would be. and she is sort of my one-woman which course with the long historical memory. howard hunt, one of the burglars who was one of -- the only person that i knew, actually. i knew him when i was in the magazine business. he was from an article for me when i was a gentle it -- jevons quarterly.
i had him review a spy novel. he used to write them. and elliott richardson from the investigative side of things and a few more rail -- relatively minor, the president's secretary a great many of the players actually had their homes there. the mitchells live there. it was not just the headquarters of was there to be burgled. >> now, david mariness -- thomas mallon, yesterday we spent some time here at the national book festival. do they feature in watergate to the novel? >> in a minor way they come and go. julie nixon was a very valiant defender for father. david eisenhower was a good father lot throughout the scandal. julie nixon wrote a very good could -- a good book about her mother, of the least known of the first lady's that we had in modernim