Joseph Bernt

Joseph Bernt

In the last “At the Library” column, I mentioned having just finished reading “Peril,” Bob Woodward’s and Robert Costa’s portrait of President Donald Trump’s schemes to block the peaceful transition of power following President-elect Joe Biden’s victory last November.

As a teaser, I mentioned the extensive use of profanity Woodward and Costa attributed to numerous people in the Trump administration, particularly President Trump, that the authors included in direct quotations throughout “Peril.”

In addition to page after page containing F-bombs from Trump, many other examples of F-bombs and indecorous expressions were contributed by General Colin Powell, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley.

These glimpses in “Peril” of everyday life in the Trump circle after his election loss made the salty language and stories for which President Lyndon Johnson and Nixon were famous seem tame by comparison.

Among all of President Trump’s cabinet members, attorneys, cowed politicians and business associates highlighted in “Peril,” one stood out as a genuinely decent government official trying his best to please his president while also protecting the constitution. Woodward and Costa never caught Vice President Mike Pence flinging F-bombs, never captured him instinctively engaged in objectionable discourse.

I also promised to provide a short review of “Peril,” Woodward’s second tell-all account of a President’s messy departure from office, the first being the one-two punch of “All the President’s Men” and “The Final Days,” in which forty-five years earlier, he and Carl Bernstein chronicled President Richard Nixon’s path to resignation and a one-way flight to San Clemente, California.

Those two journalistic books, particularly “All the President’s Men,” still define the Watergate scandal and subsequent collapse of Nixon’s presidency. With publication of “Peril,” Woodward and Costa likely have written what will do for our understanding of Trump’s political collapse what he and Bernstein did for public understanding of Nixon’s fall from grace.

“Peril’ was added to the library collection earlier this month.

The World of Haystack Rock Library Lecture Series will sponsor Bobby Hayden and Jazmin Dagostino from the Pew Charitable Trusts speaking about “Oregon’s Blue Carbon Policy: Where We Are and What’s Next?” on Facebook Live @Friends of Haystack Rock, Wednesday, November 10, at 7 p.m.

Oregon recently positioned itself as a national and international leader on blue carbon when the Oregon Global Warming Commission adopted the first Natural and Working Lands Proposal that recommends incorporating blue carbon into the state’s climate goals and strategies.

Groups in Oregon asked the Commission to emphasize blue carbon, and the Pew Charitable Trusts played a key role in bringing scientists and data analysts together on this proposal.

Before joining Pew Charitable Trusts, Hayden worked at Clmate Solutions to engage new audiences for climate and clean energy campaigns throughout the Northwest. He also was the national representative for the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition, mobilizing support to restore the Columbia-Snake River Basin.

Dagostino works to leverage blue carbon accounting in state greenhouse gas inventories in order to increase protections for coastal and marine habitats along the West and East coasts of the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

While in Hawaii, Dagostino researched intertidal communities and squid at the Kewalo Basin Marine Laboratory and at Our Project in Hawaii’s Intertidal (OPIHI). She volunteered at the Waikiki Aquarium.

The library’s Northwest Authors Series will feature novelist Deborah Reed, on FacebookLive, Saturday, November 13, at 2 p.m. Join from Facebook: (click on posts).

Reed has published seven novels, most recently “Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan” and “The Days When Birds Come Back” through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Earlier novels include “Olivay,” “Things We Set on Fire” and “Carry Yourself Back to Me.”

“Pale Morning Light with Violet Swan” tells a saga of a girl who escaped rural Georgia at fourteen during the Second World War, crossed the country and met her devoted husband. She becomes a celebrated artist and lives her life on the Oregon coast as she imagined it would be—her greatest masterpiece.

In “The Days When Birds Come Back” June is divorced, in transition, attempting sobriety, and stuck in her career when she returns to her native Oregon. She must decide what to do with her grandparents’ cedar-shingled, coastal home that holds memories from her childhood.

Jameson, a carpenter, arrives to renovate the house to sell. He and June, both trailing baggage from marriages, sense a connection that leads to rebuilding lives and the possibilities of coming home.

Reed holds a Bachelor of Arts from Oregon State University and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Pacific University. She has taught novel writing at the Hellenic American University in Athens, Greece, and at the UCLA extension program in Los Angeles. Previously she was co-director of the Black Forest Writing Seminars at Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg, Germany.

She divides her time between Berlin and the Oregon coast. An increasingly prominent Oregon author, Reed lives in Manzanita, where she also owns and manages the Cloud & Leaf Bookstore.

Lila Wickham will lead members of Cannon Beach Reads in a Zoom discussion of “How to Educate a Citizen: The Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation” by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Wednesday, November 17, at 7 p.m.

Hirsch, a Yale professor of English and later of humanities and English at the University of Virginia, became a controversial figure in the late 1980s and 1990s after publishing “Cultural Literacy” in 1988 containing a list of 5,000 cultural products that all educated citizens should know and appreciate so they can talk to each other and bind the nation together. Hirsch, a socialist, was viewed by liberal educationalists as a heavy-handed elitist.

Cannon Beach Reads is open to anyone interested in reading important books. To join this library reading group, contact Joe Bernt at


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