8 Revealing Books About Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal

Trump isn't the first president to stir up a storm of controversy.


With various Trump scandals giving the country a case of Watergate déjà vu, parallels are being drawn between our current POTUS and former President Richard Nixon. But whether or not there is any truth to the rumors, it’s worth your time to look back at the event everyone suddenly can't stop remembering. From political analyses and award-winning journalism to first-hand accounts by Nixon’s aides, these eight books explore how the Watergate scandal shook the foundation of the United States back in the early 1970s.

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Blind Ambition

By John W. Dean

Once dubbed by the FBI as the “master manipulator of the cover-up,” John Dean is, naturally, an expert on the Watergate crimes. Not only was he a key player in the coup’s execution, but he was also one of the key witnesses who brought Nixon down. In his memoir, Blind Ambition, Dean reflects on his time at the White House—shedding light on the schemes and corruption that led to one of history’s biggest scandals. It’s as inside of a look as you can get.

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The Powers That Be

By David Halberstam

It’s no secret that our current president isn’t exactly a fan of CNN or The New York Times. But while Trump tweets his “Fake news!” diatribes, he’s proving something else: The power of the mainstream media. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Halberstam takes a closer look at the phenomenon, tracing the gradual evolution of media giants like CBS and Time magazine into the influential power players they are today. His study is set against the backdrop of pivotal moments in history, like the Watergate crisis, during which news coverage suddenly informed and swayed the minds of the American people.

Buy Nixon & Rockefeller at Amazon

Nixon & Rockefeller

By Stewart Alsop

Stewart Alsop, a renowned political analyst, turns his eye to Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller in this analysis of the 1960 election. He paints a multi-dimensional portrait of both men as they vie for the presidency, pointing out the comparisons and contrasts between them. With these differences and similarities in mind, Alsop then poses such questions as, What would “President Rockefeller” have been like? and What if Nixon had lost the Republican nomination and Watergate never happened?

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How the Good Guys Finally Won

By Jimmy Breslin

When trouble brews, tough decisions must be made—especially when the credibility of an entire institution lies in the balance. Congressman Tip O’Neill was the man who took the first brave step back in 1974, when he spearheaded the impeachment process against President Nixon. Jimmy Breslin’s bestselling book highlights the road to Nixon’s eventual resignation and how, by keeping faith in the value of justice, O’Neill’s efforts saved American democracy.

Buy Nixon's Secrets at Amazon

Nixon's Secrets

By Roger Stone

In his New York Times bestseller, Roger Stone tracks Nixon’s political career from his first victory in 1946 to his shocking demise decades later. You might call Roger Stone an expert on the former president—he does, after all, have the man’s face tattooed to his back. Stone recently made mainstream news with his Netflix documentary, but the allegations of his part in Trump's Nixon-like firing of James Comey that has received the most attention. Whatever the truth, one thing is for sure: he knows how to write a compelling story.

Buy All the President's Men at Amazon

All the President's Men

By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

This searing Pulitzer Prize winner is a book that changed the very fabric of reporting and America itself. Months before Nixon’s resignation, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were already knee-deep in their investigation of the Watergate scandal. And what they found revealed the lies and deception that ultimately ended the Nixon administration and became one of the most celebrated pieces of journalism in history.

Buy The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972 at Amazon

The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972

By Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter

By January 1973, all of America was watching the White House. Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were working to uncover the truth, and Nixon’s aides, including John Dean, were standing trial before a jury. Because of their testimonies, the incriminating Nixon tapes—recordings of every Oval Office conversation since Nixon’s inauguration—were finally discovered. While the president struggled to keep the tapes under wraps, he was ordered by the Supreme Court to hand them over in 1974. Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter transcribed all 3,700 hours of the Nixon tapes and included the text in their two-book series, capturing what went on behind those closed white doors.

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Silent Coup

By Len Colodny

Investigator Len Colodny tried to track down anyone involved in Nixon’s downfall to create this New York Times bestseller. Silent Coup digs into the nitty-gritty of the legendary scandal—from the initial plotting to the notorious failures and cover-ups, this book reads like your favorite espionage thriller.

Published on 12 May 2017