History has a number of great lessons to learn from and not repeating those mistakes again. There are numerous incidents in human history that we could read about and increase our knowledge. These incidents do not only tingle the mind with wonderous possibilities but also have a lesson and events proven right/wrong over time.
Those who are interested in political scenarios over the world, and particularly the USA are not unfamiliar with the famous Water Gate scandal. It is probably one of the biggest political scandals in the history of the USA. USA’s history has a plethora of political scandals. However, Watergate particularly ended up being the most notorious one as it ended up with the end of the presidency for President Nixon in 1974. The scandal went on for two years and was a hot topic for every political discussion during the investigation (1972-1974).
What are the Best Watergate Books to read?
When you look into the watergate scandal, there are a number of perspectives and for those who would like to dig deeper and want to know actual facts, only one source is not enough. You need to analyse and read from several sources to deduce the actual version of events that took place and what lead to the biggest scandal of US history. The best way is to read several books from different authors and analyse their perspective and point of view into the Water Gate scandal. The root causes, factors that were involved and how things went bad are explained in a number of books.
As there are plenty of books being written on the topic, it gets hard for one to choose the right book that represents ground facts and realities. Hence, we have compiles a thorough list of books with critical reviews that you can read and decide which books you should be reading if you are looking into the Water Gate scandal.
Best Books on Watergate: Our Top 20 Picks
Here are some of the best watergate books that you can consider to expand your knowledge on the subject:
1. Downstairs at the White House: The story of a teenager, an Oval Office, and a ringside seat to Watergate
Donald M. Stinson accidentally landed a job at the Whitehouse at the mere age of 17. He happened to be the part of Nixon’s presidential staff during the happening events of Watergate and has seen the oval office during those days just from a few steps away.
In this fast-paced memoir during his tenure at the Whitehouse, Donald has penned down his experience in a beautiful way that contains presidents, first ladies, and the shock full events that changed the United States political history forever. The incidents are what you can expect from a teenager to be, and this book is great for a light read with joyful events and evident factors involved in a mass political scandal, Watergate.
- Authors: Donald M. Stinson (Author), RJ Matson (Illustrator), Karin Kohlmeier (Editor)
- Publisher: Eastern Harbor Press (October 27, 2017)
- Pages: 370 pages
2. The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were the reporters to break open the Watergate scandal and cause the biggest disruption in the political history of US politics. They had help from a mysterious source that was not revealed until after 30 years of the scandal.
In this book, Bob Woodward closes one of the last chapters of Watergate by in-depth and elaborative information about one of his friends in FBI, W. Mark Felt who provided insider on the scandal. W. Mark Felt was former number 2 man in the FBI and was the source that led Bob and Carl to find out the information about Watergate and breaking the story. The incidents behind sharing this story and actual information are penned down in this book firsthandedly by Bob.
- Authors: Bob Woodward (Author), Carl Bernstein (Afterword)
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint Edition (June 2, 2006)
- Pages: 256 pages
3. The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate
John Mitchell was the Attorney general of the USA from 1969 to 1972. He is stated to be the most powerful man in Nixon’s cabinet and seen all the rise and fall firsthandedly. He is also the highest-ranking man in the history of the United States to be convicted on criminal charges.
As the Attorney general, John Mitchel is the central figure in the rise and fall of Nixon and his experiences are penned down in this elaborative and thoughtful book by James Rosen. James Rosen has done justice with the life of such high magnitude officials by looking into his early life, studies, career, and political achievements. The book contains the life-history of John Mithcell throughout his political career and notable events that took place during the Watergate scandal and disruption caused by it.
- Authors: James Rosen (Author)
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1st Edition (May 20, 2008)
- Pages: 640 pages
4. Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate
Such huge scandals are hard to forget for nations and they leave an impact behind that lasts for generations. Shadow by Bob Woodward is the summary and in-depth insight on the ripples caused by Watergate in the political world of the USA and its long-lasting impacts that have haunted 5 next presidents during their tenure.
After 25 years of Watergate, Gerald Ford promised that the effects of Watergate have been neutralized and the nightmare is over for Watergate. However, it was not true. Bob Woodward has explained the abuse of power by following Five presidents in the light of the Watergate scandal and refers to it as the legacy of the Watergate scandal. The incidents might be small, yet for all those who have an interest in politics, this book is a must-read to get an in-depth insight into the incidents that are termed as abuse of power by US presidents.
- Authors: Bob Woodward (Author)
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Assumed First Edition (June 18, 1999)
- Pages: 608 pages
5. Watergate: The Hidden History: Nixon, The Mafia, and The CIA
While it is hard to count the conspiracy theories stating the whole scandal as a hoax and an attempt on power by institutions. This elaborative explanation by Lamar Waldron is a logical explanation of what caused Nixon to jeopardize his re-election with so many burglaries at the watergate and what hidden factors were involved.
This book provides documented answers in the light of recent investigations that are to date, unable to find the motives behind supposed Nixon’s attempts at Watergate and other Whitehouse institutions. All you need to know and learn about the conspiracy theories and involvement of the CIA in the scandal is well documented in the book.
- Authors: Lamar Waldron (Author)
- Publisher: Counterpoint (June 1, 2013)
- Pages: 834 pages
6. The Real Watergate Scandal: Collusion, Conspiracy, and the Plot That Brought Nixon Down
While many believe that it was the old habit of abusing the power by Nixon that caused the Watergate scandal. There are several people and analytics, who deem this to be a conspiracy that took place as a result of Nixon’s collusion with the institutions and it was all well-plotted to bring Nixon down.
Geoff Shepard, termed this as the public was enraged and the prosecutor’s collaboration with the friendly judge caused all the judicial and political mess by making the whole scenario complicated for Nixon. And he became the first and only president in the history of the United States to resign to avoid the imminent impeachment. Followed by a significant fall in the political career of Nixon, according to Geoff, this all plot was framed on Nixon. The book is backed by valid arguments and numerous facts that make sense if you see it in the light of future events.
- Authors: Geoff Shepard (Author)
- Publisher: Regnery History; Illustrated Edition (August 3, 2015)
- Pages: 384 pages
7. Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall
Such events like Watergate leave a never diminishing mark on history. Washington journal was originally published soon after the resignation of President Nixon. Yet, the upgraded version contains a more precise and detailed afterword being released after 40 years of the original version.
Elizabeth Drew’s Washington Journal is a masterpiece of political Journalism with an in-depth analysis of facts and news as we knew them. The uniqueness of the Washington Journal is not about the authenticity of incidence, or narrative. This book contains a unique perspective and signifies the sentiments and feelings of the public during those hard times of uncertainty of the USA’s political image and future. Dynamically written foreword on the latest edition makes it worth-read for all the youngsters and people who are interested in history as political scenario has changed globally, along with the sentiments of people.
- Authors: Elizabeth Drew (Author)
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st Edition (July 21, 2015)
- Pages: 464 pages
8. Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore (Oxford History of the United States)
Written by one of the most famous US historians, James T. Patterson, Restless Giant is the tale of USA’s political scenario of the 27 years between the resignation of President Nixon and the election of George W. Bush. The book has a crisp and precise insight on social, cultural, political, economic and international developments that were made possible in these 27 years.
While other books are about the causes and damages of the Watergate scandal. Restless Giant is all about positive aspects and what good came out in these 27 years. It is a must-read book for all the political enthusiasts who want to study the rise and fall of the USA’s politics over the years. The book has insight on numerous important events that took place in those years and their impact on the USA’s political scenario.
- Authors: James T. Patterson (Author)
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint Edition (March 5, 2007)
- Pages: 464 pages
9. The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate
The chaos followed by scandals of magnitude as Watergate is hard to handle and one might have numerous theories when it comes to making wild guesses and protests breakouts backed by political interests play a huge role behind breaking out such chaos.
While there are a lot of stories and theories behind the Watergate scandal. Best selling author, Tom Brokaw was a young NBC reporter at the time, and his enthusiasm to bring out the truth and finding out the actual version of interests led him to press conferences by PR of the Whitehouse. He has mentioned facts and presents a comprehensive version of events that are most close to reality in this highly appraised and endorsed book.
- Authors: Tom Brokaw (Author)
- Publisher: Random House; First Edition (October 29, 2019)
- Pages: 240 pages
10. Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon is the only president in the United States history to have ever resigned and the Watergate scandal that caused his fall in the political career is still shady. There are a number of theories backed by solid arguments that this was a hoax, a plot for seizure on power fuelled by institutional collision.
Yet, the true fact behind the Watergate scandal is still to be revealed and no one has evident information regarding the scandal. Watergate: The corruption of American politics and the fall of Richard Nixon by Fred Emery is a descriptive summary of events that took place after the disruption of the Watergate scandal and their lifelong impact on the political scenario of the United States. He terms Watergate as the corruption of American politics and explains the scandal in the light of the fall of Richard Nixon.
- Authors: Fred Emery (Author)
- Publisher: Crown; 1st U.S. ed Edition (November 21, 2012)
- Pages: 555 pages
It will not be wrong if we call Watergate by Fred Emery a brief summary of the events of Watergate. The definitive history also includes a brilliantly written afterword under current circumstances and political scenario of the USA.
This fast-paced and reality-based narrative is not easy for all to digest and you must have prior political knowledge and interest in history to understand the content of this book. However, this book is one of the bestselling books on Watergate as the narrative and incidents reported are closest to actual facts and all the factors involved behind the Watergate scandal and the career-ending move for President Nixon.
- Authors: Fred Emery (Author)
- Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint Edition (September 1, 1995)
- Pages: 576 pages
12. The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon
President Nixon’s career is full of conspiracies, hard choices and political scandals. During his presidency, the USA was going through the roughest time in history and administering the country so large and influential was not an easy job.
This book contains the closest and deep insights into the Watergate scandal written by Stanely I. Kuttler. Kuttler has put into words, President Nixon’s tenure and his clashes with the institutions he feared and resented. He has also shed light on the factors of political tension and the personal history of Nixon that played a major role in the Watergate scandal in this book.
- Authors: Stanley I. Kutler (Author)
- Publisher: Knopf; 1st Edition (August 28, 2013)
- Pages: 733 pages
13. The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address
Watergate was opened in 1965, and since its opening it has seen rise and fall of many power brokers from parliament, belonging to both political parties. The address has been home to many influential and important individuals.
However, the up break in the fame of Watergate was caused by the Nixon scandal and it has etched the name into every American citizen’s mind for eternity. In this book, Joseph Rodota elaborates on the stories of residents of Watergate and how it has been accommodating journalists, politicians, socialites, and spies. If you pay attention to detail and want to learn everything about Watergate, this book is the right choice for you with descriptive history of Watergate and its influential residents.
- Authors: Joseph Rodota (Author)
- Publisher: William Morrow; Illustrated Edition (February 20, 2018)
- Pages: 432 pages
14. Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat, and the CIA
The theories that deem Watergate as a hoax and framed on Nixon for the seizure of power are countless and no one can say for sure, that how much of truth is behind such theories.
Secret Agenda by Jim Hougan is one of those books that shed light on possible theories involved behind the disruption of the Watergate scandal. The book presents some of the relatable events from that time that might contain fragments of truth and can be connected to the actual events behind the Watergate scandal. It reveals the culprits, sexual scandals and malicious spying in a dramatized way that makes it an interesting read for the ones who are interested in history and politics.
- Authors: Jim Hougan (Author)
- Publisher: Random House Inc; 1st Edition (November 1, 1984)
- Pages: 347 pages
15. Watergate: The Hoax
Ashton Gray’s Watergate: The Hoax is an elaborative explanation of how all this was planted on Nixon and how the CIA played a major role in the process. He claims that there were no bugs being planted in the Oval office that claim to have the recordings of supposed bribery and there was no record of any such shreds of evidence that has ever been mentioned or presented in the courts.
He also states that this all Watergate scandal was just a hoax, designed to relieve president Nixon from the office due to his conflicts with institutions and his methods were not acceptable for all. Nixon made numerous bold decisions that were not appreciated by all and their dislike caused this hoax that took Nixon down.
- Authors: Ashton Gray (Author)
- Publisher: Chalet Books; 1st Edition (May 28, 2016)
- Pages: 620 pages
16. Bringing Down A President: The Watergate Scandal
There are numerous books published about the conspiracies, factors involved and what caused the Watergate scandal. It is difficult to tell, which author has the real info and everything is considered theories as to date, no investigations have found an accurate answer behind the motives, and causes of the Watergate scandal.
However, the magnitude of scandals such as Watergate is enough to bringing a president down and demolishing his political career. Andrea Balls and Elizabeth Levy have penned down the known and undeniable events of history in a comprehensible way for everyone to understand with graphical illustration by Tim Foley in this book. If you are looking to get an unbiased and neutral view over the incidents of the water gate, this book is a must-read for you.
- Authors: Andrea Balis (Author), Elizabeth Levy (Author), Tim Foley (Illustrator)
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (August 6, 2019)
- Pages: 240 pages
17. Watergate’s Legacy and the Press: The Investigative Impulse (Medill Visions Of The American Press)
The impact of journalism over the public is undeniable and the way it influences the thinking process can change history. Watergate’s legacy and the press signifies the importance of the press in the scandal and how the two most important reporters played their role in changing the course of history by presenting their own twisted vies of events to the general public.
Written originally by Jon Marshall and Foreword by bob Woodward, Watergate’s legacy and the press sheds light on numerous public reporting and news that still do not have any source to back by and were a mere hoax to disembark and scandalize the public image or President Nixon. This book contains an elaborative explanation to all those hallow stories and news published by a press that caused significant deceit in the reputation of president Nixon and finally lead him towards being the only president in US history to have resigned from the seat.
- Authors: Jon Marshall (Author), Bob Woodward (Foreword)
- Publisher: Northwestern University Press; First Edition (US) First Printing (January 30, 2011)
- Pages: 336 pages
18. After Watergate: The Renaissance of Richard Nixon
Michael A. Endicott was in the secret service detail of President Nixon for over 14 years. In thousands of hours spent together, he became irreplaceable for President Nixon and when he gave up on his secret service detail, (the only president in the history of the USA to do so). He hired Michael as his chief of staff.Michael has written in his bibliography about President Nixon as a person who was a very private person and a family man. He has successfully enlightened the history of events in an interesting way to keep the reader’s interest by explaining the aftermaths of the scandal that has put an effect on US history that will not be diminished ever. This book contains 20 private family photos never seen before and all the events that took place in President Nixon’s life after his resignation in 1974.
- Authors: Michael A Endicott (Author)
- Publisher: Searchlight 37 Press (December 19, 2018)
- Pages: 236 pages
19. Postgate: How the Washington Post Betrayed Deep Throat, Covered Up Watergate, and Began Today’s Partisan Advocacy Journalism
For those who believe Nixon was framed for the Watergate, they have strong beliefs as media played an important role in disembarking the image of Nixon in public as to put salt to injury and lead him towards impeachment, that he had to resign to avoid.
John O’ Connor, deep throat’s lawyer has penned down his realizations as to how Washington post has betrayed their client by covering up the truth behind Watergate. He has a number of revelations to share about how it caused deceit in the journalism standards that are still haunting the society.
- Authors: John O’Connor (Author)
- Publisher: Post Hill Press (November 5, 2019)
- Pages: 304 pages
20. Watergate: The Presidential Scandal That Shook America
Written by Keith W. Olson, Watergate: the presidential scandals that shook America summarizes the events of Watergate, as to how the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters in Watergate hotel by 5 men acting under the direction of a Republican President and his closest aide’s took place.
A tale that was broke by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein that disrupted the American political history and was vigorously debated ever since. Keith has penned down the events that actually took place unbiasedly and what factors might have contributed towards the instances. He has also elaborated in descriptive narrative the aftermaths and effects of such a huge scandal in the US political scene.
- Authors: Keith W. Olson (Author)
- Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas; 0th Edition (May 17, 2003)
- Pages: 230 pages
Choosing the Best Watergate Books
Watergate is undoubtedly one of the most debated and arguable incidents in the US political history that have shaken the entire country and caused the fall of Nixon who became the only president in the history of the United States to have resigned.
However, there are numerous theories that state it as abuse of power by Nixon or an attempt on power seizure by institutions due to the clashes and conflicts with Nixon. The actual version of events is still untold and no evidences have been found ever since. We have compiles a list of best books with in-depth insides of the theories, the causes behind the Watergate scandal and aftermaths, that make these books a must-read for all those who have interests in politics and history.