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Ranking Author Bob Woodward’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

Bob Woodward Bibliography Ranking

“What are Bob Woodward’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Woodward’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Bob Woodward and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Bob Woodward



19 ) Maestro

 Maestro Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 18
  • LibraryThing: 19

Perhaps the last Washington secret is how the Federal Reserve and its enigmatic chairman, Alan Greenspan, operate. In Maestro, Bob Woodward uses his proven interviewing and research techniques to take you inside the Fed and Greenspan’s thinking. Woodward presents the Greenspan years as a gripping narrative, a remarkable portrait of a man who has become the symbol of American economic preeminence.

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18 ) Bush at War

 Bush at War Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 18
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 18

Award-winning author and journalist Bob Woodward turns his attention to the presidency of George W. Bush. Before the acts of terrorism on 11 September, George W. Bush’s presidency had been beset by numerous problems. Not only was it in many peoples eyes invalid, very few people took him seriously as a world statesman. Then following one violent mindless act of terrorism, George W. Bush became a president that his country could rely on, one they felt they could trust to lead them through these difficult times. And the world saw a man who was decisive and resolute, a president who was seemingly determined to route out the people who had carried out the heinous acts. But one year after the attacks how has the 44th President of the United States fared? And what were the actual behind the scenes discussions that took place whilst the country was rocked by the crisis? Bob Woodward has been shadowing the President since those fateful events, he was allowed unprecedented access to closed-door meetings and briefings and this masterful book is a look at what really happened.

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17 ) The Price of Politics

 The Price of Politics Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 16

The Price of Politics chronicles the inside story of how President Obama and the U.S. Congress tried, and failed, to restore the American economy and set it on a course to fiscal stability. Woodward pierces the secretive world of Washington policymaking once again, with a close-up story crafted from meeting notes, documents, working papers, and interviews with key players, including President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. Woodward lays bare the broken relationship between President Obama and the Congress. In a new afterword, What Is Really Happening in Washington’s Economic Wars, Woodward details the further negotiations after Obama’s reelection, when he and Congress faced the fiscal cliff only to end in a perilous stalemate.

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16 ) Wired

 Wired Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 16
  • LibraryThing: 14

By the same investigative reporter as All the President’s Men, this book enquires into the death by drug abuse of John Belushi. In his search for what went wrong in the comedian’s life, the author uncovers the seedier side of the American star system. A film based on the book has been made.

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15 ) The Choice

 The Choice Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 13

The Choice is Bob Woodward’s classic story of the quest for power, focusing on the 1996 presidential campaign as a case study of money, public opinion polling, attack advertising, handlers, consultants, and decision making in the midst of electoral uncertainty. President Bill Clinton is examined in full in the contest with Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, the Republican presidential nominee. The intimacy and detail of Woodward’s account of the candidates and their wives show the epic human struggle in this race for the White House.

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14 ) The Agenda

 The Agenda Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 8

The Agenda is a day-by-day, often minute-by-minute account of Bill Clinton’s White House. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, confidential internal memos, diaries, and meeting notes, Woodward shows how Clinton and his advisers grappled with questions of lasting importance — the federal deficit, health care, welfare reform, taxes, jobs. One of the most intimate portraits of a sitting president ever published, this edition includes an afterword on Clinton’s efforts to save his presidency.

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13 ) Shadow

 Shadow Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 18
  • LibraryThing: 8

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year Twenty-five years ago, after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Gerald Ford promised a return to normalcy. “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over,” President Ford declared. But it was not. The Watergate scandal, and the remedies against future abuses of power, would have an enduring impact on presidents and the country. In Shadow, Bob Woodward takes us deep into the administrations of Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton to describe how each discovered that the presidency was forever altered. With special emphasis on the human toll, Woodward shows the consequences of the new ethics laws, and the emboldened Congress and media. Powerful investigations increasingly stripped away the privacy and protections once expected by the nation’s chief executive. Shadow is an authoritative, unsettling narrative of the modern, beleaguered presidency.

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11 ) Plan of Attack

 Plan of Attack Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 12

Plan of Attack is the definitive account of how and why President George W. Bush, his war council, and allies launched a preemptive attack to topple Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq. Bob Woodward’s latest landmark account of Washington decision making provides an original, authoritative narrative of behind-the-scenes maneuvering over two years, examining the causes and consequences of the most controversial war since Vietnam. Based on interviews with 75 key participants and more than three and a half hours of exclusive interviews with President Bush, Plan of Attack is part presidential history charting the decisions made during 16 critical months; part military history revealing precise details and the evolution of the Top Secret war planning under the restricted codeword Polo Step; and part a harrowing spy story as the CIA dispatches a covert paramilitary team into northern Iraq six months before the start of the war. This team recruited 87 Iraqi spies designated with the cryptonym DB/ROCKSTARS, one of whom turned over the personnel files of all 6,000 men in Saddam Hussein’s personal security organization. What emerges are astonishingly intimate portraits: President Bush in war cabinet meetings in the White House Situation Room and the Oval Office, and in private conversation; Dick Cheney, the focused and driven vice president; Colin Powell, the conflicted and cautious secretary of state; Donald Rumsfeld, the controlling war technocrat; George Tenet, the activist CIA director; Tommy Franks, the profane and demanding general; Condoleezza Rice, the ever-present referee and national security adviser; Karl Rove, the hands-on political strategist; other key members of the White House staff and congressional leadership; and foreign leaders ranging from British Prime Minister Blair to Russian President Putin. Plan of Attack provides new details on the intelligence assessments of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and the planning for the war’s aftermath.

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11 ) Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA

 Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 15

Veil is the story of the covert wars that were waged in Central America, Iran and Libya in a secretive atmosphere and became the centerpieces and eventual time bombs of American foreign policy in the 1980s.

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10 ) The Secret Man

 The Secret Man Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 17

The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat

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9 ) The War Within: A Secret White House History

 The War Within: A Secret White House History Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 7

A first printing with #1 in line. Publisher priced dust jacket. No remainder marks. A fine copy of the jacket and the book with no markings or wear.

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7 ) Obama’s Wars

 Obama's Wars Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 6

In Obama’s Wars, Bob Woodward provides the most intimate and sweeping portrait yet of the young president as commander in chief. Drawing on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president, Woodward tells the inside story of Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret campaign in Pakistan and the worldwide fight against terrorism. At the core of Obama’s Wars is the unsettled division between the civilian leadership in the White House and the United States military as the president is thwarted in his efforts to craft an exit plan for the Afghanistan War. “So what’s my option?” the president asked his war cabinet, seeking alternatives to the Afghanistan commander’s request for 40,000 more troops in late 2009. “You have essentially given me one option. …It’s unacceptable.” “Well,” Secretary of Defense Robert Gates finally said, “Mr. President, I think we owe you that option.” It never came. An untamed Vice President Joe Biden pushes relentlessly to limit the military mission and avoid another Vietnam. The vice president frantically sent half a dozen handwritten memos by secure fax to Obama on the eve of the final troop decision. President Obama’s ordering a surge of 30,000 troops and pledging to start withdrawing U.S. forces by July 2011 did not end the skirmishing. General David Petraeus, the new Afghanistan commander, thinks time can be added to the clock if he shows progress. “I don’t think you win this war,” Petraeus said privately. “This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.” Hovering over this debate is the possibility of another terrorist attack in the United States. The White House led a secret exercise showing how unprepared the government is if terrorists set off a nuclear bomb in an American city—which Obama told Woodward is at the top of the list of what he worries about all the time.

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7 ) The Commanders

 The Commanders Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 10

It is impossible to examine any part of the war on terrorism in the twenty-first century without seeing the hand of Dick Cheney, Colin Powell or one of their loyalists. The Commanders, an account of the use of the military in the first Bush administration, is in many respects their story — the intimate account of the tensions, disagreements and debates on the road to war.

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6 ) The Last of the President’s Men

 The Last of the President's Men Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 11

A new work of narrative nonfiction from bestselling author Bob Woodward. Bob Woodward exposes one of the final pieces of the Richard Nixon puzzle in his new book The Last of the President’s Men. Woodward reveals the untold story of Alexander Butterfield, the Nixon aide who disclosed the secret White House taping system that changed history and led to Nixon’s resignation. In forty-six hours of interviews with Butterfield, supported by thousands of documents, many of them original and not in the presidential archives and libraries, Woodward has uncovered new dimensions of Nixon’s secrets, obsessions and deceptions.

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5 ) The Brethren

 The Brethren Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 5

The Brethren is the first detailed behind-the-scenes account of the Supreme Court in action. Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong have pierced its secrecy to give us an unprecedented view of the Chief and Associate Justices—maneuvering, arguing, politicking, compromising, and making decisions that affect every major area of American life.

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4 ) State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III

 State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 4

Following a secret Pentagon assessment sent to the White House in May 2006, this text is an examination of how the Bush administration avoided telling the truth about Iraq to the public, to Congress, and often to themselves.

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3 ) Fear: Trump in the White House

 Fear: Trump in the White House Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 2

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in office.

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2 ) The Final Days

 The Final Days Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 3

The Final Days is the classic, behind-the-scenes account of Richard Nixon’s dramatic last months as president. Moment by moment, Bernstein and Woodward portray the taut, post-Watergate White House as Nixon, his family, his staff, and many members of Congress strained desperately to prevent his inevitable resignation. This brilliant book reveals the ordeal of Nixon’s fall from office — one of the gravest crises in presidential history.

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1 ) All the President’s Men

 All the President's Men Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 1

This landmark book details all the events of the biggest political scandal in the history of this nation–Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein kept the headlines coming, delivering revelation after amazing revelation to a shocked public.

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Bob Woodward’s Best Books



Bob Woodward Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOverall Rank
All the President’s Men 111 1
The Final Days 213 2
Fear: Trump in the White House 432 3
State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III 654 4
The Brethren 395 5
The Last of the President’s Men 5511 6
Obama’s Wars 796 7
The Commanders 9310 7
The War Within: A Secret White House History 7137 9
The Secret Man 11517 10
Plan of Attack 13912 11
Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 14515 11
Shadow 9188 13
The Agenda 15158 14
The Choice 17913 15
Wired 121614 16
The Price of Politics 151316 17
Bush at War 181618 18
Maestro 191819 19

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