The Best Books About Watergate

“What are the best books about Watergate?” We looked at 62 of the top Watergate books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 13 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Watergate” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 40+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 13 Books About The Watergate Scandal



13 .) Blind Ambition written by John W. Dean

Lists It Appears On:

  • Early Bird Books
  • Goodreads



12 .) Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years written by J. Anthony Lukas

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

In July 1973, for the first time in its history, the New York Times Magazine devoted a full issue to a single article: Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist J. Anthony Lukas’s account of the Watergate story to date. Six months later, a second installment ran in another full issue. Later the Times asked him to write a third issue, on the impeachment, which never appeared because of Nixon’s intervening resignation. But all of Lukas’s painstaking reporting on Nixon’s last months in office appears here, along with added information on every aspect of Watergate. Widely acclaimed as a major text of the Watergate saga, J. Anthony Lukas’s Nightmare is a masterwork of investigation, highlighted by in-depth character sketches of the key players. For students of history coming to these events for the first time, this book reveals in depth the particular trauma of a nation in turmoil; for those who remember, the upheaval and what was at stake are once more brought to life.



11 .) RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon written by Richard M. Nixon

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bookstr
  • Goodreads

Former President Richard Nixon’s bestselling autobiography is an intensely personal examination of his life, public career, and White House years. With startling candor, Nixon reveals his beliefs, doubts, and behind-the-scenes decisions, shedding new light on his landmark diplomatic and domestic initiatives, political campaigns, and historic decision to resign from the presidency. Memoirs, spanning Nixon’s formative years through his presidency, reveals the personal side of Richard Nixon. Witness his youth, college years, and wartime experiences, events which would shape his outward philosophies and eventually his presidency—and shape our lives. Follow his meteoric rise to national prominence and the great peaks and depths of his presidency. Throughout his career Richard Nixon made extensive notes about his ideas, conversations, activities, meetings. During his presidency, from November 1971 until April 1973 and again in June and July 1974, he kept an almost daily diary of reflections, analyses, and perceptions. These notes and diary dictations, quoted throughout this book, provide a unique insight into the complexities of the modern presidency and the great issues of American policy and politics.



10 .) Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate written by Bob Woodward

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

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.



9 .) Silent Coup written by Len Colodny

Lists It Appears On:

  • Early Bird Books
  • Ranker

This important political history throws out all previously accepted views of Watergate & reveals the personal motives & secret political goals that combined to cause the downfall of Richard M. Nixon.



8 .) The Ends of Power written by H.R. Haldeman with Joseph DiMona

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bookstr
  • Goodreads

In 1978, he co-authored The Ends of Power with Joseph Di Mona, in which he took responsibility for fostering the atmosphere in which Watergate flourished, a stark contrast from Ehrlichman, who never forgave Nixon for not pardoning him. Also in the book, Haldeman explained Nixon’s statement in the Watergate tapes that Watergate could “open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing”. Haldeman said that “Bay of Pigs” was a reference to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy



7 .) The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It written by John W. Dean

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Lit Hub

Based on Nixon’s previously overlooked secret recordings—a revelatory new look at Watergate by one of its key figures Watergate forever changed American politics, and in light of the revelations about the NSA’s wide­spread surveillance program, the scandal has taken on new significance. Yet remarkably, four decades after he was forced to resign, no one has told the full story of Nixon’s involvement in Watergate. In The Nixon Defense, former White House Counsel John Dean, one of the last major surviving figures of Watergate, draws on his own transcripts of almost a thousand conversations, a wealth of Nixon’s secretly recorded information, and more than 150,000 pages of documents in the National Archives and the Nixon Library to provide the de­finitive answer to the question: What did President Nixon know and when did he know it? Through narrative and contemporaneous dia­logue, Dean connects dots that have never been connected, including revealing how and why the Watergate break-in occurred, what was on the mys­terious 18.5 minute gap in Nixon’s recorded con­versations, and more. In what will stand as the most authoritative account of one of America’s worst political scan­dals, The Nixon Defense shows how the disastrous mistakes of Watergate could have been avoided and offers a cautionary tale for our own time.



6 .) The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon written by Stanley I. Kutler

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Lit Hub

“The definitive account of Watergate.”



5 .) Frost/Nixon written by Peter Morgan

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bookstr
  • Lit Hub
  • Ranker

In 1972, a break-in was foiled at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel in Washington DC. Within days a connection had been made with the White House and President Nixon’s closest aides. It unleashed one of the greatest scandals in modern American politics and ended with Nixon’s humiliating resignation. David Frost’s interviews with Richard Nixon drew the largest audience ever for a news interview. Could this British talk-show host, with no known political convictions and a playboy reputation, be the one to elicit an apology from the man who committed one of the biggest felonies in American political history?



4 .) Jailbird written by Kurt Vonnegut

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bookstr
  • Goodreads
  • Lit Hub

Jailbird takes us into a fractured and comic, pure Vonnegut world of high crimes and misdemeanors in government—and in the heart. This wry tale follows bumbling bureaucrat Walter F. Starbuck from Harvard to the Nixon White House to the penitentiary as Watergate’s least known co-conspirator. But the humor turns dark when Vonnegut shines his spotlight on the cold hearts and calculated greed of the mighty, giving a razor-sharp edge to an unforgettable portrait of power and politics in our times.



3 .) The Final Days written by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bookstr
  • Goodreads
  • Lit Hub

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.



2 .) Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy written by G. Gordon Liddy

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bookstr
  • Goodreads
  • Ranker

From soldier to Washington insider; from a prisoner who preferred the walls of a prison rather than the betrayal of his principles; to a writer and top radio personality, G. Gordon Liddy is a hero to some, a villain to others, but always an enigma. In 1980, G. Gordon Liddy shocked, surprised, and, ultimately, delighted the world with his vivid, brutally honest, and controversial autobiography, Will. A number one national bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, Will has stood the test of time like few other books. With over 1,000,000 copies in print, it is nothing less than a quintessential American biography-a classic story of a life interestingly led. Now available in hardcover for the first time in over fifteen years, and updated to bring his amazing story to the present day, G. Gordon Liddy’s Will is sure to remain an inspiring and necessary volume for generations to come.



1 .) All the President’s Men written by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bookstr
  • Early Bird Books
  • Goodreads
  • Lit Hub
  • Ranker

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.




The 40+ Additional Best Books About Watergate And Nixon



# Books Authors Lists
14 31 Days: The Crisis That Gave Us the Government We Have Today Barry Werth Goodreads
15 Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes Stanley I. Kutler Goodreads
16 American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond E. Howard Hunt Goodreads
17 Being Nixon: A Man Divided Evan Thomas Lit Hub
18 Born Again Charles W. Colson Goodreads
19 Breach of Faith: The Fall of Richard Nixon Theodore H. White Goodreads
20 Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate Ken Hughes Goodreads
21 Chief counsel: Inside the Ervin Committee–the untold story of Watergate Samuel Dash Goodreads
22 Frost/Nixon: Behind the Scenes of the Nixon Interviews David Frost Goodreads
23 How the Good Guys Finally Won
Early Bird Books
24 Humor of a Country Lawyer Sam J. Ervin Goodreads
25 In Nixon’s Web: A Year in the Crosshairs of Watergate L. Patrick Gray Goodreads
26 In the Shadow of the White House: A Memoir of the Washington and Watergate Years, 1968-1978 Jo Haldeman Goodreads
27 Leak Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat Max Holland Goodreads
28 Lost Honor John W. Dean Goodreads
29 Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War Steve Sheinkin Goodreads
30 Nixon & Rockefeller
Early Bird Books
31 Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man Gary Wills Lit Hub
32 Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power Robert Dallek Goodreads
33 Nixon’s Secrets
Early Bird Books
34 Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America Rick Perlstein Goodreads
35 Personal History Katharine Graham Goodreads
36 The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon Anthony Summers Goodreads
37 The Cassandra Project Jack McDevitt Goodreads
38 The Great Coverup: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate Barry Sussman Goodreads
39 The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House H.R. Haldeman Goodreads
40 The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan Rick Perlstein Lit Hub
41 The Last of the President’s Men Bob Woodward Goodreads
42 The Nixon Tapes: 1971-1972
Early Bird Books
43 The Offenses of Richard M. Nixon: A Guide for the People of the United States William A. Dobrivir Goodreads
44 The Original Watergate Stories The Washington Post Goodreads
45 The Palace Guard Dan Rather Goodreads
46 The Powers That Be
Early Bird Books
47 The Real Watergate Scandal: Collusion, Conspiracy, and the Plot That Brought Nixon Down Geoff Shepard Lit Hub
48 The Right and the Power: The Prosecution of Watergate Leon Jaworski Goodreads
49 The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat Bob Woodward Goodreads
50 The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate James Rosen Goodreads
51 The U. S. v. Richard M. Nixon: The Final Crisis Frank Mankiewicz Goodreads
52 The Whole Truth: The Watergate Conspiracy Sam J. Ervin Jr. Goodreads
53 To Set the Record Straight: The Break-In, the Tapes, the Conspirators, the Pardon John J. Sirica Goodreads
54 Washington Journal: The Events of 1973-1974 Elizabeth Drew Goodreads
55 Washington Journal: The Watergate Scandal, 1973 – 1974 Elizabeth Drew Goodreads
56 Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon Fred Emery Goodreads
57 Watergate: The Presidential Scandal That Shook America Keith W. Olson Goodreads
58 Without Honor: Crimes of Camelot and the Impeachment of President Nixon J.M. Zeifman Goodreads
59 Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate Alicia C. Shepard Goodreads
60 You Are the Love of My Life Susan Richards Shreve Goodreads
61 Watergate Daniel Cohen Ranker
62 Watergate Thomas Mallon Goodreads


5 Best Watergate Book Sources/Lists



Source Article
Bookstr Nixon Resigns! 7 Intriguing Books on Watergate and Its Aftermath
Early Bird Books 8 Revealing Books About Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal
Goodreads Popular Watergate Books
Lit Hub Bigger Than Watergate? 10 Essential Books About Our Future Past
Ranker Best Watergate Scandal Books | List of Top Books About Watergate
A.M. Anderson:
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