Nixon announcing his resignation

Nixon Resigns! 7 Intriguing Books on Watergate and Its Aftermath

On August 8th, 1974—43 years ago exactly—Richard Nixon, plagued by the increasingly damning Watergate scandal, resigned his post as U.S. president. Politics, and the world, would never be the same. Here are 7 books with cutting takes on Watergate and all that followed in its wake.

 

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

 

all the president's men cover

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

Written by the journalists whose crack investigating brought “Tricky Dick” to his knees, ‘All the President’s Men’ is the definitive account of the political scandal to end all political scandals, going all the way from a bungled hotel burglary to the secretive halls of the White House. Its publication in June 1974 was one of the final nails in Nixon’s presidential coffin.

 

  1. ‘Frost/Nixon’ by Peter Morgan

 

frost/nixon cover

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

A 2006 play later adapted into an Oscar-winning film, the biographical ‘Frost/Nixon’ follows British media personality David Frost as he stumbles into the career opportunity of a lifetime: a televised interview with disgraced former President Richard Nixon. Frost and his team are determined to draw a long-awaited confession of guilt for the Watergate scandal from Nixon, but the older man will not go down without a fight. Riveting and surprisingly emotional.

 

  1. ‘Jailbird’ by Kurt Vonnegut

 

jailbird cover

Image courtesy of Book Cover Archive 

 

This is Kurt Vonnegut’s “Watergate novel”, but it’s also much more than that. Telling the story of fictional, hapless Nixon crony Walter F. Starbuck, Vonnegut takes readers on a sweeping tour of the modern history of the labor movement and the many ways the rich and greedy hold on to power. If it wasn’t a real thing, you would think Watergate had been dreamed up by Vonnegut himself!

 

  1. ‘The Final Days’ by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

 

The Final Days cover

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Their first book on Watergate forced Nixon out of the Oval Office; their follow-up, published two years later, goes even deeper into the cesspool of lies and desperation that was the West Wing in the final months of the Nixon era. This is one thriller where knowing the ending only sweetens the suspense.

 

 

  1. ‘The Ends of Power’ by H.R. Haldeman with Joseph DiMona 

 

the ends of power cover

Image courtesy of Goodreads

 

As Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff, Haldeman was privy to—and complicit to—the many sins committed in the name of shoring up Nixon’s hold on power. Having served almost two years in jail for his crimes, Haldeman published this inside account of serving a collapsing presidency. You almost feel bad for the guy.

 

  1. ‘Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy’ by G. Gordon Liddy

 

Liddy autobiography cover

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

Where Haldeman was a more or less vanilla man outside his White House career, Liddy is the kind of twentieth century figure impossible to ignore: brash, outspoken, an open admirer of Adolf Hitler and a key Watergate operative. His deeds may be repulsive, but reading about them from the man who did them is bound to be compelling.

 

  1. ‘RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon’ by Richard M. Nixon

 

RN: Nixon memoirs cover

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

Nixon surprised the world with this very personal account of his life at the center of world and domestic politics. A fastidious documenter of his own life (as the White House tapes amply prove), Nixon provides his singular insights into a life lived at the edge of both tragedy and morality. What a legacy!

 

Featured image courtesy of Huffington Post.