All the President's Men

By Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward,

Book cover of All the President's Men

Book description

50th Anniversary Edition—With a new foreword on what Watergate means today.

“The work that brought down a presidency...perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history” (Time)—from the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Final Days.

The most devastating political detective story of the century: two Washington Post…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked All the President's Men as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is arguably the most important book by journalists in the modern era.

Not only did the reporting behind it lead to the impeachment and subsequent resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of Watergate, it inspired generations of other journalists to investigate political crimes and criminals and hold office-holders at all levels accountable. One could reasonably say that it helped to save American democracy.

I know, I know...non-fiction. But as far as I’m concerned, definitely still a thriller, and to this day, the quintessential political scandal. There are so many iconic facets to the story: the anonymous whistleblower Deep Throat’s invocation to follow the money; Woodward and Bernstein’s dogged refusal to drop the story, even when all appeared to be lost; the slow burn of revelation upon revelation.

This wasn’t about car chases and guns. It was about paper trails and getting sources on the record. 

The bravery of that never left me, and was always in my mind while writing my book…

This might be an obvious choice, but sometimes the obvious is obvious for good reason. Written in the 1970s, it remains the template for investigative journalism to this day. It is a first-hand account of how two heroic young reporters investigated what was initially dismissed as a humdrum burglary at a building in Washington DC. The rest, as they say, is history, and the name of the building – Watergate – has become journalistic legend. Woodward and Bernstein had no special superhero powers. It was their meticulous search for sources, evidence, and verification of dirty tricks – all detailed in…

From Tony's list on journalists as heroes.

When I was a young reporter in east Texas, a burned-out editor asked me what I wanted to do in journalism. I muttered something about investigative reporting. He took a long drag on a Marlboro and asked, “Have you read All the President’s Men?” I told him I’d seen the movie but that I hadn’t read the book. He stabbed at the air with his cigarette. “Read the book,” he said, “and study how they use attribution.”

I did as he said, and the book became my bible on investigative reporting. Read this book and understand how to do…

It started with that most ordinary crime—a burglary. But the cover-up traced to the White House—and brought down a presidency. This is the classic, the granddaddy of investigative reporting, along with a hair-on-fire story of getting the story. Riveting, precise, and hugely consequential, it set the standard that a generation of journalists like me has sought to follow. Now, almost 50 years after publication, it still feels current—a standout among books of true crime in America’s political history.

From Mara's list on true crime books about cover-ups.

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