The best Richard Nixon books 📚

Browse the best books on Richard Nixon as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of All the President's Men

All the President's Men

By Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward

Why this book?

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…

From the list:

The best political thriller books that dared to be different

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Richard Nixon: The Life

Richard Nixon: The Life

By John A. Farrell

Why this book?

In order to understand Watergate, you first have to understand Richard Nixon. This is the best, single-volume biography that chronicles Nixon's life in a balanced and fair way that gives us great insight into his character and motivations. Published in 2017, it is a model of its kind. Farrell attempts neither to vilify Nixon nor to defend him, but to explain him, in the context of his times. He gives us the extraordinary story of the self-made man from a struggling Quaker family in California who rose to the top through his own efforts - and then threw it all…

From the list:

The best books to understand Watergate

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House

The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House

By H.R. Haldeman

Why this book?

There was no one closer to Richard Nixon as Watergate unfolded than his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman. Every evening, Haldeman dictated an audio diary that is an essential source for understanding the Nixon presidency and the chain of events that led to its unraveling. While Haldeman admired Nixon, he was also well aware of his faults. He records the triumphs, failures, and personal quirks of his boss on an almost minute-to-minute basis. I think that Haldeman has it right when he concludes that Nixon did not know about Watergate in advance, in the sense that he did not order…

From the list:

The best books to understand Watergate

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes

Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes

By Stanley I. Kutler

Why this book?

Had Nixon not taped himself in secret, it is doubtful that he would have been forced to resign as president of the United States. While some of the most incriminating tapes were released as a result of a Supreme Court order, the remainder became the subject of a long legal tussle that continued for several decades. Nobody did more to secure the full release of the tapes than the historian Stanley Kutler who published highlights in his 1997 book, Abuse of Power. The tapes provide a unique insight into the functioning of the modern-day presidency, and Nixon's own personality,…

From the list:

The best books to understand Watergate

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Being Nixon: A Man Divided

Being Nixon: A Man Divided

By Evan Thomas

Why this book?

Although Nixon has been our most disgraced president, pre-Trump, he (like LBJ) is a marvelously complicated study of a person with major strengths and weaknesses, and a refusal to be defeated by any obstacles or setbacks. Thomas is discerning in his understanding of what made his subject tick—which is quite an achievement.
From the list:

The best presidential biographies

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo

Operation Moonglow: A Political History of Project Apollo

By Teasel Muir-Harmony

Why this book?

When NASA’s manned spaceflight program began, engineers focused on technology to launch men, sustain them in orbit, and eventually take them to the Moon and back. But U.S. Presidents approved the program to improve America’s image, not for scientific purposes. They wanted to counter the successive shocks of the USSR’s first artificial satellite and first person in space. This wasn’t about bragging rights, but to deter emerging nations from choosing communism over democracy. NASA launches welcomed media and US astronauts were sent abroad, guided by the State Department. They gave unscripted speeches, so listeners could relate to them as regular…

From the list:

The best books about space from someone with 35 years at NASA

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 18 books about Richard Nixon

New book lists about Richard Nixon

All book lists about Richard Nixon

Bookshelves related to Richard Nixon

Browse books by…