The best books about Watergate 📚

Browse the best books on Watergate 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 Will The Autobiography Of G. Gordon Liddy

Will The Autobiography Of G. Gordon Liddy

By G. Gordon Liddy

Why this book?

Gordon Liddy was an extraordinary character, a swaggering former FBI agent who was on a self-imposed mission to save America from "communism," even if it meant breaking the law. Even Nixon thought that Liddy was "a little nuts" but needed him as part of his campaign to get even with the Democrats and opponents of the war in Vietnam. In heading up the Watergate break-in, Liddy turned out to be a bungling amateur whose incompetence led directly to the failure of the operation. Nevertheless, he wrote one of the best books about Watergate--one that is both entertaining and revealing in…

From the list:

The best books to understand Watergate

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

Book cover of Blind Ambition: The White House Years

Blind Ambition: The White House Years

By John W. Dean

Why this book?

Dean's book is essential to understanding the psychodrama that led to the unraveling of the Watergate conspiracy. An ambitious lawyer picked to serve as White House counsel at the age of thirty-one, Dean feared that he was being set up to take the blame for Watergate. He was the first Nixon aide to appreciate the legal perils of the cover-up and the risks he was being asked to run. In order to save himself, he had to exit the conspiracy, betraying the president who was relying on him to throw a blanket over the scandal. In this 1976 memoir, Dean…

From the list:

The best books to understand Watergate

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

Book cover of Warrior: Frank Sturgis---The Cia's #1 Assassin-Spy, Who Nearly Killed Castro But Was Ambushed by Watergate

Warrior: Frank Sturgis---The Cia's #1 Assassin-Spy, Who Nearly Killed Castro But Was Ambushed by Watergate

By Bob Risch, Jim Hunt

Why this book?

My first pick was the story of Marita Lorenz who tried to kill Fidel Castro. This book is the story of the man who gave her that assignment. Frank Sturgis struggled side-by-side with Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution only to turn against him when he realized that Castro had become a communist. Then Sturgis joined forces with the American Mafia as well as with the CIA. He made several attempts to assassinate Castro during several decades as well as carried out assignments for the Mafia and the CIA in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. We know he…

From the list:

The best books on real conspiracies

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.

Or, view all 10 books about Watergate

New book lists about Watergate

All book lists about Watergate

Bookshelves related to Watergate

Browse books by…