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Political Scandals: Watergate - 1972

Books to Browse

Shadow book cover

Shadow: five presidents and the legacy of Watergate by Bob Woodward

Watergate book cover

Perspectives on Modern World History: Watergate by Alex Cruden

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Watergate in American memory : how we remember, forget, and reconstruct the past by Michael Schudson

The Right and the Power Book Cover

The right and the power: the prosecution of Watergate by Leon Jaworski

Government Documents

Newspaper Articles

More Resources

Want to know what it felt like to experience Watergate? Check out season 1 of Slow Burn (the first episode is below). Also read the background on this podcast series here.




If you're more interested in the journalistic perspective, check out Lily Haight's podcast on how Watergate changed journalism.

What Happened?


What happened: "Tapes revealed that President Richard Nixon and his top advisors were involved in covering up a break-in at a Democratic National Committee office in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Nixon resigned before he could be impeached, becoming the first President to step down. Several of his top advisors — including the White House lawyer, Chief of Staff and Attorney General — did prison time."

Why it was so scandalous: "The Committee to re-elect the President was 'using mechanisms of government to attack domestic opponents in the press and the political world, even breaking into the psychiatrist’s office of the Pentagon Papers leaker, Daniel Ellsberg, to see what kind of dirt they could use to smear him,' Perry explains. 'That’s antithetical to what the country is supposed to stand for; we’re supposed to be a government of laws, not of men. Here is a president defying the law and breaking the law and the Constitution to secure a victory in 1972 — which they did, that part worked. It engaged all three branches of government, two of which countered the President and stood up to the scandal, and the fourth estate played a very large role.'"


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