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Watergate: A New History Paperback – Feb. 14 2023

4.3 4.3 out of 5 stars 765 ratings

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“Do we need still another Watergate book? The answer turns out to be yes — this one: Garrett M. Graff’s
Watergate: A New History. It is a remarkably rich narrative with compelling characters, who range from criminal and flawed to tragic and heroic. As someone who played a small role in the drama while I was editing many of The Washington Post’s Watergate stories, I found that Graff convincingly populates and re-creates an extraordinary time in the history of the country and this city. ... fast-paced ... filled with apt sketches of its many characters, major and minor, from all the president’s men, and some of their spouses, to journalists, investigators, lawyers and members of Congress. It vividly re-creates all the key events, from Nixon’s overreaction to the revelation of the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in June 1971 to his resignation in August 1974.... engaging, informative and thought-provoking, more than earning its place on bookshelves alongside the old histories.” —Len Downie, Jr., The Washington Post

“Dazzling. . . A lively writer, Graff explores the dramatic scope of the Watergate saga through its participants — politicians, investigators, journalists, whistle-blowers and, at center stage, Nixon himself.” 
—Douglas Brinkley, The New York Times Book Review

“Award-winning author Graff aims to give readers the full scope of Watergate — a much bigger, more bizarre story than even remembered — telling the full story from start to finish in this ambitious book.” —
New York Post 

“A definitive, exhaustive account of the scandal. . . a fascinating, horrifying examination of the Nixon presidency up close—enough to scare the record straight.” 

“A meticulously researched, expansive history of the Watergate scandal from start to finish, from the release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to the reverberations that echo through present day.”
—Barbara VanDenburgh, USA TODAY

“A brisk, riveting, compulsively readable, comprehensive, up-to-date narrative of the entire tangled affair, and it's hard to imagine it better told. . . . Now the best and fullest account of the Watergate crisis, one unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.” 
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Monumental. . . effortlessly clarifies the strands of one of the most complex episodes in modern history. . . A masterful, epic look at a story that is still barely believable.” 
The Daily Mail

“This meticulously researched and documented book should now become the definitive source for those who wish to dive into the cesspool of deceit, intrigue and criminal behavior that were associated with the seemingly innocuous break-in and the cover-up. ... [Graff] makes a valiant attempt to connect all the disparate threads from the confusing tapestry of multiple investigations, muffled tapes and self-serving memoirs available. His organization of the book makes the 700-plus pages flow seamlessly as the investigators reach their inevitable conclusions. In summary, this book should be required reading for any citizen with the faintest interest in how the sausage-factory of Washington politics functions and how our country has managed to arrive at today’s dysfunctional impasse.”
—J. Kemper Campbell, Lincoln Journal-Star

“Lively, wide-ranging, detailed.”
—Erica J. Smith, The Virginian Pilot

“Garrett Graff aptly calls Watergate a 'Gordian knot of scandal.' This comprehensive, searching, yet elegant book untangles it more completely than any attempt so far. I learned a lot!” 
—Rick Perlstein, bestselling author of Nixonland and Reaganland

“Watergate is one of the great tragic double-edged swords of modern American history: its crimes were swiftly exposed, the criminals punished, the rule of law restored––
and it profoundly, permanently undermined American citizens' trust in their government. Garrett Graff's fresh chronicle of that inflection point is lucid, enlightening and indispensable.” —Kurt Andersen, author of Evil Geniuses and writer-host of Nixon at War 

“I thought I knew all the Watergate stories. I was wrong. Graff did a herculean job going through so much existing Watergate material to pull together a compelling new story and make it all fresh again. Think you know the entire story from beginning to end? Not until you’ve read this.” 
—Howard Mortman, C-SPAN communications director and author of When Rabbis Bless Congress

“Expertly researched and assembled, this is a valuable introduction to one of history’s greatest political scandals. . . . Graff skillfully interweaves the perspectives of journalists and law enforcement officials investigating the Watergate break-in with the Nixon team’s attempts to “use the organs of government to cover up their own rogue operation,” and incisively analyzes how the congressional inquiry into the scandal resulted in Democrats and Republicans coming together to uphold the Constitution and limit the powers of the president.” 
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished journalist and bestselling historian, has spent more than a dozen years covering politics, technology, and national security. Today, he serves as the director of cyber initiatives for The Aspen Institute and is a contributor to Wired, CNN, and Politico. He’s written for publications from Esquire to Rolling Stone to The New York Times, and edited two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian and Politico. Graff is the author of multiple books, including The Threat Matrix, the national bestseller Raven Rock, and the New York Times bestseller The Only Plane in the Sky.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (Feb. 14 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 832 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 198213917X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1982139179
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 866 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 4.32 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 4.3 out of 5 stars 765 ratings

About the author

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Garrett M. Graff, a distinguished magazine journalist, bestselling historian, and regular TV commentator, has spent more than a dozen years covering politics, technology, and national security—helping to explain where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

Today, he serves as the director of the Aspen Institute’s cybersecurity and technology program, and is a contributor to WIRED, Longreads, and CNN. He’s written for publications from Esquire to the New York Times, and served as the editor of two of Washington’s most prestigious magazines, Washingtonian and POLITICO Magazine, which he helped lead to its first National Magazine Award, the industry’s highest honor.

Graff is the author of multiple books, including "The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House," which examined the role of technology in the 2008 presidential race, and "The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI," which traces the history of the FBI’s counterterrorism efforts. His book, "Raven Rock," a national bestseller, about the government’s Cold War Doomsday plans, was published in May 2017, and his most recent book, co-authored with John Carlin, examined the rise of cyber threats, "Dawn of the Code War: America's Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat."

Previously, he was the founding editor of’s FishbowlDC (, a popular blog that covers the media and journalism in Washington, and co-founder of EchoDitto, Inc., a multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C.-based internet strategy consulting firm. During his time at FishbowlDC, he was the first blogger admitted to cover a White House press briefing in 2005, a moment considered significant enough that his reporter’s notebook from that first briefing is on display at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. A Vermont native, he served as deputy national press secretary on Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and, beginning in 1997, was then-Governor Dean’s first webmaster.

He taught at Georgetown University for seven years, including courses on journalism and technology, and his writing and commentary has appeared in publications like the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Rolling Stone, 5280, Politico, AARP Magazine, Eater, Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine, USA Today, GQ UK, NextCity, and he has appeared on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBC, the BBC, Al Jazeera English, the History Channel, National Geographic, and various NPR programs, including “This American Life,” “Fresh Air,” and “All Things Considered.”

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
765 global ratings

Top reviews from Canada

Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 22, 2022
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Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 13, 2023
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2.0 out of 5 stars Shoddy binding reflecting shoddy research?
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on March 27, 2022
I'd been greatly looking forward to this book after the reviews. My antennae went up at a first major error on p. 27. Nixon's gubernatorial rival in the California 62 election was not Jerry Brown (who'd have been a teenager then) but his father Edmund G. "Pat" Brown. If something like this can be gotten wrong so quickly, it causes me concern about the quality of the research. It's written in a lively style, and I'd let that slip pass chapter 4 the binding virtually came apart in my hands--2 days after the book was delivered.
I'm a professional historian myself and I know factual errors can happen, so I'll give this a further shot when the replacement arrives, but I'm not optimistic after reading other customer reviews here that the new copy will be any better, or that there won't be more careless failures to check facts.
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3 people found this helpful
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 20, 2023
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1.0 out of 5 stars This how I received my book!!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 20, 2023
I hope the book is better then the shape I got it in. Not happy.
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Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on August 3, 2022
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Top reviews from other countries

Chris Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid binding/book review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 1, 2022
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12 people found this helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful addition to the literature
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 27, 2022
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4 people found this helpful
David J. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 19, 2022
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Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a proper history book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 2, 2022
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Lawrence Curtis
5.0 out of 5 stars Historically important.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 12, 2022
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