Watergate A new history

Garrett M. Graff, 1981-

Book - 2022

"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Only Plane in the Sky, the first definitive narrative history of Watergate, exploring the full scope of the scandal through the politicians, investigators, journalists, and informants who made it the most influential political event of our modern era"--

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2nd Floor 973.924/Graff Checked In
New York : Avid Reader Press 2022.
Main Author
Garrett M. Graff, 1981- (author)
First Avid Reader Press hardcover edition
Physical Description
xxxiv, 793 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates ; illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 689-757) and index.
  • Introduction
  • Prologue The Pentagon Papers
  • Part I. The Kindling 1971
  • Chapter 1. All the President's Men
  • Chapter 2. "Ellsberg? I've Never Heard of Him"
  • Chapter 3. The Chennault Affair
  • Chapter 4. The Huston Plan
  • Chapter 5. Burglarizing Brookings
  • Chapter 6. The Plumbers
  • Chapter 7. The Enemies List
  • Chapter 8. Sand wedge
  • Part II. The Match 1972
  • Chapter 9. The Committee to Re-Elect
  • Chapter 10. The Dita Beard Memo
  • Chapter 11. "He's Our Hitler"
  • Chapter 12. Third-Rate Burglars
  • Chapter 13. "A Crime That Could Destroy Us All"
  • Chapter 14. "Boys Will Be Boys"
  • Chapter 15. "Stay the Hell Out of This"
  • Chapter 16. "Keep My Mouth Shut"
  • Chapter 17. The Arrival of Mr. Rivers
  • Chapter 18. The Dahlberg Check
  • Chapter 19. The Patman Probe
  • Chapter 20. "A Hell of a Story"
  • Chapter 21. "I Can't Talk About Segretti"
  • Chapter 22. Landslide
  • Part III. Brushfire January-June 1973
  • Chapter 23. "Something Was Rotten"
  • Chapter 24. Guilty Pleas
  • Chapter 25. The "Country Lawyer" Enters
  • Chapter 26. "Twist Slowly, Slowly in the Wind"
  • Chapter 27. "Perjury Occurred"
  • Chapter 28. "What Meat Do They Eat?"
  • Chapter 29. "Voice of Doom"
  • Chapter 30. The End of Mark Felt
  • Chapter 31. "A No-Win Job"
  • Chapter 32. "A Russian Novel"
  • Part IV. Firestorm July-December 1973
  • Chapter 33. "We Need You Today"
  • Chapter 34. Butterfield's Bombshell
  • Chapter 35. Must-See TV
  • Chapter 36. Spiro
  • Chapter 37. "An Upheaval in Washington"
  • Chapter 38. Mud-Wrestling
  • Chapter 39. "He Is Essentially Alone"
  • Chapter 40. "The Mahogany Coffin"
  • Chapter 41. The Massacre
  • Chapter 42. "We Have No Functional President"
  • Chapter 43. The Patriotic Monkey
  • Chapter 44. "I Am Not a Crook"
  • Chapter 45. The Rose Mary Stretch
  • Chapter 46. "Do I Fight?"
  • Part V. Inferno 1974
  • Chapter 47. Flutter and Wow
  • Chapter 48. Le Grand Fromage
  • Chapter 49. "Don't Miss Page 503"
  • Chapter 50. The United States v. Richard M. Nixon
  • Chapter 51. Impeachment
  • Chapter 52. The Smoking Pistol
  • Chapter 53. The Final Days
  • Chapter 54. "A Day for Tears"
  • Chapter 55. "I Shall Resign"
  • Epilogue Nixon's Curse
  • Acknowledgments and Methodology
  • Notes
  • Index
  • Image Credits
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Journalist Graff (The Only Plane in the Sky) sheds new light on the Watergate scandal in this exhaustive history. Drawing on memoirs, tape recordings, court transcripts, and recently declassified FBI documents, Graff highlights the paranoia and ambition that ran through the Nixon administration, from the distrust between the president and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, to disagreements between chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, White House counsel John Dean, and campaign chairman John Mitchell. Though Nixon's campaigns had always involved "a certain abnormal level of dirty tricks," according to Graff, a series of leaks and scandals including the release of the Pentagon Papers helped push his aides to new heights of "skullduggery," orchestrating break-ins at the Brookings Institution in 1971 and the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate building in 1972. 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. Expertly researched and assembled, this is a valuable introduction to one of history's greatest political scandals. Agent: Howard Yoon, Ross Yoon Agency. (Feb.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Journalist Graff (The Only Plane in the Sky) endeavors to retell the complete story of the June 17, 1972, Watergate break-in, a breach of the Democratic National Committee's headquarters during the U.S. presidential campaign, which was followed by the Nixon administration's attempt to cover up its involvement. Readers recognize that the metonym "Watergate" connotes clandestine and sometimes illegal use of departments of the federal government (FBI, CIA, and IRS), as well as other political charges. Graff admits that his newly published book, like others, leaves unanswered who ordered the DNC break-in, whether the goal was political information or extortion, and Deep Throat's motive for cooperating with the Washington Post. As he tells, consequences included temporary changes in campaign financing, momentary curbs on executive power, and no subsequent recording of presidential conversations in the Oval Office. Based on existing primary and extensive secondary sources--the Nixon administration is one of the most documented in history--but no new interviews, this book succeeds in reprising the facts for those general readers unacquainted with them. Practicing historians will already recognize many of the incidents. VERDICT The 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in in 2022 will undoubtedly witness an abundance of books with which to compare this work.--Frederick J. Augustyn Jr.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A half-century after the Watergate break-in, this anniversary history becomes the standard-setting base line for all future ones. For all of Richard Nixon's achievements, the sometimes-unbelievable, always lurid Watergate scandal forever stains his reputation. Graff, the director of cyber initiatives at the Aspen Institute, sees the crisis as the result of amateurish fumbling rather than criminal forethought, but he attributes to the Nixon administration the "darker, racialized, nativist, fear-mongering strain of the Republican Party and American politics that would a half century later find its natural conclusion in Donald Trump." Letting the story speak for itself, Graff intervenes principally to point to inconsistencies in participants' testimonies or subjects for further investigation, such as a tantalizing thread of links to Chile. The text is a brisk, riveting, compulsively readable, comprehensive, up-to-date narrative of the entire tangled affair, and it's hard to imagine it better told. While you learn new things about the major figures, people you've never heard of, all masterfully introduced and as numerous, colorful, deceitful, and laugh-inducing as characters in a Dickens' novel, walk on stage. Back-biting, betrayals, interagency spying, wild improvisation, collective paranoia, and sheer White House chaos are running leitmotifs. Much of this is well known. Graff's contribution is to bring it all together, add his sharp-eyed questions about what doesn't make sense or still needs to be known, and energetically drive forward the story of what's known from available evidence. The book's principal limitations are its inattention to the outside pressures--legal challenges, mounting public outcry, and the like--that contributed to the scandal's outcome and to historians' contribution to the House Impeachment Inquiry. Graff also downplays the value of the Nixon tapes, which Michael Dobbs explored insightfully in King Richard. But in every other respect, this should be considered the authoritative history of its subject. Now the best and fullest account of the Watergate crisis, one unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.