61 pages 2 hours read

Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein

All the President's Men

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1974

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Historical Context

To understand why All the President’s Men was so popular, it is important to first consider the historical context in which the book was published. The book hit store shelves in June of 1974 amidst a major political crisis. The Senate Select Committee investigating the Watergate incident had uncovered the existence of a recording device in the White House and demanded the tapes. The President had resisted. The Supreme Court was at that moment considering whether the President would have to turn over the tapes to the Senate for review. In a month’s time, the transcripts would be released and published as The Nixon Tapes, another best-seller that showed in gory detail the everyday behavior of the President and his men. In two months, Nixon would resign in disgrace.

All the President’s Men was released into the middle of this fervor and provided a handy guide to contextualize much of the reporting spilling out of televisions and across newspapers. The reporting on the Watergate break-in, including Woodward and Bernstein’s own stories, was often published chaotically as new information was discovered. For hardcore political junkies, each story was like a new treasure, but for the average American the stories quickly became a morass of names, dates, events, and accusations.