Bringing Down A President: The Watergate Scandal by Dr. Andrea Balis and Elizabeth Levy, illustrated by Tim Foley

Published by Roaring Brook Press

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Summary:  From the break-in at the Watergate hotel on May 25, 1972 to Richard Nixon’s resignation as U.S. President on August 9, 1974, this book covers what went on in the White House in a unique fashion.  The story is narrated by a “fly on the wall”, whose story is interspersed with quotes from many different key players in the events. There are black and white illustrations, some with cartoon bubbles that quote the people shown.  The epilogue tells what happened to those who went to jail (answer: all served ridiculously short terms and made obscene amounts of money off of their experiences when they got out), and those who put them in prison by persisting in their investigation.  Includes almost 200 sources and a three-page bibliography with a tiny font. 240 pages; grades 5-8.

Pros:  Even though I’ve watched All the President’s Men about ten times, this added a lot to my understanding of Watergate and the depths of the corruption going on in Richard Nixon’s presidency.  Once I got through the first few chapters and figured out who was who (there are a lot of characters, and they’re almost all white men in suits), I couldn’t put it down.  Anyone from tween to adult will add to their knowledge of history pretty painlessly by reading this book.

Cons:  1. The illustrations are fun, but photos would have been a nice addition. Those who went to jail are pictured at the end, but there’s not a single photo of Nixon. 2. As one might expect from a book featuring Tricky Dick, there is plenty of salty language, either quoted directly or through #?!&* indicators.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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