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April 30, 2018


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Anthony Gaughan

Regarding the US v Nixon case, I originally wrote that "days later" Nixon resigned. But US v Nixon was decided on July 24, 1974, and Nixon resigned on August 9. So I think it's more accurate to say "two weeks later" Nixon resigned. I've corrected it above.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Albeit an aside, my lifeworld was indelibly and decisively shaped in my youth by TV and radio in the late 1960s and early 1970s from which (apart from the wonderful music) I learned about the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and Watergate (this would also come to determine much of my reading appetite and regimen for several decades). I still vividly recall watching both at our house and at a neighbor’s nearby (I loved the smell of my friend’s mom cooking Italian dinners), the “gavel-to-gavel” coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings. This was far better than our boring civics class (which, to be sure, was no less necessary) and instilled in me an abiding interest in both the law and democratic institutions. If I could recommend only one book on this sorry political episode, especially for those too young to have lived through this period, it would be Stanley I. Kutler’s The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon (Alfred A. Knopf, 1990).

Jayash Verma

great work thanks

Anthony Gaughan

Thank you, Jayash!

Anthony Gaughan

Thank you for your comments, Patrick. I knew Prof. Kutler. He was on the UW history department faculty when I was getting my Ph.D. in history at the UW-Madison. He wrote many important books, including as you rightly point out The Wars of Watergate, but perhaps his greatest contribution to historical scholarship was his lawsuit to force the release of the Nixon tapes. He also founded Reviews in American History, which is an invaluable source of top-flight book reviews.


"The Nixon White House and Congressional Republicans claimed that Dean was lying to save himself from an obstruction of justice charge."

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Kevin Lapp

Alexandra Natapoff's book Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice (2009) is a tour-de-force on the pathologies of our system's reliance on informants, including their role in wrongful convictions.

Anthony Gaughan

I think you are right, Jared. Thanks for your comment.

Anthony Gaughan

Thanks for the book reference, Kevin. I haven't read Prof. Natapoff's book yet but it sounds great. She's a highly distinguished scholar and received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016.

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