Bob Woodward Popular Books

Bob Woodward Biography & Facts

Robert Upshur Woodward (born March 26, 1943) is an American investigative journalist. He started working for The Washington Post as a reporter in 1971 and now holds the title of associate editor. While a reporter for The Washington Post in 1972, Woodward teamed up with Carl Bernstein, and the two did much of the original news reporting on the Watergate scandal. These scandals led to numerous government investigations and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon. The work of Woodward and Bernstein was called "maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time" by longtime journalism figure Gene Roberts. Woodward continued to work for The Washington Post after his reporting on Watergate. He has written 21 books on American politics and current affairs, 14 of which have topped best-seller lists. Early life, education and naval service Woodward was born in Geneva, Illinois, the son of Jane (née Upshur) and Alfred E. Woodward, a lawyer who later became chief judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit Court. He was raised in nearby Wheaton, Illinois, and educated at Wheaton Community High School (WCHS), a public high school in the same town. His parents divorced when he was twelve, and he and his brother and sister were raised by their father, who subsequently remarried. Following graduation from WCHS in 1961, Woodward enrolled in Yale University with a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) scholarship and studied history and English literature. While at Yale, Woodward joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and was a member of Book and Snake. He received his B.A. degree in 1965. After Yale, Woodward began a five-year tour of duty in the United States Navy. During his service in the Navy, Woodward served aboard the USS Wright, and was one of two officers assigned to move or handle nuclear launch codes the Wright carried in its capacity as a National Emergency Command Post Afloat (NECPA). At one time, he was close to Admiral Robert O. Welander, being communications officer on the USS Fox under Welander's command. Career After being discharged as a lieutenant in August 1970, Woodward was admitted to Harvard Law School but elected not to attend. Instead, he applied for a job as a reporter for The Washington Post while taking graduate courses in Shakespeare and international relations at George Washington University. Harry M. Rosenfeld, the Post's metropolitan editor, gave him a two-week trial but did not hire him because of his lack of journalistic experience. After a year at the Montgomery Sentinel, a weekly newspaper in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, Woodward was hired as a Post reporter in 1971. Watergate Woodward and Carl Bernstein were both assigned to report on the June 17, 1972, burglary of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in a Washington, D.C., office building called Watergate. Their work, under editor Ben Bradlee, became known for being the first to report on a number of political "dirty tricks" used by the Nixon re-election committee during his campaign for re-election. Their book about the scandal, All the President's Men, became a No. 1 bestseller and was later turned into a movie. The 1976 film, starring Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein, transformed the reporters into celebrities and inspired a wave of interest in investigative journalism. The book and movie also led to the enduring mystery of the identity of Woodward's secret Watergate informant known as Deep Throat, a reference to the title of a popular pornographic movie at the time. Woodward said he would protect Deep Throat's identity until the man died or allowed his name to be revealed. For more than 30 years, only Woodward, Bernstein, and a handful of others knew the informant's identity until it was claimed by his family to Vanity Fair magazine to be former Federal Bureau of Investigation Associate Director W. Mark Felt in May 2005. Woodward immediately confirmed the veracity of this claim and subsequently published a book, titled The Secret Man, that detailed his relationship with Felt. Woodward and Bernstein followed up All the President's Men with a second book on Watergate, entitled The Final Days (Simon and Schuster 1976), covering in extensive depth the period from November 1973 until President Nixon resigned in August 1974. The Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers are housed at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. "Jimmy's World" scandal In September 1980, a Sunday feature story appeared on the front page of the Post titled "Jimmy's World" in which reporter Janet Cooke wrote a profile of the life of an eight-year-old heroin addict. Although some within the Post doubted the story's veracity, it was defended by the paper's editors including Woodward, who was assistant managing editor. It was Woodward who submitted the story for Pulitzer Prize consideration, and Cooke was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing on April 13, 1981. The story was then found to be a complete fabrication, and the Pulitzer was returned. In retrospect, Woodward made the following statement: I was blown away by the story. . . . I think that the decision to nominate the story for a Pulitzer is of minimal consequence. I also think that it won is of little consequence. It is a brilliant story—fake and fraud that it is. It would be absurd for me or any other editor to review the authenticity or accuracy of stories that are nominated for prizes. 1996 campaign finance controversy China's alleged role in the 1996 United States campaign finance controversy first gained public attention when Woodward and Brian Duffy published a story stating that a United States Department of Justice investigation into the fund-raising activities had uncovered evidence that Chinese agents sought to direct contributions from foreign sources to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) before the 1996 presidential campaign. The journalists wrote that intelligence information had shown the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. was used for coordinating contributions to the DNC. George W. Bush administration Woodward spent more time than any other journalist with former President George W. Bush, interviewing him six times for close to 11 hours total. Woodward's four books, Bush at War (2002), Plan of Attack (2004), State of Denial (2006), and The War Within: A Secret White House History (2006–2008) (2008) are detailed accounts of the Bush presidency, including the response to the September 11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In a series of articles published in January 2002, he and Dan Balz described the events at Camp David in the aftermath of September 11 and discussed the Worldwide Attack Matrix. Woodward believed the Bush administration's claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction prior to the war. During an appearance on Larry King Live, he was asked by a telephone caller, "Suppose we go to war and go into Iraq and there are no weap.... Discover the Bob Woodward popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Bob Woodward books.

Best Seller Bob Woodward Books of 2024

  • The Woodward Trilogy synopsis, comments

    The Woodward Trilogy

    Bob Woodward & Robert Costa

    Discover the inside story of life inside President Trump’s White House as only #1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward can tell it with this collection of Woodward’s mos...

  • What Were We Thinking synopsis, comments

    What Were We Thinking

    Carlos Lozada

    In this “crisp, engaging, and very smart” (The New York Times Book Review) work, The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic digs into books of the Trump era and finds...

  • What Women Really Want synopsis, comments

    What Women Really Want

    Kellyanne Conway

    An invigorating and inspiring take on the new ways American women are changing and improving our culture and the way we live from Kellyanne Conway, counselor to president Donald Tr...

  • Dirty Tricks synopsis, comments

    Dirty Tricks

    Shane O'Sullivan

    The victory of Richard Nixon in the US presidential election of 1968 swung on an “October Surprise” a treasonous plot engineered by key figures in the Republican Party to keep the ...

  • The Destructionists synopsis, comments

    The Destructionists

    Dana Milbank

    NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER  A scalding history of twentyfive years of Republican attempts to hold on to political power by any means necessary, by a hugely popular Washington ...

  • Nixonland synopsis, comments


    Rick Perlstein

    “Perlstein...aims here at nothing less than weaving a tapestry of social upheaval. His success is dazzling.” Los Angeles Times“Both brilliant and fun, a consuming journey back into...

  • Maestro synopsis, comments


    Bob Woodward

    In eight Tuesdays each year, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan convenes a small committee to set the shortterm interest rate that can move through the American and world econ...

  • Plan of Attack synopsis, comments

    Plan of Attack

    Bob Woodward

    Plan of Attack is the definitive account of how and why President George W. Bush, his war council, and allies launched a preemptive attack to topple Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq....

  • The Pentagon Papers synopsis, comments

    The Pentagon Papers

    Katharine Graham

    Drawn from Katharine Graham’s Pulitzer Prizewinning memoir Personal History, a dramatic account of how she piloted the Washington Post through the Pentagon Papers an...

  • The Commanders synopsis, comments

    The Commanders

    Bob Woodward

    It is impossible to examine any part of the war on terrorism in the twentyfirst century without seeing the hand of Dick Cheney, Colin Powell or one of their loyalists. The Commande...

  • Veil synopsis, comments


    Bob Woodward

    From Bob Woodward, legendary investigative reporter, Veil is the story of the covert wars that were waged by the CIA across Central America, Iran and Libya in a secretive atmospher...

  • State of Denial synopsis, comments

    State of Denial

    Bob Woodward

    "Insurgents and terrorists retain the resources and capabilities to sustain and even increase current level of violence through the next year." This was the secret Pentagon assessm...

  • Shadow synopsis, comments


    Bob Woodward

    Twentyfive years ago, after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Gerald Ford promised a return to normalcy. "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," President ...

  • Enough synopsis, comments


    Cassidy Hutchinson

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERCassidy Hutchinson’s desk was mere steps from the most controversial president in recent American history. Now, she provides a riveting account of her e...

  • Ringmaster synopsis, comments


    Abraham Josephine Riesman

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NPR’s 2023 Books We Love“Riveting, essential reading.” Rick Perlstein, author of ReaganlandThe definitive biography of Vince McMahon, former WWE c...

  • The Great Stewardess Rebellion synopsis, comments

    The Great Stewardess Rebellion

    Nell McShane Wulfhart

    The empowering true story of a group of spirited stewardesses who “stood up to huge corporations and won, creating momentous change for all working women.” (Gloria Steinem, cofound...

  • Peril synopsis, comments


    Bob Woodward & Robert Costa

    The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history.But as #1 internationally bestselling...

  • The Oath synopsis, comments

    The Oath

    Jeffrey Toobin

    From the prizewinning author of The Nine, a gripping insider's account of the momentous ideological war between the John Roberts Supreme Court and the Obama administration.From the...

  • Legacy of Violence synopsis, comments

    Legacy of Violence

    Caroline Elkins

    From a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian: a searing study of the British Empire that probes the country's pervasive use of violence throughout the twentieth century and traces how t...

  • Barack Obama synopsis, comments

    Barack Obama

    David Maraniss

    The groundbreaking multigenerational biography, a richly textured account of President Obama and the forces that shaped him and sustain him, from Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, p...

  • Down to the Wire synopsis, comments

    Down to the Wire

    David Rosenfelt

    A reporter for the Bergen News, Chris Turley could never measure up to his father. Edward Turley, a combination of Bob Woodward and Ernie Pyle, was one of the last great investigat...

  • The Choice synopsis, comments

    The Choice

    Bob Woodward

    The Choice is Bob Woodward's classic story of the quest for power, focusing on the 1996 presidential campaign as a case study of money, public opinion polling, attack advertising, ...

  • A Good Life synopsis, comments

    A Good Life

    Ben Bradlee

    The classic New York Times bestselling memoir by legendary executive editor of The Washington Post Ben Bradleewith a new foreword by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and an afterwor...

  • The Agenda synopsis, comments

    The Agenda

    Bob Woodward

    The Agenda is a daybyday, often minutebyminute account of Bill Clinton's White House. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, confidential internal memos, diaries, and meeting notes, Wo...

  • Rigged synopsis, comments


    Mollie Hemingway

    FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER JUSTICE ON TRIALStunned by the turbulence of the 2020 election, millions of Americans are asking the forbidden question: what really h...

  • The Price of Politics synopsis, comments

    The Price of Politics

    Bob Woodward

    See how and why Washington is not functioning in Bob Woodward’s freshly reported, thirtyfivepage Afterword to his national bestseller, The Price of Politics, which provides a detai...

  • The Trump Tapes synopsis, comments

    The Trump Tapes

    Bob Woodward

    “An uncharacteristic warning from one of the most respected, nonpartisan journalists in the world” Jake Tapper, CNN“It was riveting. I couldn’t get enough of it.” Gayle King, CBS M...

  • Fear synopsis, comments


    Bob Woodward

    OVER 2 MILLION COPIES SOLD RUNAWAY #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER SENSATIONAL #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER “Explosive.”The Washington Post “Devastating.”The New Yorker “Unprecedented....

  • Hold the Line synopsis, comments

    Hold the Line

    Michael Fanone & John Shiffman

    From a twentyyear police veteran and former Trump supporter who nearly lost his life during the insurrection of January 6th, this instant New York Times bestseller is also an urgen...

  • The Brethren synopsis, comments

    The Brethren

    Bob Woodward & Scott Armstrong

    The Brethren is the first detailed behindthescenes account of the Supreme Court in action.Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong have pierced its secrecy to give us an unprecedented view...

  • Pain Hustlers synopsis, comments

    Pain Hustlers

    Evan Hughes

    The inside story of a band of entrepreneurial upstarts who made millions selling painkillersuntil their scheme unraveled, putting them at the center of a landmark cri...

  • Blowback synopsis, comments


    Miles Taylor

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERThe author behind the “eyepopping” (CNN) #1 New York Times bestseller A Warning presents an urgent look at how our deeply divided nation is setting...

  • The Bureau synopsis, comments

    The Bureau

    Ronald Kessler

    No institution is as critically important to America's security. No American institution is as controversial. And, after the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court, no instit...

  • The Declassification Engine synopsis, comments

    The Declassification Engine

    Matthew Connelly

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE CUNDHILL HISTORY PRIZE Every day, thousands of new secrets are created by the United States government. What is all this secrecy really for? And whom does it b...

  • Yours in Truth synopsis, comments

    Yours in Truth

    Jeff Himmelman

    An intimate profile of the legendary Washington Post editor whose life and career encompassed Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, and the Kennedysas portrayed by Tom Hanks in the Steve...

  • Rage synopsis, comments


    Bob Woodward

    Rage is an unprecedented and intimate tour de force of new reporting on the Trump presidency facing a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.Woodward, the #1 internat...

  • Wired synopsis, comments


    Bob Woodward

    This reissue of Bob Woodword’s classic book about John Belushione of the most interesting performers and personalities in show business history“is told with the same narrative styl...

  • The War Within synopsis, comments

    The War Within

    Bob Woodward

    Bob Woodward once again pulls back the curtain on Washington to reveal the inner workings of a government at war in his fourth book on President George W. Bush.The War Within provi...

  • All About the Story synopsis, comments

    All About the Story

    Leonard Downie, Jr.

    At a time when the role of journalism is especially critical, the former executive editor of the Washington Post writes about his nearly fifty years at the newspaper and the import...

  • Newsroom Confidential synopsis, comments

    Newsroom Confidential

    Margaret Sullivan

    "Sullivan remains the critic American journalism requires, a veteran practitioner with street cred, still in touch with the ‘unaccountable joy’ of reporting and writing that contin...

  • The Significance of the Frontier in American History synopsis, comments

    The Significance of the Frontier in American History

    Frederick Jackson Turner

    This hugely influential work marked a turning point in US history and culture, arguing that the nation’s expansion into the Great West was directly linked to its unique spirit: a r...

  • Bush at War synopsis, comments

    Bush at War

    Bob Woodward

    With his unmatched investigative skill, Bob Woodward tells the behindthescenes story of how President George W. Bush and his top national security advisers, after the initial shock...

  • The Secret Man synopsis, comments

    The Secret Man

    Bob Woodward

    In Washington, D.C., where little stays secret for long, the identity of Deep Throat the mysterious source who helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break open the Watergate scan...