Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate, Ken Hughes

Reviewed by Mark D. Nevin

BUY

 

With hundreds of books on Watergate, it might seem as though there is nothing left to learn about the scandal. Ken Hughes’s new book proves otherwise. Hughes, who has been painstakingly transcribing the Nixon tapes for many years as a researcher at the Miller Center’s Presidential Recordings Program, makes extensive use of the tapes to argue that the origins of Water­gate can be found in Richard Nixon’s illegal efforts to sabotage the Vietnam peace talks during his run for the presidency in 1968.

Faced with the prospect that President Lyndon B. Johnson might get all the parties in Vietnam to agree to peace negotiations days before the election, and thus give a boost to Democratic challenger Hubert Humphrey, Nixon, working through agent provocateur Anna Chennault, convinced the South Vietnamese to back out of the talks by promising them a better deal as president. After winning the election, Nixon, who (wrongly) had come to believe that Johnson had evidence directly implicating him in the affair, created an illegal investi­gative unit within the White House, the Plumbers, and ordered it to burglarize the Brookings Institution, where he (again mistakenly) believed the evidence to be. While the Plumbers never burglarized Brookings, they were subsequent­ly caught burglarizing the Democratic offices at the Watergate complex, the crime t

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

Primaries and Conventions

Will the Outcome be “Democratic”?: Delegate Selection and the 2020 Primaries
Marianna Palumbo and Robert Y. Shapiro

On To the Convention, Again
Caroline Monahan and Robert Y. Shapiro

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Presidential Selection and Democracy   PRESIDENTIAL SELECTION AND DEMOCRACY

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

PANEL DISCUSSION
Money and Poltics

April 6, 2020

This event is part of the nearly yearlong Challenges and Opportunities in 2020 election series.  The series fosters interdisciplinary conversations exploring themes affecting the upcoming election and trust in our democratic institutions.

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS