From dirty tricks to Deep Throat to the Congressional hearings to Richard Nixon’s resignation, the Watergate scandal not only brought down a two-term president but also transformed American politics and culture in lasting ways. In this seminar, we will explore the key people and events of Watergate, the broader political landscape that precipitated the scandal, and its enduring legacy on American presidential politics, executive-branch governance, the media, and growing partisan divides.
The seminar emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historians’ craft. You will be expected to read a lot, write a lot, and be an active participant in both all-class discussion and small-group work. Successful completion of the seminar will fulfill I&S and W requirements.