Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, to give this semester’s Snyder Lecture

Bob Woodward, part of the pair of reporters who broke the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post in the early 1970s, will next month deliver this semester’s Richard E. Snyder President’s Lecture, according to James Glaser, dean of academic affairs for arts and sciences.

The Snyder lecture series has historically provided a forum for speakers to present provocative viewpoints on significant issues.

Woodward, a prolific journalist and author who is now an associate editor at the Post, will on April 25 give a talk in Cohen Auditorium titled “From Nixon to Obama.”

“He established his career by challenging a president — an administration — and as a result, he changed journalism and he and his partner had a profound impact on the course of history,” Glaser said. “There are very few people out there like that.”

Woodward’s investigative reporting with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal in the 1970s led to the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize for the Post. Since then, Woodward has served in a number of capacities at the newspaper and written numerous bestselling books on American politics.

Woodward and Bernstein’s 1974 book about their role in revealing the Watergate scandal, “All the President’s Men,” was subsequently made into an eponymous feature-length film featuring Robert Redford. Glaser said he hopes to arrange a screening of the award-winning movie the week before Woodward’s visit.

The famous investigative reporter’s nonfiction writing has focused in particular on recent U.S. presidents, with four volumes in the last decade about the George W. Bush administration’s foreign policy. His most recent book, “Obama’s Wars” (2010), explores President Barack Obama’s role in the war on terror and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a 2000 book evaluated the impact of the Watergate scandal on the five presidents who followed Nixon.

The sponsor of the lecture series, former Simon and Schuster Chairman and CEO Richard Snyder (A ’55), knows Woodward and was instrumental in making Woodward’s visit possible, according to Glaser. Simon and Schuster has pubished many of Woodward’s books.

Woodward’s work epitomizes the Snyder lecture series’s emphasis on challenging convential wisdom and taking on sacred cows, Glaser said.

“He really does fit perfectly into the theme of the lecture series, so I’m really excited about it,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great.”

Past Snyder lecturers have included a co-founder of MTV, author Salman Rushdie, physiscist Freeman Dyson and former Harvard University President Lawrence Summers.

Last semester’s lecture brought to campus Harvard Professor Michael Sandel, a political philosopher, to discuss the meaning of justice in society.

Free tickets for Woodward’s talk will be available at the Dowling Hall Student Services desk in the week before the lecture.


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