Legendary Two-Time Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist & Author, Associate Editor, The Washington Post
Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, “His ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.” Therein lays the genius of Bob Woodward – a journalistic icon who gained international attention when he and Carl Bernstein broke the deeply disturbing news of the Watergate scandal. The book they wrote – All the Presidents Men – won a Pulitzer Prize.
Watergate’s theme of secret government is a common thread throughout Woodward’s career that spawned 18 books – all went on to become national bestsellers – 12 of them #1 – more than any other contemporary nonfiction author. In the process Woodward became the ultimate inside man. No one else in political investigative journalism has the clout, respect, and reputation of Woodward. He has a way of getting insiders to open up – both on the record and off the record – in ways that reveal an intimate yet sweeping portrayal of Washington and the budget wrangling, political infighting, how we fight wars, the price of politics, how presidents lead, the homeland security efforts, and so much more. His work is meticulous and draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president.
As a speaker, Woodward pulls the curtain back on Washington and its leaders to captivate audiences with stories that are sometimes surprising, at times shocking, and always fascinating. He blends stories that are both up to the minute and from the past (to provide historical context). Woodward speaks as he writes – crisp and concise – and helps people get behind the spin to understand what’s really going on in the halls of power in an age of 24-hour news, social media, and snarky politics.
Professionally, Bob Woodward is currently associate editor for The Washington Post http://washingtonpost.com/ where he’s worked since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award, and the Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for the Post’s articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002. Woodward won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2003.
The Weekly Standard called Woodward “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever.” In 2003, Albert Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called Woodward “the most celebrated journalist of our age.” In listing the all-time 100 best non-fiction books, Time magazine has called All the President’s Men , by Bernstein and Woodward, “Perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.”
Woodward has co-authored or authored twelve #1 national best-selling non-fiction books. They are: All the President’s Men (1974) and The Final Days (1976), both Watergate books, co-authored with Bernstein. The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (1979) co-authored with Scott Armstrong, Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi (1984), Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-87 (1987), The Commanders (1991), The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (1994), Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate (1999), Bush at War (2002), Plan of Attack (2004), State of Denial: Bush at War Part III (2006), and Obama’s Wars (2010). Woodward’s other national bestselling books: The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat(2005), The Choice (1996), Maestro: Greenspan’s Fed and the American Boom (2000), The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008) (2008), The Price of Politics (2012) and The Last of the President’s Men(2015). Newsweek magazine has excerpted six of Woodward’s books in headline-making cover stories; “60 Minutes” has done pieces on seven of his books; three of his books have been made into feature films.
Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.
SPEECH TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
The Age of the American Presidency.
Donald Trump is creating an entirely new American Presidency, breaking most rules and setting a new non-traditional course. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward is now turning to the 45th president, putting him in context and addressing what is going on behind the scenes and what to expect.
Woodward speaks to critical questions such as: How did Trump get to the White House? What are his true intentions? What can be believed? What positions are real? What information can be trusted and what statements and tweets really reflect where he is going? Can he deliver? Who will support or attempt to thwart him? Who does he really listen to? And what may it all mean?
No one knows the American presidency as well as Bob Woodward, the Post’s veteran reporter-historian, who has written #1 bestselling books covering all eight of the last presidents from Nixon to Obama.
No one has uncovered more of the hidden stories from the secret world of presidents, the CIA, the Pentagon and the Supreme Court than Woodward. Beginning with the coverage of Watergate with Carl Bernstein and their book and movie All the President’s Men (which Time magazine called “perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history”) to his two bestselling books on Obama, he presents an encyclopedia of case studies in presidential leadership, secret decision-making and the hard-nosed politics of Washington.
Only someone with more than four decades of explaining and understanding the American presidency with his signature aggressive but fair and non-partisan reporting can quickly provide a timely portrait of Trump. The 45thpresident comes to an office which, as Woodward demonstrates, has an increased and astounding concentration of power.
In 2014, Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him . . . his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”
War and Terrorism – What are the Lessons for America?
Nothing defines the nation to the world – and to itself – as much as war. Bob Woodward has written seven books on the wars and foreign policy of the two Bushes, Reagan and Obama — beginning with The Commanders in 1991 on the first Gulf War, Veil: the Secret Wars of the CIA under Reagan, four books on President George W. Bush’s wars (Bush at War, Plan of Attack, State of Denial, and The War Within) and Obama’s Wars in 2010. Woodward’s work is so full of secrets that former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that he wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, saying “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill their guts to him. His ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.” In his talk Bob Woodward helps audiences see behind the closed doors and into the private offices of the Pentagon and the White House as our leaders wrestle with the great military, foreign policy and terrorism questions. There are important lessons there for our future as Woodward asks tough questions. What do we make of international instability? Are we prepared to defend the nation? Are America’s foreign policy efforts up to the task – and can we change as fast as the world is changing? Woodward speaks as he writes – crisp and concise – and his storytelling will hold audiences spellbound.
Has Washington Forgotten the Lessons of Watergate?
Bob Woodward’s and Carl Bernstein’s work uncovering the Watergate scandal was called “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time” by Gene Roberts, then managing editor of The New York Times. It earned them the Pulitzer Prize. Years after the revelations of Watergate that led to President Nixon’s resignation still cast a long shadow. Its lessons about secret government stand as warning signs to future presidents. Woodward brings audiences on a journey and shows how Watergate forever altered the nature of the presidency, Washington and journalism. Have the lessons of Watergate been forgotten or ignored? How did post-Watergate ethics laws embolden Congress and the media? How have the privacy and protections once expected by the nation’s chief executive changed? The legendary Bob Woodward draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the presidents, to offer insights on what it means to America and the President’s ability to lead effectively.