Bag Man

Bag Man Summary

NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER • The knockdown, drag-out, untold story of the other scandal that rocked Nixon’s White House, and reset the rules for crooked presidents to come—with new reporting that expands on Rachel Maddow’s Peabody Award-nominated podcast

“Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz expand on their riveting podcast to create a work both scholarly and disturbing in its parallels to current events.”—Preet Bharara, New York Times bestselling author of Doing Justice and host of the podcast Stay Tuned with Preet

Is it possible for a sitting vice president to direct a vast criminal enterprise within the halls of the White House? To have one of the most brazen corruption scandals in American history play out while nobody’s paying attention? And for that scandal to be all but forgotten decades later?

The year was 1973, and Spiro T. Agnew, the former governor of Maryland, was Richard Nixon’s second-in-command. Long on firebrand rhetoric and short on political experience, Agnew had carried out a bribery and extortion ring in office for years, when—at the height of Watergate—three young federal prosecutors discovered his crimes and launched a mission to take him down before it was too late, before Nixon’s impending downfall elevated Agnew to the presidency. The self-described “counterpuncher” vice president did everything he could to bury their investigation: dismissing it as a “witch hunt,” riling up his partisan base, making the press the enemy, and, with a crumbling circle of loyalists, scheming to obstruct justice in order to survive.

In this blockbuster account, Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz detail the investigation that exposed Agnew’s crimes, the attempts at a cover-up—which involved future president George H. W. Bush—and the backroom bargain that forced Agnew’s resignation but also spared him years in federal prison. Based on the award-winning hit podcast, Bag Man expands and deepens the story of Spiro Agnew’s scandal and its lasting influence on our politics, our media, and our understanding of what it takes to confront a criminal in the White House.

Book Reviews

George Mock

George Mock5 star

Very good reading !So much I had forgotten about.55

Globalstandard Space

Who’s Spiro Agnew??3 star

Everybody like MONEYY.35


Details, details, details5 star

As usual, Rachel’s books are very detailed and historically accurate. I enjoy reading her books because I know they are truthful.55

C^3 H.F.W.M.

A Timeless Playbook5 star

A timely reminder that corruption, demagoguery and bigotry have always been and will continue to be kissing cousins.55


Shame5 star

Brilliantly written! I learned so much about Spiro Agnew; never realized how evil and bigoted he was.55


Excellent read5 star

Rachel is just an incredibly smart and talented human. Thats all55


She did a great job5 star

Educational, informative, and a great read.55


Absolutely riveting. A must in 20205 star

Serves as a wonderful example of why it is so important to have dedicated public servants55


Lol1 star

What a joke lol15


Yes definitely5 star

This book sadly mirrors the frump administration55

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