Understanding the Watergate Scandal

SLN #: 30051
Course Prefix: LAW-598
Course Section: A03
Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s): Dean

Course Description:
NOTE: Law students will be required to attend three (3) additional class meetings from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm in room 105 on the following dates: January 27, February 3, and February 10. Dinner will be provided at these classes

Watergate – what was it and why is it still important? To understand why Watergate has remained important it is necessary to understand what actually occurred and why.

Watergate, of course, was a lengthy (over 900 days) and complex political scandal which has had a long resonance in American history. Today, the suffix “-gate” is attached to most any scandal, although few students understands why. Watergate is history that Americans who experienced it overwhelmingly believe should not be forgotten. But as memories have faded, and bogus revisionism has become increasingly common, this history is being distorted for both partisan and entrepreneurial reasons. This course seeks preserve and pass on to another generation what, in fact, actually happened and why.

This course is not a trip down memory lane with your instructor, nor a guided tour of what was called at the time “the worst constitutional and political crisis since the Civil War.” Rather it is designed to be all that and much more. During the past forty years there have been many college and university courses on Watergate, but none like this course because no previous instructor possessed the knowledge nor had access to the information that underlies this course, which addresses the most serious political scandal in American history. In fact, only recently has all the information needed to understanding Watergate been available.

Through classroom and online interaction students will explore the wreckage for insights, understanding and reactions to what they would have done in various situations, for your instructor was only in his early 30s when he lived these experiences. Students will be provided context to view Watergate as it actually occurred inside President Richard Nixon’s White House, based on recently available primary source material. The course does not merely recap history rather it examines and explores life-lessons through the mistakes of others. The course, which is fact based, sorts reality from the politics and hyperventilating journalists and historians.

This course should interest students studying history, political science, journalism, psychology, sociology, as well as those planning on or attending law school, not to mention any student truly wishing to be well-educated. The course hopes to inform, engage, entertain and educate, while encouraging students to employ analytical skills and critical thinking when examining a remarkable chapter of American history that still affects the lives of all Americans. There is a simple way for students to decide about taking this course: Speak with anyone you trust over fifty years of age (parents, grandparents, friend), and asked them if you should take this course with this instructor.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: No
Skills Requirement: No
Experiential Learning: No
Special Withdrawal Course: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement Of Student Policies

* The law school has a policy that Is used To calculate credit hours. Please see the Statement of Student Policies.