Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy

Rate this book
From soldier to Washington insider; from a prisoner who preferred the walls of a prison rather than the betrayal of his principles; to a writer and top radio personality, G. Gordon Liddy is a hero to some, a villain to others, but always an enigma.

In 1980, G. Gordon Liddy shocked, surprised, and, ultimately, delighted the world with his vivid, brutally honest, and controversial autobiography, Will. A number one national bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, Will has stood the test of time like few other books. With over 1,000,000 copies in print, it is nothing less than a quintessential American biography-a classic story of a life interestingly led.

Now available in hardcover for the first time in over fifteen years, and updated to bring his amazing story to the present day, G. Gordon Liddy's Will is sure to remain an inspiring and necessary volume for generations to come.

416 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1980

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

G. Gordon Liddy

7 books22 followers
George Gordon Battle Liddy , known as G. Gordon Liddy, was a U.S. Army veteran former FBI agent, lawyer, talk show host, actor, and figure in the Watergate scandal as the chief operative in the White House Plumbers unit during the Nixon Administration. Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and illegal wiretapping for his role in the scandal.

Working alongside Howard Hunt, Liddy organized and directed the burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building in May and June 1972. After five of Liddy's operatives were arrested inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972, subsequent investigations of the Watergate scandal led to Nixon's resignation in 1974. Liddy was convicted of burglary, conspiracy and refusing to testify to the Senate committee investigating Watergate. He served nearly fifty-two months in federal prisons.

He later joined with Timothy Leary for a series of popular debates on various college campuses, and similarly worked with Al Franken in the late 1990s. Liddy served as a radio talk show host from 1992 until his retirement on July 27, 2012. He was a guest panelist for Fox News Channel in addition to appearing in a cameo role or as a guest celebrity talent in several television shows. In addition he appeared in movies and television shows.

He also wrote adventure novels and his biography in the years that followed his release from prison.

Liddy died on March 30, 2021. He was ninety years old at the time of his death.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
227 (29%)
4 stars
279 (36%)
3 stars
202 (26%)
2 stars
48 (6%)
1 star
12 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 75 reviews
Profile Image for John Maberry.
Author 4 books16 followers
August 10, 2008
This has to be one of the most hilarious, surprising and ultimately tragic books I have ever read. Far into the book I remained convinced that Liddy must have been writing a self-deprecating satire of his life just to spite all the liberals, Nixon-haters and antiwar protestors of the Watergate era. Who would brag about tying himself to a tree in a lightning storm to overcome his fears? Who would describe choosing his spouse in major part for her strong Teutonic stock? Who extoll many aspects of the Third Reich? But no, I eventually concluded, he was serious. He really did do all the nutty stuff he described. He really believed all the nonsensical things he professed. He really did all the criminal acts he was charged with and did so proudly--thinking that his self-perceived set of American values superseded the Constitution and the applicable laws. It explains a lot about his behavior during Watergate. That he not only was but still is so deluded is the tragedy. You should read the book, but check it out of the library--don't buy it.
Profile Image for Erik Graff.
4,995 reviews1,103 followers
August 5, 2011
I spent the summer of the major Watergate revelations in a Michigan cabin with my brother and a close friend. Having no television, we followed the news by radio and the press, purchasing copies of both Newsweek and Time weekly. It was delightful.

Of the Watergate creeps, G. Gordon Liddy was the most overtly unapologetic, Colson converting to a convenient Christianity, Dean converting to probity (his books are actually interesting, but his character was, and may still be, suspect), Agnew pleading nolo contendere on corruption charges, Nixon retiring to avoid impeachment and conviction, etc. Liddy simply went to jail, his lips sealed, until pardoned by a more genuine Christian, President Jimmy Carter.

I'd heard that the reprobate had written an autobiography, Will, and had seen a filmed version of it on the shelves in the video section of Dominicks. Never rented the film, but picked up the book upon seeing it at a used bookstore. Read it immediately and, amused, passed it on to John, then a friend, now an apartment mate, who, sitting behind me, claims he still is its "proud" possessor. (God knows, he has little enough to be proud of.)

The book is indeed amusing in a dark way. Liddy is a fascist, but one with a sense of irony. He did, after all, earn a living touring for years with his old nemesis, Timothy Leary, until the latter's death. One could, charitably, imagine him as one of the fellows in the bolling alley in The Big Lebowski--funny so long as he was just another ill-informed loudmouth. Don't expect any revelations about why Liddy became Liddy. Insofar as the man has any insight, it's entirely self-serving and uncritical. Be thankful he was reduced to writing books and no longer carries a badge.
Profile Image for Checkman.
508 reviews75 followers
June 19, 2015
Well that was interesting. I'm not sure how much of this book is factual and how much is fiction. There are parts that I believe to be pure fabrication. Such as the sections where Liddy claims to have taken on the role of the Neighborhood Regulator. I didn't buy that part. I've been a cop for over thirteen years and anyone engaging in those types of activities would get the cops called on them.....even forty years ago. Possibly some wish fulfillment there. However ,while I advise reading those sections with a grain of salt, there is a fair amount of humor. Which I did not expect from G. Gordon Liddy.

However I do believe the Watergate parts. I also believe that Liddy considers himself to be a very dangerous person and he might be right. Or at least he was back then. Now he's an elderly man in is eighties and age slows us all down.

A couple years ago I went through a Watergate phase. I read several books about that time. Everything from All the President's Men to Will to more scholarly pieces written in the past couple decades Will is not a scholarly tome, but it was written by one of the participants and has it's place in history. It's an odd book written by an odd man, but it's in my library. Check it out, but don't take it as the Gospel According to G. Gordon Liddy.

Profile Image for Dell Deaton.
Author 1 book
October 25, 2014
If there's a single-best resource for understanding "Watergate" and its key tangents, this is it.

My reading copy of Will: The Autobiography of G Gordon Liddy, appears to be a first edition from 1980. I remember having bought it in 1981, and subsequently began working my way though the major Watergate tomes by participants, individuals caught-up in the cover-up, and so-called objective media of the time.

Not one surpases this book by Mr Liddy.

In casting it as an autobiography, G Gordon Liddy had tasked himself with setting out the story of his life, past, upbringing, and so forth. At the same time, there needed to be a self-awareness that there would be no book at all if it weren't for very particular interest in him vis Watergate. His final balance is spot-on in trajectory-relevant content. The time he devotes to lead-up, just right.

As a witness to history, G Gordon Liddy was positioned between the burglers who broke into the Democratic National Headquarters (among other things) and the inner circle of President Richard Nixon's staff at The White House.

But Will is not limited to that.

Critically important as this is to our understanding of "What happened?" and "Why?" the book, Will, is not limited to this. Mr Liddy's reporting evidences a great deal of research, and, I believe, findings that have proven correct after three-plus decades of scruitiny now. Most pointedly, for example, where the representations of G Gordon Liddy regarding Watergate are at odds with those of White House Counsel John Dean, take the word of G Gordon Liddy.

I'll note, too, that Will is an engaging, entertaining read. Outrageous at times? Sure. To some this seems fodder in support of their otherwise unsubstantiated attempts to dismiss it in favor of otherwise established black-and-white dogma.

That's unfortunate. Not just as a loss for prospective readers, but for anyone interested in an unbiased search for truth, for which detailed first-hand accounts such as this unquestionably contribute.

We can disagree on how much to "weight" its content in a final analysis.

But not its necessity as imput.
Profile Image for Mark.
Author 1 book24 followers
June 30, 2015
An intriguing book about a fascinating, self absorbed, self worshipping, self flagellating zealot. G. Gordon Liddy so loathed his own perceived weaknesses that he spent his life trying to obliterate any trace of them. The end result was a character so flawed and driven and emotionally bankrupt as to resemble a car crash that one cannot stop looking at. He LOVED the Nazis. He quoted them continually - even in presentations to the White House. He refused to talk because he didn't want to surrender his principles (but, I kept scratching my head and wondering which damn principles he was protecting) and seemed blithely unconcerned that he'd left his family to scrabble around without him. Not that he was ever around anyway. He always seemed to be jetting off somewhere (first class) to play spooks while his long suffering (Dumb and Dumberer?) wife ate yet another meal alone.
The whole thing seemed so masochistically masturbatory and pointless and slightly unhinged. But fascinating...
Profile Image for Larry.
116 reviews7 followers
April 28, 2008
Guilty Pleasure. Hey, John Lennon read this book too!
Profile Image for Robert Federline.
294 reviews3 followers
February 13, 2013
This autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy is one of the best, and probably most authoritative printed works to come out of the Watergate Scandal from the Nixon administration.

If you are not a conspiracy theorist before you read this book, you will almost certainly be one by the time you finish. For those who remember Watergate, instead of learning about it in a history class in school, G. Gordon Liddy was the man who would not talk. He finally does talk, in this book, only because, in his own words, the statutes of limitations have expired on anything he chose to reveal. When you are finished, you can't help but wonder, however, that there may be more that is still concealed. There is, after all, no statute of limitations on murder.

Mr. Liddy takes you through the course of his childhood, in explanation of his unusual personality. His loyalty is commendable and without peer. His judgment, however, is questionable.

One cannot fault his logic and logistical planning. He is an extremely highly skilled tactician. He made good use of his training in the military and the old-school FBI. Liddy's failing is in his lack of a moral anchor. How this came to be is also recounted in this book. Liddy does not see this as a failing, but rather as his personal freedom from fears which held him back. He stood up to his fears in a methodical fashion and faced them until he conquered them. He finally arrived at a place in his life where the only thing he felt he needed to conquer was God, so he simply stopped believing in him.

From the time that Liddy stopped believing in God, he became his own moral guide, which is to say, he had none. In some ways, this is the story of St. Christopher, in reverse. St. Christopher (whose original name was Reprobus - from which we get the term "reprobate") had one desire - to serve the most powerful man in the world. He kept searching for a higher power, until he finally discovered God and served him, thus becoming the Christ Bearer.

Liddy's desire is much the same, except he was also very interested in serving Liddy. He did not discover the power of God, because he could neither contain nor control it, and therefore, chose to deny it. In Liddy's world, the only thing to be served is power, and there is no question of right and wrong. If Hitler had men with Liddy's intelligence and single-mindedness and drive, he might not have lost the war.

While G. Gordon Liddy may have some good, and even admirable, qualities, without the moral base, his is not a life to be imitated. He went to prison because he deserved to. He saved others from going to prison who probably deserved to. He did not really learn from that experience, however, because he never developed a proper understanding of right and wrong.

While no one can afford to make an enemy of a man like G. Gordon Liddy, it is a dangerous thing to have a man like him as a friend.

All-in-all, it is better to have a moral base and moral compass than amoral power.
Profile Image for Arminius.
205 reviews50 followers
April 21, 2010
It is the story of a man’s loyalty to a president who must resign due to his cover up of his overzealous staff. It is a fascinating tale that starts with G. Gordon Liddy’s childhood. He was afraid of everything. He went to bed praying until he fell asleep because he feared what would happen if he did not pray enough. He decides that this is a way that he does not want to live. So he decides to conquer all his fears by facing them. For example, he was afraid of heights and lightening so during a storm he climbs a tree and braves the storm.
He is sent to prison for his involvement in the break-in of the Watergate Hotel. He describes how he did not let the prison break him into a confession. He tells of how they would not let you know the time of day in prison and how this causes a disorientation that breaks a prisoner down. He finds a solution to this by watching the ants in his cell. He figures out that they came out at the same time every day. He counted the days. He uses jail to his advantage. He helps fellow prisoners with problems they had with the law. He also was taught some form of karate by one of his fellow prisoners.
He gets out of prison and never looks back. He played in movies, television shows and moved into talk radio where he has a very informative radio show.

264 reviews
April 12, 2020
Whatever you think of G. Gordon Liddy, you will find his story fascinating. He tells little about politics and nothing about Nixon, but concentrates on his growing up from being a sickly, cowardly child to slowly but surely strengthening himself as he grew up. He also talks about his changing political and religious views over his lifetime.

Having served in the military (though not in combat duty) and graduating from college, Liddy first joined the FBI, but had to leave it to make more money when his wife had several children, how he worked for his father, how he ended up being involved with first local and then national politics, and what really went on during the Watergate break-in, demolishing many common myths about it. Finally he tells of how he went to several different prisons, which were not nice ones, and how he would end up befriending the inmates by waging war against the malevolent prison guards.

He talks briefly about life after his release-and how and why he would become well-regarded by the public. He certainly did more to help the poor and downtrodden than most affluent liberals.
Profile Image for Dan W.
20 reviews2 followers
January 12, 2010
Many people harbor animosity for Mr. Liddy's political views. Say waht you like about his beliefs, but the this book is a classic tale of courage, conviction, hard work, and resolve. Mr. Liddy has a fascinating history, many authors might wwrite an entire book about only one of the aspects of this book, Mr. Liddy has lived them all. While it is hard to swallow some of his beliefs, he represents what is missing today in the U.S.A.; hard work and determination. This is an inspiring tale of what man do over and over, if he sets his mind to it.
3,731 reviews78 followers
September 20, 2020
Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy by G. Gordon Liddy (St. Martin's Press 1980, 1996) (Biography) (3463).

We baby boomers know G. Gordon Liddy as one of the slimiest of the Watergate criminals. Younger readers may recognize his name from a later stint as a right-wing radio talk show host. This is the career he adopted for a time after completing his years-long prison sentence for the illegal services he performed at the behest of the Nixon administration. Nixon managed to slither out of a well-deserved prison sentence by resigning as President in exchange for a Presidential Pardon from the unelected lackey Gerald Ford (who was appointed to replace Nixon's original Vice President Spiro Agnew after Agnew resigned his office in the face of felony corruption charges to which he pled “no contest”). Liddy had no such leverage, so he spent many well-earned years in prison.

This is Liddy having Liddy's own say. The story and the character are both repugnant and repulsive. Sadly, after the 2016 presidential election, Nixon's (and Liddy's) crimes seem like small potatoes when compared with the wholesale criminal contempt for the law which has been demonstrated almost daily by the current administration and administrators.

One thing that distinguished Richard Nixon from G. Gordon Liddy: Richard Nixon was immortalized as a caricature when he famously made the claim, “I am not a crook.” G. Gordon Liddy never even bothered to try to deny what he was.

Whew. It felt necessary to disinfect my hands thoroughly when I shelved this book.

My rating: 7/10, finished 9/19/20 (3463).

Profile Image for morgan.
159 reviews
August 1, 2022
Book is a bit slow going at first. Liddy takes about 200 pages to get to Ellsberg/ Watergate/Gemstone matters. His early years anecdotes vary between over-the-top funny (killing and eating a rat as a child to hone his predator skills) to just tedious and over complicated (getting back at some superiors in the army with enforcing radar rules by-the-book by going after some people's fireworks display on July 4th.). The Watergate section is largely pretty satisfying. There is a bit of detail in here regarding the Watergate break-in attempts previous to June 17th (and the Memorial Day weekend one), one being the Ameritas banquet, and another where Gonzalez had forgotten his lock picking tools in Miami and had to run back and get them. These parts are pretty interesting. I found his stories largely align with other accounts (ie. Robert Odle's testimony recalling Liddy asking for where the 'big' shredder was at CREP; presumably to destroy the transcripts Baldwin made of the tapped DNC phone) Overall, interesting to have this record of his perspective/ viewpoint. He didn't think much of Jeb Magruder, he was really into E Howard Hunt until he was willing to help the prosecution, and McCord seemed to have quite a bit of nervous energy and seemed really in over his head.
Profile Image for Gary Daly.
325 reviews14 followers
October 30, 2012
I have always heard this name mentioned in the whirlpool of 1960s and 1970s American politics. The 'Nixon' association, spies, wire tapping, cash for so called 'black ops'. This memoir of G.Gordon Liddy is fairy wrapped as tight as a bovine's anus. Did I enjoy it? To a point I did. I was curious at this man's journey from childhood to prison. His passion for confronting his fears the cowardliness he felt was like a parasite sucking his life force. So from an early age this short tough man developed methods to combat his fear and frightfulness, be they street bullies, or when a teenager climbing sixty feet up a tree in the backyard as a fierce electrical storm passed overhead. When his father found him drenched but exhilarated in the tree he said to Gordon, "I just don't understand you."
Liddy remembered saying, "I know', I replied.
His description of riding out the storm are powerfully expressed and psychologically reveal Liddy's snakes and ladders progression through life.
Watergate, prison, books, security business, shock jock, Fox news, radio show and novels.
A busy guy, however, his experiences as the 'Mr. Fix It' demonstrate that what can go wrong will go wrong and worse. Nothing in the book speaks of any success in black ops, they all ended in fumbles and bumbles, security guards present when they shouldn't be, lights on when they should be off, cabinets locked when they were always open and people double dealing back stabbing and running for their lives when the shit hit the fan. And according to G. Liddy he was the only one who kept his mouth shut and 'made no deals' with the government prosecution.
His prison life (4 years of a 20 year sentence, cut short due to a pardon from President Carter) is an extremely brutal period of his life, though he survived by fighting and standing up to anyone and everyone.
An interesting and enjoyable read.
Profile Image for John Harder.
228 reviews12 followers
August 2, 2013
G Gordan Liddy orchestrated the Watergate and Ellsberg break-ins. Will is Liddy’s autobiography. Liddy is forthright throughout the book and he unapologetically details his role in his crimes. His admissions are not confessions, however – he is damn proud of what he did and one feels that given the opportunity he would do them again. America was in the midst of cultural rot (I concur) and any means (I do not concur) of deterring the rot justified his actions.

Will gives an interesting moral perspective. Liddy did not consider his actions immoral, quite to the contrary – and his higher moral perspective made him above the law. For example consider the Ellsberg break-in. Ellsberg gave away national secrets and undoubtedly resulted in the death of American soldiers – this weighed against the right for the public to know about the expansion of the war into Cambodia (Viet Cong were using Cambodia as a staging ground). Does an immoral but legal act like Ellsberg’s justify illegal means to discredit him? Prior to 1963 would an abolitionist have the right to “steal” a slave holder’s property? Should a pro-life advocate have the moral obligation to keep and abortionist from “murdering” another child? I guess Liddy would say “Yes.” Then one must consider that if we become a nation of men not law one’s individual morals gain the weight of law, or in effect we would have as many laws as there are men.

Though Liddy was undoubtedly a tough guy and he treats his machismo in a matter-of-fact fashion, Liddy’s endless manliness reads like a parody of a Hemmingway novel (which are almost self parodies themselves). The continually oozing testosterone detracts from the book.

Will is hardly a masterpiece, but it is an interesting perspective of a time and place.
Profile Image for Calvin Dean.
Author 5 books50 followers
May 20, 2013
I bought this book at a department store where Liddy was holding a book signing. 33 years later, I still have the autographed copy. My favorite memory from this book: Realizing the end was near, Liddy approached the president's inner circle and told them that he would be on a particular street corner at a particular time of day if they wanted to rub him out. Liddy was willing to swallow the bitter pill for getting caught. In the early 2000's, I don't recall the exact year, I was listening to Liddy's radio talk show while traveling. A distraught caller reached out to Liddy and informed him that she was contemplating suicide. Liddy talked her through it, reasoned with her that her life had meaning and purpose. The call ended on a good note. Love him or hate him, Liddy is a man of iron will...and compassion.
Profile Image for Richard.
Author 11 books16 followers
April 27, 2009
Written by a man who was obsessed with being the top of the pecking order. The need for control and dominance is a symptom of metal toxicity (manganese). If Mr. Liddy had not been in law enforcement, he would have made a very serious criminal.
To be the toughest, meanest and willing to endure the most pain is typical of seriously compromised constitution. The need for an ordered, regimented and disciplined environment is essential to make this kind of personality successful.
Profile Image for Cordell.
249 reviews4 followers
July 23, 2008
G Gordon Liddy is a colorful part of american histroy and this book is as candid as an author gets about himself. Very interesting comments on watergate (Much of which has now been verified with revelations from court cases etc since the printing of Will) the FBI, the Army and the Washington DC Jail system. I liked it a lot and I think I learned a lot as well.
Profile Image for Don Stanton.
153 reviews3 followers
July 20, 2010
If you were a teenager in the 60's-70's this is a must read. WATERGATE was a huge topic then and still now. This the best book I have ever read that goes into such amazing detail.
It's also biographic of Liddy who is a man's man.
Profile Image for Glenn Webb.
9 reviews
February 15, 2011
After reading this book in college, I really changed my mind out conservatives and folks that protect us. G. Gordon is one of my heroes. He may have broken the law, but don't judge until you read the book.
Profile Image for Shawn.
45 reviews1 follower
October 30, 2011
G Gordon Liddy is an interesting character. I must admit that I admire him in many ways. He may have been a "yes man" to Nixon back in his younger days, but he is certainly his own man now and I appreciate his willingness to question our government today.
Profile Image for Art.
341 reviews
August 10, 2016
G. Gordon Liddy has been a lawyer, FBI agent, criminal, actor, and conservative radio talk show host. In this well-written book, Liddy details his childhood, work for the FBI, the Watergate break-in, life in prison, and his general outlook on the world. An enjoyable book to read!
Profile Image for Karma.
22 reviews
August 1, 2017
I don't agree with this man for a lot of reasons, but I couldn't help but feel a growing respect for this guy and consider him a badass. I know a thing or two about overcompensation and redemption. It was touching at the end to see how proud he is of his family.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Nikki Levin.
42 reviews2 followers
August 25, 2007
Absolutely fascinating book by a man you might not think you want to read about.
Profile Image for Xenophon Hendrix.
339 reviews27 followers
September 8, 2011
Liddy has a sense of humor, and a strange thing about this book is the reader finds himself liking the guy.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,852 reviews16.4k followers
August 1, 2011
A great Watergate tell all, a fascinating biography and well written at that. Say what you will about Liddy, but this was a great book.
21 reviews
May 30, 2012
I hate reading autobiographies but I loved this one! Love G. Gordon. Great book.
Profile Image for Laura.
9 reviews3 followers
October 10, 2012
i picked this up at a Young Republican event at Gtown University, then spoke to Mr. Liddy afterwards. He is a wonderful storyteller!!
Profile Image for Craig Earnshaw.
318 reviews7 followers
May 7, 2013
An incredible autobiography by a unique man who holds back nothing and an incredible peek behind the scenes of one of our most turbulent periods. A MUST READ!
Profile Image for Kevin Crow.
83 reviews
June 24, 2013
G. Gordon Liddy's picture should be next to the phrase "self discipline" in the dictionary. Amazing read.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 75 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.