Oliver Stone's Nixon is not based on one major book or source; as one critic appropriately described it, the film is a "$43 million term paper." For a comprehensive bibliography any student, scholar, or viewer should consult Nixon: An Oliver Stone Film, edited by Eric Hamburg, and containing the screenplay by Stone, Stephen J. Rivele, and Christopher Wilkinson (see Filmic Context). The annotated screenplay (it does not match final versions of the film) contains numerous footnotes either citing the source of material consulted or referencing alternate versions or extra information for numerous scenes. In an interview transcripted in the book, Stone is asked, "How much of the film is based on identifiable historical record, and how much of it is indeed conjecture or dramatic license?" Stone's reply defends his use of artistic license with the historical record:
Every historically based film in the history of medium has utilized dramatic license and speculation, including documentaries....That's the nature of art. A painting is the artist's rendering of the reality that he perceives, which he transforms into something more personal. Much of the script can -- and will -- be annotated with historical sources. Of course there's license and speculation, but they are based on reasonable assumptions, which we've discussed with highly reliable technical advisers who lived through the history we're recounting in the film. (Hamburg xix)
The bibliography lists 88 books, 10 articles, 8 Videos, 1 CD, and 14 government documents as the sources for the film, several of which are discussed in the Filmic Context or Historical Context sections of this project and are indicated with an *.