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Best US Political Books


vcczar
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5 minutes ago, vcczar said:

Let’s see if we can get everyone to post at least one favorite US political history book. What are your recommendations?

I don't read as often as I probably should, I rarely read an actual book at all anymore. But I've been trying to get back into it a little bit when I have the time. 

House of Cards is a classic, 1984, all of those. But those are already expected to make the list. I linked a book on Truman here some time ago by Joe Scarborough. He's very good.

I've lately been getting into this. I like the style of Richard Reeves. It's almost as if you're in the room with the President, and his cabinet making these everyday decisions. This guy also has books on Kennedy, Reagan, and many other late 20th century Presidents. So far I need to finish this, but I'm keen on reading more novels of his, and any others like this.

President Nixon: Alone in the White House by Richard Reeves

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1 hour ago, vcczar said:

Let’s see if we can get everyone to post at least one favorite US political history book. What are your recommendations?

I don't read nearly as many political history books as I should, and I'm trying to fix that this year. As for some of the best books in that regard, one that springs to mind is Frederick V. Malek's really fantastic book Washington's Hidden Tragedy: The Failure To Make Government Work where he gives a much needed perspective into how America's government (doesn't) work. I'm also reading through Robert G. Kaiser's book Act of Congress, and I'd highly recommend it!

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I have a real surprise for you. I bet you’d never have seen it coming in a million years. This will shock the forum.

seriously, turn back or you might suffer a myocardial infarction from the shock.

I’m warning you!

Look at your own risk!

Alright... it’s your funeral

—— LAST CHANCE——

My favorite political/history book is:

Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater

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12 minutes ago, Dobs said:

I have a real surprise for you. I bet you’d never have seen it coming in a million years. This will shock the forum.

seriously, turn back or you might suffer a myocardial infarction from the shock.

I’m warning you!

Look at your own risk!

Alright... it’s your funeral

—— LAST CHANCE——

My favorite political/history book is:

Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater

I'll probably think a lot of it is utter crap, but it's probably valuable that I read it, especially coming from him, assuming he actually wrote it. One more comma and I'll have Patined that sentence. 

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2 hours ago, vcczar said:

I'll probably think a lot of it is utter crap, but it's probably valuable that I read it, especially coming from him, assuming he actually wrote it. One more comma and I'll have Patined that sentence. 

Oh I’m sure. But hopefully you’ll respect it much in the way I respected Zinns A People’s History of the United States. In important for people in our field to be well informed of the other view. Echo chambers are a nasty thing as we all know. And don’t be so hard on yourself, I wasn’t once tempted to forward the sentence structure to the English department at Oxford with a cash prize for a returned diagram.

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It's extremely recent political "History", but Game Change is my absolute favorite.  It's an inside look into the 2008 Obama, McCain, and Clinton camps (with stories from the other candidates too, but primarily those three).  It's just so freaking fascinating.  

They did a sequel, Double Down, about the 2012 election that was as interesting as it could be about an uninteresting election.  But I was so looking forward to their 2016 book...until it got cancelled due to sexual harassment issues from one of the authors.

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7 minutes ago, Patine said:

Nah, when I make monster posts, I'm making a point, not a sensationalist self-promotion. Get the difference straight, professor. 😛

The point gets lost, or the sentence is ignored, if the sentence is a struggle to read. I skip over posts if I have to reread once for clarity. You have the highest ratio of posts I skip over after an initial attempt at reading.

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56 minutes ago, Patine said:

"The Sneeches and other Stories," by Doctor Seuss.

An amazing insight, especially the titular story, and, "the Zaxx," to current crippling and highly pressing issues facing the U.S. (and a notable number of other countries') socio-political paradigms in the modern day and age, all in the simple and disarming metaphor of a colourful children's book.

I liked The Butter Battle Book, which even as a child I recognized was a satire of US/Russia relations.

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1 hour ago, Beetlejuice said:

Does anyone have any political fiction recommendations? 

Political fiction is kind of hard to write well, but Gore Vidal has written some great books. I strongly recommend two of his books: Burr and Lincoln. I think Burr is the most interesting because Burr is such a different thinker than most of the Founding Fathers in both the book and historically. He's got serious flaws and strengths that make him more interesting as a central character than Lincoln. The Lincoln book is also great and it makes Lincoln seem more human and more politician-like. 

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