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Best Political Books

Explore the compelling world of politics through these top-rated books, curated from the leading political book lists across the web and ranked by their frequency of recommendation.

Recommendations from 31 articles, Bill Gates, J. K. Rowling, Neil deGrasse Tyson and 106 others.
Best Political Books
58 books on the list
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Team of Rivals book cover
Team of Rivals
The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Doris Kearns Goodwin - 2006-09-26 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the inspiring leadership techniques of one of America's greatest presidents with this bestselling and award-winning book. Team of Rivals is a thrilling narrative history that shows how Abraham Lincoln saved America by appointing his fiercest rival to key cabinet positions. This book was so impactful that it inspired Barack Obama during his presidency. Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of the most acclaimed non-fiction authors, presents a compelling portrait of Lincoln as a virtuosic politician and managerial genius.
Fear and Loathing book cover
Fear and Loathing
On the Campaign Trail '72
Hunter S. Thompson - 2006-10-20 (first published in 1973)
Goodreads Rating
Delve into the 1972 election campaign of President Richard M. Nixon with these hilarious, terrifying, and insightful articles written by Hunter S. Thompson for Rolling Stone magazine. Covering the Democratic Party's primaries and the breakdown of the national party, Thompson's drug-addled alacrity and incisive wit provide a gonzo perspective that is eerily prophetic. Get ready for a compulsively readable ride through the race for the presidency.
Recommended by
Jim Cramer
The Prince book cover
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli - 2014-07-13 (first published in 1513)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the world's most famous master plan for seizing and holding power in this prophetic work on leadership. Written by an ousted political leader in 1512, The Prince is a disturbingly realistic guide for those seeking to rule - without being encumbered by ordinary ethical and moral values. From the qualities of successful presidents to the art of manipulation, this small sixteenth-century masterpiece has been essential reading for every student of government and is the ultimate book on power politics.
The Republic book cover
The Republic
Plato - 2003-02-25 NaN
Goodreads Rating
This timeless dialogue features Socrates engaging in conversations with three different people about a perfect community and ideal individual. Explore notions of goodness, reality, and knowledge, while pondering the role of education and guardianship. With deft use of allegory, the author presents a portrait of a harmonious state ruled by philosopher kings.
The Righteous Mind book cover
The Righteous Mind
Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
Jonathan Haidt - 2021-10-13 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the roots of moral judgments and human cooperation in this groundbreaking book. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt challenges conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion, showing how gut feelings, not reason, drive our moral beliefs. Discover why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and why each side is right about significant issues. The Righteous Mind is a must-read for anyone looking to trade in anger for understanding and gain a deeper insight into our eternal divisions and conflicts.
Good and Mad book cover
Good and Mad
The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger
Rebecca Traister - 2018-10-02
Goodreads Rating
Explore the power of female anger and its ability to transform into a political movement with this vital and incisive book. From the author of the bestselling All the Single Ladies, dive into the long history of women's anger in America and the cultural significance behind it. Discover how anger has played a catalytic, yet problematic, role in women's slow rise to political power and the difference in perception when it comes from women versus men. A must-read for anyone passionate about women's rights and social change.
Dark Money book cover
Dark Money
The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
Jane Mayer - 2016-01-19
Goodreads Rating
An electrifying work of investigative journalism, Dark Money delves into the history of a wealthy group of right-wing ideologues intent on altering the American political system to benefit themselves. With exclusive interviews and extensive research, Jane Mayer uncovers a staggering conglomeration of think tanks, media groups, and government allies under their influence. This essential book provides vivid portraits of the figures behind the new American oligarchy and a searing look at their carefully concealed agendas. A finalist for multiple prestigious awards, including the National Book Critics Circle and LA Times Book Prize.
Recommended by
Alan Cooper
Shortest Way Home book cover
Shortest Way Home
One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future
Pete Buttigieg - 2019-02-12
Goodreads Rating
This inspiring memoir tells the story of Pete Buttigieg, the visionary mayor of South Bend, Indiana who transformed a "dying city" into a shining model of urban reinvention. Interweaving two narratives of his personal and political journey, Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, studying at Harvard and Oxford, and returning to Indiana to revive a once-great industrial city. With gripping stories of confronting gun violence and attracting tech companies to the city, while also coming out and finding love in a conservative state, Shortest Way Home challenges our perception of American politicians and provides a new vision for America's future.
Russian Roulette book cover
Russian Roulette
The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump
Michael Isikoff - 2018-03-13
Goodreads Rating
Discover the story of how American democracy was hacked in Russian Roulette. This incredible account weaves together tales of cyber espionage, political intrique and superpower rivalry. It ultimately explains how a foreign government infiltrated the US political system and gained influence in Washington to help Donald Trump win the presidency. Find out about this sophisticated and sinister act of political espionage that changed the course of US history forever.
Recommended by
David Corn
One Person, No Vote book cover
One Person, No Vote
How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy
Carol Anderson - 2018-09-11
Goodreads Rating
This timely book delves into the history of voter suppression in America, specifically since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that weakened the Voting Rights Act of 1965. From ID requirements to gerrymandering, Anderson explains the insidious ways in which government-dictated racial discrimination is still prevalent today, despite increased resistance from organizers, activists, and court battles. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the basic right to vote and the fight to restore it to all Americans.
This Fight Is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
United by Cory Booker
The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris
Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Red Notice by Bill Browder
White Rage by Carol Anderson
Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams
Fascism by Madeleine Albright
I Can't Breathe by Matt Taibbi
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Passage of Power by Robert A. Caro
The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam
American Nations by Colin Woodard
The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
The Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama
Nixonland by Rick Perlstein
The Unwinding by George Packer
Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden
Audience of One by James Poniewozik
Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean
The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi
The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Economists' Hour by Binyamin Appelbaum
Call Them by Their True Names by Rebecca Solnit
The Red and the Blue by Steve Kornacki
The Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits
Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John J. Mearsheimer
West Wingers by Gautam Raghavan
The Second Amendment by Michael Waldman
All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister
What You Should Know About Politics . . . But Don't by Jessamyn Conrad
The Populist Explosion by John B. Judis
Shattered by Jonathan Allen
The Economic Government of the World by Martin Daunton
The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Martin Wolf
King by Jonathan Eig
The Oxford Handbook of Political Science by Robert E. Goodin
White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Lead from the Outside by Stacey Abrams
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton