One Vote, One Book: Election Day Reads for Every Wannabe Politico

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

For those in the know, it’s Election Day! I’ll spare you my typical spiel about how every vote counts and skip ahead to what you really care about: books. Here are five books – both fiction and nonfiction – that will get your political pulse racing. I’m glad I get to put my Poli Sci degree to good use!


5. Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halpert

(c) Amazon
The 2008 president election was like something out of fiction. Game Change details the rise of Barack Obama and his relatively unexpected win, Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss in the primaries, John McCain’s bid for power and Sarah Palin’s surprising entry into the race. This nonfiction thriller uses exclusive interviews and details to draw a full picture of what became one of the most interesting presidential races in modern history.


4. House of Cards by Michael Dobbs

(c) Amazon
The inspiration for the incredible eponymous Netflix series starring Kevin Spacey, House of Cards tells the intriguing tale of Machiavellian Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, who uses any means necessary to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Based off of Michael Dobbs’ experience working within the Conservative Party, House of Cards memorably offers insight into the wheeling and dealing behind political power.


3. This Town by Mark Leibovitch

(c) Amazon
Mark Leibovitch, the chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, has written a book that skewers Washington hypocrisy (read Off The Book guest blogger Tim Karcich’s review of This Town here) and provides insight into the richest metropolitan area of the United States. Whether you’re looking for dirt, or a compelling look at our nation’s capital, This Town delivers.


2.  The Quiet American by Graham Greene

(c) Amazon
A British journalist is covering the American war in Vietnam when he meets idealistic American Alden Pyle, an undercover CIA agent. When they both fall in love with the same Vietnamese woman, the gorgeous Phuong, the rivalry becomes deadly. Car bombings, assassination plots, and secretive CIA spies make this a classic political thriller not to be missed.


1. All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

(c) Amazon

This stunning book portrays the political rise and conversion of idealistic lawyer Warren Stark to a cynical governor in the American South. The novel is narrated by a political reporter, Jack Burden, who becomes the governor’s chief aide. While it was never intended by Warren to be a political statement, it has nevertheless become known as one of the greatest political novels of all time.

Which book do you think belongs on this list? Please share your favorites in the comments below!