The best books about presidents from a White House insider’s perspective

Christopher Beauregard Emery Author Of White House Usher: "Who Killed the President?"
By Christopher Beauregard Emery

Who am I?

During my twenty-nine nears in the federal government, I maintained a Top Secret clearance while being a CIO, Chief Architect, & Director of various things with the White House, US Congress, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice, where I served in a senior management role for the National Security Division, the agency responsible for serving as the liaison between the Attorney General and the Intelligence Community. Today, my passion is writing about my White House experiences, in both fiction and non-fiction.


I wrote...

White House Usher: "Who Killed the President?"

By Christopher Beauregard Emery,

Book cover of White House Usher: "Who Killed the President?"

What is my book about?

White House Usher: “Who Killed the President?” is a historical fiction mystery novel that takes place in one of the more unique settings in existence: the White House executive residence, home of the First Family. Murder, romance, deceit, and a suspenseful struggle all ensue as the main character struggles to solve the case. The author uses his in-depth knowledge of White House history and the inner workings of the private residence to create a thrilling murder mystery from an insider’s perspective.

The books I picked & why

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The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789

By Edward J. Larson,

Book cover of The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789

Why this book?

This is a fantastic book about George Washington after the end of the war for independence, travelling to Annapolis resigning his military commission to the Confederation Congress then going home to farm for what he believed would be the remainder of his life, only to be talked into being our first president. Very well written and taught me a lot of what I thought I already knew!

The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789

By Edward J. Larson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Return of George Washington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"An elegantly written account of leadership at the most pivotal moment in American history" (Philadelphia Inquirer): Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson reveals how George Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president.

After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: he retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the most powerful man in the country, stepped down as Commander in Chief and returned to private life at Mount Vernon. Yet as Washington contentedly grew his…


In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal

By Richard Nixon,

Book cover of In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal

Why this book?

President Nixon had many successes and failures during his life, in his book he shares personal details of his celebrations and anguishes, such extremes for anyone to endure. I had the pleasure of meeting President Nixon on his first solo return to the White House in 1987, for a meeting with President Reagan.

In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal

By Richard Nixon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Arena as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Eloquent of the man and . . . of the history he made." —The New York Times

In the Arena is the most personal, profound, and revealing memoir ever written by a major political figure. It is Richard Nixon's frankest, most outspoken book—which includes the inside story of his resignation from the Presidency and its aftermath.

President Nixon's previous books have brilliantly chronicled his public career and examined America's strategic role in the world. Now, for the first time, he shares his private thoughts and feelings on his long career, other great leaders at home and abroad, his own family,…


What It Takes: The Way to the White House

By Richard Ben Cramer,

Book cover of What It Takes: The Way to the White House

Why this book?

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer wrote what IMO is the best book ever written chronicling a run for president from the primaries to the general election. The author followed the 1988 election and provides deep and detailed revelations about the six candidates and their campaigns. I was pleasantly surprised how good this book was.

What It Takes: The Way to the White House

By Richard Ben Cramer,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked What It Takes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Quite possibly the finest book on presidential politics ever written, combining meticulous reporting and compelling, at times soaringly lyrical, prose." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

An American Iliad in the guise of contemporary political reportage, What It Takes penetrates the mystery at the heart of all presidential campaigns: How do presumably ordinary people acquire that mixture of ambition, stamina, and pure shamelessness that makes a true candidate? As he recounts the frenzied course of the 1988 presidential race -- and scours the psyches of contenders from George Bush and Robert Dole to Michael Dukakis and Gary Hart -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist…


The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

By Lamar Waldron,

Book cover of The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

Why this book?

I have read dozens of books on the Kennedy assassination. This book an Audible, was my favorite. I learned new details to theories that have been reported on in the past, however, the author offers new research which I felt was convincing. The author, Lamar Waldron is the ultimate subject matter expert on the Warren Commission, and all related investigation notes. Over the years, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) releases previously withheld John F. Kennedy assassination-related records. Waldron spends endless hours interpreting these new and fascinating revelations.

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

By Lamar Waldron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five decades after one of America's greatest tragedies, this compelling book pierces the veil of secrecy to document the small, tightly held conspiracy that killed President John F. Kennedy. It explains why he was murdered, and how it was done in a way that forced many records to remain secret for decades.

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination draws on exclusive interviews with more than two dozen associates of John and Robert Kennedy, in addition to former FBI, Secret Service, military-intelligence, and Congressional personnel, who provided critical first-hand information. The book also details the FBI confessions of notorious Mafia…


We the Presidents: How American Presidents Shaped the Last Century

By Ronald Gruner,

Book cover of We the Presidents: How American Presidents Shaped the Last Century

Why this book?

Having spent over eight years in the White House, I was very interested to read We the Presidents: How American Presidents Shaped the Last Century. The book is exceptionally well written. Author Ronald Gruner uniquely relates the various issues and challenges faced by select presidents and then details how those issues and their outcomes impacted and influenced America. I found the book to be very well researched, and applaud Gruner for how he painted a sobering reality of Presidents, especially the seven that I had personally met. I highly recommend this book!

We the Presidents: How American Presidents Shaped the Last Century

By Ronald Gruner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We the Presidents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imagine a non-partisan presidential history that never mentions Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. Rather than politics, WE THE PRESIDENTS focuses on the issues which affect Americans today. Soaring inflation, resurgent nativism, income inequality, budget deficits, the Ukraine crisis and other critical issues, all have their roots in presidential administrations over the past century. For example:

President Harding's treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, promoted radical, new tax policies which slashed the national debt during the nineteen-twenties and decades later emerged as today's supply-side economics. President Clinton's encouragement of NATO's eastward expansion after the end of the Cold War contributed to Russia's…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the White House, social issues, and George Washington?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the White House, social issues, and George Washington.

The White House Explore 57 books about the White House
Social Issues Explore 7 books about social issues
George Washington Explore 42 books about George Washington

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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