79 books like An American Melodrama

By Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, Bruce Page

Here are 79 books that An American Melodrama fans have personally recommended if you like An American Melodrama. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Patrick J. Maney Author Of Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President

From my list on presidential campaigns.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was during the 1960 presidential campaign, between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, that I first became enthralled with politics and history. I was only thirteen, so it never occurred to me at the time that I would end up abandoning my childhood dream of becoming a medical doctor and instead devote most of my adult life to teaching and writing political history. Because of what happened to me, I’m recommending five classic presidential campaign accounts. Because they were written by firsthand observers, they convey a vivid sense of how events, with all of their uncertainties appeared at the time before they became fixed in history.  

Patrick's book list on presidential campaigns

Patrick J. Maney Why did Patrick love this book?

Why would anybody in their right mind put themselves through the agonies of a presidential campaign? And what does it take to win? Cramer’s account of the crowded 1988 campaign is less about strategy and tactics than the personality and character of the candidates (including Joe Biden, Bob Dole, and George H. W. Bush). Ego and ambition, courage and cowardice are on display here, but so too is an almost across-the-board sense of honor and duty that’s in rare supply today.

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…


Book cover of Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics

John Houle Author Of The Siberian Candidate

From my list on political thrillers that teach you about real world events.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a political consultant for much of the first half of my nearly 30-year career in communications. Having run statewide and local political campaigns, I experienced many of the personalities I write about today. What is behind the political decisions elected leaders make? Can you truly be a dedicated public servant in politics today? If you only play to win, how do you keep from becoming your own worst enemy? My writing and the works I gravitate towards explore these challenging issues, which are as prevalent today as they were analyzed by the Greeks, Shakespeare, and 20th-century writers.

John's book list on political thrillers that teach you about real world events

John Houle Why did John love this book?

Primary Colors is one of the finest illustrations of the coming of age of modern politics. 

Ripped from the headlines of the day, Primary Colors provides a true-to-life experience of what it was like leading up to Clinton’s upset over Bush. It’s a fine expose and morality play in which we see how ethics can be compromised in the pursuit of power.

By Anonymous,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Primary Colors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A novel provocatively based on an insider's devastating account of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. The anonymous author is reported to be someone close to the Clintons.


Book cover of The Boys on the Bus

Patrick J. Maney Author Of Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President

From my list on presidential campaigns.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was during the 1960 presidential campaign, between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, that I first became enthralled with politics and history. I was only thirteen, so it never occurred to me at the time that I would end up abandoning my childhood dream of becoming a medical doctor and instead devote most of my adult life to teaching and writing political history. Because of what happened to me, I’m recommending five classic presidential campaign accounts. Because they were written by firsthand observers, they convey a vivid sense of how events, with all of their uncertainties appeared at the time before they became fixed in history.  

Patrick's book list on presidential campaigns

Patrick J. Maney Why did Patrick love this book?

There’s never been a better book about the role of the media in presidential politics than Timothy Crouse’s classic account of the 1972 campaign between Richard Nixon and George McGovern. The campaign “bus” may be more inclusive today than it was fifty years ago, but the story remains much the same.

By Timothy Crouse,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boys on the Bus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cheap booze. Flying fleshpots. Lack of sleep. Endless spin. Lying pols.

Just a few of the snares lying in wait for the reporters who covered the 1972 presidential election. Traveling with the press pack from the June primaries to the big night in November, Rolling Stone reporter Timothy Crouse hopscotched the country with both the Nixon and McGovern campaigns and witnessed the birth of modern campaign journalism. The Boys on the Bus is the raucous story of how American news got to be what it is today. With its verve, wit, and psychological acumen, it is a classic of American…


Book cover of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72

Patrick J. Maney Author Of Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President

From my list on presidential campaigns.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was during the 1960 presidential campaign, between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, that I first became enthralled with politics and history. I was only thirteen, so it never occurred to me at the time that I would end up abandoning my childhood dream of becoming a medical doctor and instead devote most of my adult life to teaching and writing political history. Because of what happened to me, I’m recommending five classic presidential campaign accounts. Because they were written by firsthand observers, they convey a vivid sense of how events, with all of their uncertainties appeared at the time before they became fixed in history.  

Patrick's book list on presidential campaigns

Patrick J. Maney Why did Patrick love this book?

The 1972 campaign was one of the most lopsided in history, but it produced not one but two classic accounts. The first was Timothy Crouse’s Boys on the Bus. The second was Hunter S. Thompson’s uproarious, passionate, frankly partisan but insightful account. During my forty years of teaching modern US history, this was a class favorite.

By Hunter S. Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 50th anniversary edition of “the best account yet published of what it feels like to be out there in the middle of the American political process” (The New York Times Book Review) featuring a new foreword from Johnny Knoxville.

A half-century after its original publication, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 remains a cornerstone of American political journalism and one of the bestselling campaign books of all time. Thompson’s searing account of the battle for the 1972 presidency—from the Democratic primaries to the eventual showdown between George McGovern and Richard Nixon—is infused with the…


Book cover of A Bill of Rites, A Bill of Wrongs, A Bill of Goods

Patrick Parr Author Of One Week in America: The 1968 Notre Dame Literary Festival and a Changing Nation

From my list on America in 1968.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a literary historian and I love reconstructing times in the past with enough factual detail that a reader feels as if they are there with the characters, side-by-side. I didn’t start this way. In fact, I wrote fiction for over a decade. It was only after writing eight atrocious, tension-less, now-in-a-box novels that I realized the books I enjoyed reading most were in the history and biography sections of a bookstore. Still, I was undeniably affected by my years in the trenches of fiction writing. As you may see from my choices, I love reading material from writers attempting to check the pulse of the country at that time. 

Patrick's book list on America in 1968

Patrick Parr Why did Patrick love this book?

Perhaps you’re already aware of all of these books. Well, allow me to introduce Nebraska-born author Wright Morris—a perpetually ignored force of nature. Morris mainly wrote award-winning fiction, but this collection of essays was a refreshing and straightforward way of looking at, to take one offbeat example, hippies: “Hippies share some knowledge of where they have been, but no demonstrable insight into where they are going…What they share is a condition, not a direction.” Morris even temporarily torpedoes his own genre to make his point. “Who needs fiction? What could be stranger than the news on the hour?” In 1968 America, the ‘truth’ was indeed stranger than fiction.

By Wright Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Bill of Rites, A Bill of Wrongs, A Bill of Goods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Morris, Wright


Book cover of The Great Book of Crazy President Trivia: Interesting Stories of American Presidents

Rod Martinez Author Of Powerfully Perplexing Presidential Profiles

From my list on American history presidential fun fact trivia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated with American Presidents since I was ten and visited the Hall of Presidents attraction at Disney World years ago. That one visit opened my mind to American History and sealed my fate as a collector of American History facts. Later in life, I turned into an author of middle grade and young adult, but I knew I’d have to write a book on Presidential facts. I am glad to say that it was a well-received book in libraries and schools and I encourage young readers and hopeful writers in schools to consider writing as a passion and to teach others in the written word about that one thing they are into more than anything else. 

Rod's book list on American history presidential fun fact trivia

Rod Martinez Why did Rod love this book?

I love trivia and I love American History and foremost, I love Presidential history. Author Bill O’Neill writes in a fun, easy-to-read manner which to me, makes it all the more fun to devour a book like this. Covering rumors and myths, this book is a fun ride through American history and before you know it, you’re at the end.

By Bill O'Neill, Dwayne Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Book of Crazy President Trivia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you love American history? Do you enjoy learning about the US Presidents? If so, then this President Trivia book is for you. The Great Book of Crazy President Trivia is filled with many lesser-known facts about the American Presidents. It is filled with great stories of the US Presidents that you will not find in any US history books.

This President Trivia book is going to let you see the Presidents of the past in a whole new light. Learn about their personal lives, the challenges they faced, and their great accomplishments. When you read this trivia book, you…


Book cover of Our Front Pages: 21 Years of Greatness, Virtue, and Moral Rectitude from America's Finest News Source

Jass Richards Author Of Too Stupid to Visit

From my list on funny bits to make you laugh out loud.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago, when I went to Montreal to get my Master's degree in Philosophy, I decided to become a stand-up comic at the same time. I soon realized that I had a lot more fun coming up with the funny bits than I did being ignored or heckled while on stage delivering them. So I became a sit-down comic. (Well, a sprawled-on-the-couch comic.) I've since written and published several novels, which contain a lot of funny bits, but I decided, in addition, to publish the leftover or funny-on-their-own bits in a separate book. Hence, Too Stupid to Visit.

Jass' book list on funny bits to make you laugh out loud

Jass Richards Why did Jass love this book?

I discovered The Onion late in life as well, and also through their website. Which, yes, I have bookmarked as well—I love most just their headlines. And discovered, again, they'd actually published a book of headlines! 'Nuff said.

By The Onion,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Front Pages as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


From The Birth Of A Nation To The Death Of Journalism

Since its founding by a bloodthirsty tyrant in 1756, The Onion has not merely changed the way we think about the news -- it has changed whether we think about the news at all. As the first decade of this new millennium draws to a close, Our Front Pages shows us the first thing that presidents, kings, prime ministers, and popes saw when they opened their eyes each morning for the last 21 years. Now you, the common reader and citizen, can see what they saw and be as…


Book cover of Super

Taylor Ellwood Author Of Learning How to Fly

From my list on how to save the day from the villain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I really enjoy superhero fiction, especially superhero fiction that challenges the usual norms of the superhero genre. I’ve always liked reading comics and moving onto superhero novels has only deepened my love of the genre. The list I’ve created is just the tip of the iceberg for superhero fiction and I highly recommend you check out these books for interesting takes on superheroes and villains. 

Taylor's book list on how to save the day from the villain

Taylor Ellwood Why did Taylor love this book?

The main character is an assassin who hunts down superheroes who’ve gone rogue.

He’s been given an impossible mission to assassinate one of the most powerful superheroes, who’s impervious to just about everything, and also stop a rival assassin from killing the president.

This was a nail-biting adventure that will keep you on your toes, wanting to know what happens next.

By Ernie Lindsey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the USA Today bestselling author of Sara's Game, this is SUPER, a unique blend of superhero fiction and crime thriller.

"Impossible to put down until you know the answers. Exciting, thrilling, and full of deception, this is one of my favorite books of the year."
- Jason Gurley, bestselling author of Greatfall

"Every hero's journey has a beginning, middle, and end...I am that end."

A world mourning a fallen superhero.

A president targeted for assassination.

A conspiracy that runs deeper than anyone suspects.

Leo Craft is the best at what he does; he assassinates superheroes, but only the ones…


Book cover of Crazy Mountain

Craig Lancaster Author Of And It Will Be A Beautiful Life

From my list on Books featuring characters navigating the contemporary American West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a son of the contemporary American West—born near the Pacific Coast, raised in Texas, and an inveterate traveler of its byways and odd corners. Through the duality of my upbringing, as the son of a well-traveled mother, a suburban sportswriter stepfather, and a father who worked in extractive industries, I’ve seen up close both harmony and dissonance. The work I’m drawn to, whether on the creation end or the consumptive end, goes deep into the lives that play out in these places.

Craig's book list on Books featuring characters navigating the contemporary American West

Craig Lancaster Why did Craig love this book?

I think it’s easy to live on the fault lines of conflict in the West today and be judgmental about who’s right and who’s wrong. What I love about Elise Atchison’s debut novel is that she avoids those binaries and instead tells the story of a changing Western town through the lens of the land, which bears the transformations—for good or for ill—but also has its own say.

I think Atchison smartly, instinctively employs an excellent piece of writing advice: A good antagonist thinks he/she is the protagonist.

Book cover of Motherwhelmed: Challenging Norms, Untangling Truths, and Restoring Our Worth to the World

Olga Mecking Author Of Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing

From my list on that will change the way you think about parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer, journalist, and occasional translator. Originally from Poland, I now live in the Netherlands with my German husband and three multilingual children. Since my children were born, I’ve become fascinated by the various ways culture and society affect the way we raise our children. I have written about various topics, but mostly parenting for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and the BBC, among others. When not writing or thinking about writing, I can be found reading books, drinking tea, and doing nothing.

Olga's book list on that will change the way you think about parenting

Olga Mecking Why did Olga love this book?

Do you think that you’re failing as a mother? That you’re not doing enough, or doing too much, or doing all the wrong things? Do you always have the feeling that you should enjoy parenting more and beat yourself up if you can’t? Mostly, do you believe that it’s your fault? 

Guess what, it’s not you, it’s the culture. A culture that doesn’t support parents. That expects everything of them without giving anything back in return. 

But there is a way out of this mess and it starts with re-writing your story.

I have chosen this book because of its radical message that mothers are not just worthy of support but that they can also change the world. That they’re tired and exhausted and overwhelmed but also strong and smart and powerful. 

By Beth Berry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today’s mothers are struggling; though, it's not for the reasons most moms tend to think. We’ve been conditioned to believe our inadequacy is the reason we can’t seem to “keep up” or enjoy mothering more, but nothing could be further from the truth.

We aren’t failing as mothers. We’re mothering within a culture that is misleading and inadequately supporting us.

Motherwhelmed is a deep, yet lighthearted exploration of the messy frontier of modern-day motherhood we’re all struggling to navigate. With compassion, realness, and rich storytelling, Beth Berry:

• Illuminates the mindsets and narratives keeping us feeling overwhelmed, disempowered, anxious, isolated,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in presidential biography, the Presidents of the United States, and the United Kingdom?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about presidential biography, the Presidents of the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Presidential Biography Explore 18 books about presidential biography
The Presidents Of The United States Explore 85 books about the Presidents of the United States
The United Kingdom Explore 563 books about the United Kingdom