74 books like Parlor Politics

By Catherine Allgor,

Here are 74 books that Parlor Politics fans have personally recommended if you like Parlor Politics. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Author Of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

From my list on American presidents who left their mark on history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by power and how people use it. From the time I was tiny, I’ve loved reading about how people left their fingerprint on history, and boy, do presidents leave their mark. Given these interests, it’s unsurprising that I’ve been my career this far examining how early presidents crafted the executive branch. The president’s oversized role in American life is also at the heart of my podcast work (I cohost The Past, The Promise, The Presidency with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Each season we explore a different element of the presidency and its relationship to history). In my future scholarship, I plan to continue this exploration long after George Washington left office. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime enjoy these great reads!

Lindsay's book list on American presidents who left their mark on history

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Why did Lindsay love this book?

There are so many fantastic new biographies of Ulysses S. Grant. U.S. Grant is particularly good for a one-volume biography. It’s an incredibly fair treatment and does a great job of showing Grant’s cultural importance as a symbol for national reunification after the war. Waugh also demonstrates why Grant has been underappreciated by previous historians and generations, and why he deserves more recognition.

By Joan Waugh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked U. S. Grant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the time of his death, Ulysses S. Grant was the most famous person in America, considered by most citizens to be equal in stature to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Yet today his monuments are rarely visited, his military reputation is overshadowed by that of Robert E. Lee, and his presidency is permanently mired at the bottom of historical rankings. In an insightful blend of biography and cultural history, Joan Waugh traces Grant's shifting national and international reputation, illuminating the role of memory in our understanding of American history. Using a wide range of written and visual sources--newspaper articles,…


Book cover of Theodore Rex

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Author Of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

From my list on American presidents who left their mark on history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by power and how people use it. From the time I was tiny, I’ve loved reading about how people left their fingerprint on history, and boy, do presidents leave their mark. Given these interests, it’s unsurprising that I’ve been my career this far examining how early presidents crafted the executive branch. The president’s oversized role in American life is also at the heart of my podcast work (I cohost The Past, The Promise, The Presidency with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Each season we explore a different element of the presidency and its relationship to history). In my future scholarship, I plan to continue this exploration long after George Washington left office. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime enjoy these great reads!

Lindsay's book list on American presidents who left their mark on history

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Why did Lindsay love this book?

Theodore Roosevelt is another presidential figure that has received a great deal of scholarly attention. I ultimately selected Theodore Rex for two reasons. First, it’s one of the few books that focuses solely on the presidency, meaning it offers an unrivaled, in-depth examination of his years in office. Second, it’s such a page-turner. I started reading a specific section to better understand one cabinet interaction and I found myself still reading many pages and many hours later without even realizing it. Morris fully captures TR’s oversized personality in an extraordinarily colorful way.

By Edmund Morris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A shining portrait of a presciently modern political genius maneuvering in a gilded age of wealth, optimism, excess and American global ascension.”—San Francisco Chronicle

WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY • “[Theodore Rex] is one of the great histories of the American presidency, worthy of being on a shelf alongside Henry Adams’s volumes on Jefferson and Madison.”—Times Literary Supplement

Theodore Rex is the story—never fully told before—of Theodore Roosevelt’s two world-changing terms as President of the United States. A hundred years before the catastrophe of September 11, 2001, “TR” succeeded to…


Book cover of The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Author Of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

From my list on American presidents who left their mark on history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by power and how people use it. From the time I was tiny, I’ve loved reading about how people left their fingerprint on history, and boy, do presidents leave their mark. Given these interests, it’s unsurprising that I’ve been my career this far examining how early presidents crafted the executive branch. The president’s oversized role in American life is also at the heart of my podcast work (I cohost The Past, The Promise, The Presidency with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Each season we explore a different element of the presidency and its relationship to history). In my future scholarship, I plan to continue this exploration long after George Washington left office. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime enjoy these great reads!

Lindsay's book list on American presidents who left their mark on history

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Why did Lindsay love this book?

After Eisenhower left office, he was routinely ranked in the bottom ten on the presidential rankings. Now, he’s regularly voted into the top five. This book helps explain why Eisenhower deserves to be at the top, why he left such an indelible mark on the nation, and why the second half of the 20th century was the age of Eisenhower. It’s also beautifully written and a joy to read.

By William Hitchcock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times bestseller, this is the "outstanding" (The Atlantic), insightful, and authoritative account of Dwight Eisenhower's presidency.

Drawing on newly declassified documents and thousands of pages of unpublished material, The Age of Eisenhower tells the story of a masterful president guiding the nation through the great crises of the 1950s, from McCarthyism and the Korean War through civil rights turmoil and Cold War conflicts. This is a portrait of a skilled leader who, despite his conservative inclinations, found a middle path through the bitter partisanship of his era. At home, Eisenhower affirmed the central elements of the New…


Book cover of A Promised Land

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Author Of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

From my list on American presidents who left their mark on history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by power and how people use it. From the time I was tiny, I’ve loved reading about how people left their fingerprint on history, and boy, do presidents leave their mark. Given these interests, it’s unsurprising that I’ve been my career this far examining how early presidents crafted the executive branch. The president’s oversized role in American life is also at the heart of my podcast work (I cohost The Past, The Promise, The Presidency with the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. Each season we explore a different element of the presidency and its relationship to history). In my future scholarship, I plan to continue this exploration long after George Washington left office. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime enjoy these great reads!

Lindsay's book list on American presidents who left their mark on history

Lindsay M. Chervinsky Why did Lindsay love this book?

Most twenty-first-century presidents write autobiographies after leaving office, but not all autobiographies are created equal. A Promised Land gives an honest, unflinching view of the presidency. Obama is straightforward about his goals, successes, mistakes, and lessons learned the hard way. Whether or not you like him or agree with his policies, this book will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the presidency in a way that few others books can provide.

By Barack Obama,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times • NPR • The Guardian • Marie Claire
 
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young…


Book cover of The Georgetown Set: Friends and Rivals in Cold War Washington

Hannah Gurman and Kaeten Mistry Author Of Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy

From my list on U.S. national security culture and the exposure of secrets.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are historians of U.S. foreign relations who have written extensively on the Cold War and national security. Both of us were interested in whistleblowing yet knew relatively little about its history. Turns out, we were not alone. Despite lots of popular interest in the topic, we soon discovered that, beyond individual biographies, barely anything is known about the broader history of the phenomenon. With funding from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Council, we led a collaborative research project, which involved historians, literary scholars, and political theorists, as well as whistleblowers, journalists, and lawyers. One of the fruits of the project, Whistleblowing Nation, is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary history of U.S. national security whistleblowing.


Hannah's book list on U.S. national security culture and the exposure of secrets

Hannah Gurman and Kaeten Mistry Why did Hannah love this book?

Whistleblowers rely on the press to disseminate their disclosures. In matters of national security, however, the press has a long history of close personal and professional bonds with the government that has curbed revelations. The Georgetown Set offers a fascinating glimpse into the small circle of elite officials, journalists, publishers, and public intellectuals who gathered for cocktail and dinner parties in their high-end neighborhood of Washington, DC. In addition to giving a fly-on-the-wall sense of how Cold War policies and public opinion were made, Herken’s book illuminates the individual and cultural shifts that contributed to the rise of national security disclosures in the 1960s and 1970s. This history is essential for understanding how the evolving dynamics between elite politicians and the press continue to shape the culture of whistleblowing and accountability today.

By Gregg Herken,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the years after World War II, Georgetown’s leafy streets were home to an unlikely group of Cold Warriors who helped shape American strategy. This coterie of affluent, well-educated, and connected civilians guided the country, for better and worse, from the Marshall Plan through McCarthyism, Watergate, and Vietnam. The Georgetown set included Phil and Kay Graham, husband-and-wife publishers of The Washington Post; Joe and Stewart Alsop, odd-couple brothers who were among the country’s premier political pundits; Frank Wisner, a driven, manic-depressive lawyer in charge of CIA covert operations; and a host of other diplomats, spies, and scholars. Gregg Herken gives…


Book cover of The Initiation

Laurelin Paige Author Of Dirty Filthy Rich Men

From my list on dirty filthy rich men.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by the role of power dynamics and psychological games in relationships for as long as I can remember, frequently seeking out entertainment and exploring these topics to make sense of what was happening in the world around me. Now as a writer of 42 novels, many of my stories center around these themes and their consequences and complications, always from a point of view that empowers women. Dirty Filthy Rich Men, and its follow-up Dirty Filthy Rich Love, specifically focus on the difference between the devastating act of rape and consensual rape play, with the intention of validating women who are drawn to edgier fantasies in fiction. 

Laurelin's book list on dirty filthy rich men

Laurelin Paige Why did Laurelin love this book?

I could not put this book down. Already a favorite author of mine, Nikki Sloane surprised me with this sensual fairytale of a novel. It’s both inventive and twisted, deftly handling the love triangle as well as the power dynamics. Not only does Sloane knock the kink out of the park in this one, she also conveys all the fantasy of the uber-rich life without missing a thing.

By Nikki Sloane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

No one knows how new members are selected to the board of Hale Banking and Holding. But there are rumors of a sordid rite of initiation.

Whispers how one woman and nine men disappear into a boardroom.

This time, that woman will be me.

The Hale family owns everything—the eighth largest bank in the world, everyone in our town, even the mortgage on my parents’ mansion. And now Royce Hale wants to own me.

He is charming. Seductive. Ruthless. But above all, he’s the prince of lies. My body may tighten with white-hot desire under his penetrating gaze, but I…


Book cover of Walkaway

Sandra Jeppesen Author Of Transformative Media: Intersectional Technopolitics from Indymedia to #Blacklivesmatter

From my list on science fiction about underdogs and rebel groups.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved science fiction since I was a nerdy high school student acing all the math and science courses my high school offered and power-reading through the library’s sci-fi section. I saw Bladerunner on a mediocre date with a hot guy a grade ahead of me, slouched down in our seats, hoping to hold hands but it never happened. The film, however, blew my mind. Fast forward through my engineering degree where I saw every cyberpunk film and punk band I could, through a punk-fueled creative writing MA and anarchist English PhD, to today where I study grassroots media and sometimes teach Comics or Science Fiction. 

Sandra's book list on science fiction about underdogs and rebel groups

Sandra Jeppesen Why did Sandra love this book?

Doctorow and I had a mutual friend in common—the incredible Possum who organized Toronto’s Anarchist Free University for many years until his early demise, Rest in Power—full disclosure, and that’s how I started reading his fiction. Walkaway is one of my favorites. This is a world where 3D printers have changed everything. People who are poor, exploited, unhappy, or maybe just feeling adventurous can—and do—walk away from the capitalist world within the city walls and live quite literally on the fringes, using 3D printers and their imaginations of a world without exploitation to construct whole new societies. Can they successfully build a utopia despite the many conflicts that arise? Who knows? But I do know I’m hoping for a sequel.

By Cory Doctorow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a world wrecked by climate change, in a society owned by the ultra-rich, in a city hollowed out by industrial flight, Hubert, Etc, Seth and Natalie have nowhere else to be and nothing better to do.

But there is another way. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life - food, clothing, shelter - from a computer, there is little reason to toil within the system. So, like thousands of others in the mid-21st century, the three of them turn their back on the world of rules, jobs, the morning commute and... walkaway.…


Book cover of The Rich: From Slaves to Super-Yachts: A 2,000-Year History

Guido Alfani Author Of As Gods Among Men: A History of the Rich in the West

From my list on the rich, the super-rich, and wealth inequality in general.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since I was a student, I have been fascinated with social and economic inequality–the more so because back then, my professors seemed to disregard this subject of study. So, I made it one of my own main areas of research: I simply needed to understand more about the nature and the causes of inequality in human societies. In recent years, I have been busy researching economic inequality in different historical settings, also looking at specific socioeconomic strata. I began with the poor, and more recently, I focused on the rich. In my list of recommendations, I included books that, I believe, are particularly insightful concerning wealth and the wealthy.

Guido's book list on the rich, the super-rich, and wealth inequality in general

Guido Alfani Why did Guido love this book?

Among all recent non-academic books on the lives, deeds, and misdeeds of the super-rich across history, John Kampfner’s book is, in my view, the best.

Kampfner selects fascinating examples, ranging from the Classical Age until today, and does not limit himself to the West. His narrative is engaging and often witty.

This is not an academic book, but it is pretty well-researched. Although it makes some concessions to the “eat the rich” tendencies of our times, overall, the book provides a convincing and valuable picture of the sins (and less so, of the virtues) of the most affluent across history.

By John Kampfner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Freedom for Sale, The Rich is the fascinating history of how economic elites from ancient Egypt to the present day have gained and spent their money.

Starting with the Romans and Ancient Egypt and culminating with the oligarchies of modern Russia and China, it compares and contrasts the rich and powerful down the ages and around the world. What unites them? Have the same instincts of entrepreneurship, ambition, vanity, greed and philanthropy applied throughout?

As contemporary politicians, economists and the public wrestle with the inequities of our time - the parallel world inhabited…


Book cover of The Hanover Square Affair

Grace Burrowes Author Of A Gentleman Fallen on Hard Times

From my list on mysteries with gorgeous prose and delightful sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

History has always interested me, in part because it helps explain how we got where we are. I have a bachelor of music in music history, which is where I first became aware of how small things—the invention of the quill pen—can ripple into huge consequences. Tack onto that an inclination toward political science and law, plus a family full of bench scientists, and it’s easy to see how stories set in the past that focus on whodunit, how, and why fascinate me. Both reading and writing against that tapestry educates me, entertains me, and gives me a glimpse of our capacity to transcend all difficulties for the sake of truth and justice.

Grace's book list on mysteries with gorgeous prose and delightful sleuths

Grace Burrowes Why did Grace love this book?

I find the Georgian era fascinating (kinda shows, right?) particularly in the years immediately after Waterloo.

Gardner (a pseudonym for prolific author Jennifer Ashley) presents us with a sleuth who is a former officer recently returned from the war. He’s limping in body and spirit, and the puzzles he solves take us from the slums and alleys to high society, and a lot of interesting places in between.

Lacey is grouchy, astute, sweet, and tenacious, I doubt I will ever tire of reading of his exploits. (And if he’s your jam too, you will doubtless enjoy Gardner’s Gladiator Mysteries, and her Belowstairs Mysteries.) 

By Ashley Gardner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Hanover Square Affair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

London, 1816
Cavalry captain Gabriel Lacey returns to Regency London from the Napoleonic wars, burned out, fighting melancholia, his career ended. His interest is piqued when he learns of a missing girl, possibly kidnapped by a prominent member of Parliament. Lacey's search for the young woman leads to murder, corruption, and dealings with a leader of the underworld. At the same time, he struggles with his transition from a soldier's life to the civilian world, redefining his role with his former commanding officer, and making new friends--from the top of society to the street girls of Covent Garden.

Book 1…


Book cover of Tears of the Trufflepig

Stacey Swann Author Of Olympus, Texas

From my list on that show Texas isn't just about cattle and oil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised in Texas, and I’ve lived here most of my life. For good or for ill, Texas looms large in the American consciousness and, since everything is bigger in Texas, so are the stereotypes. While you can definitely still find cattle ranches and oil wells in our state, modern Texas is much more complex and diverse than many people might think. While I love books that show those traditional elements of Texas (looking at you, Lonesome Dove!), I have always delighted in finding books that give me a new lens on what it means to be a Texan. I hope you’re delighted by these too.

Stacey's book list on that show Texas isn't just about cattle and oil

Stacey Swann Why did Stacey love this book?

I tend to be a language-driven reader, as delighted by an unexpected and beautiful sentence as I am by a thrilling turn of a plot. On the second page of Flores’s novel about genetic manipulation and organized crime near the Texas/Mexico border, we get this stunner: “It was a roosterless dawn, in the part of South Texas where no beast yawned.” I knew from that moment that I was in excellent hands and would follow the book wherever the author wanted to take me. Flores takes multiple genres—sci-fi, surrealism, crime, and others—and gives us an utterly original tale that defies easy summary. And it’s very funny!

By Fernando A. Flores,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Near future. South Texas. Narcotics are legal and there's a new contraband on the market: ancient Olmec artifacts, shrunken indigenous heads, and filtered animals - species of animals brought back from extinction to clothe, feed, and generally amuse the very wealthy. Esteban Bellacosa has lived in the border town of MacArthur long enough to know to keep quiet and avoid the dangerous syndicates who make their money through trafficking.

But his simple life starts to get complicated when the swashbuckling investigative journalist Paco Herbert invites him to come to an illegal underground dinner serving filtered animals. Bellacosa soon finds himself…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the upper class, Washington D.C., and Thomas Jefferson?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the upper class, Washington D.C., and Thomas Jefferson.

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