87 books like Peril

By Bob Woodward, Robert Costa,

Here are 87 books that Peril fans have personally recommended if you like Peril. 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 All the King's Men

Georg Loefflmann Author Of The Politics of Antagonism: Populist Security Narratives and the Remaking of Political Identity

From my list on understand how populism works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Lecturer in US Foreign Policy at Queen Mary University of London, and I work on issues of national security and identity, political rhetoric and the role of the everyday in shaping politics, especially media and popular culture. I have written extensively on American politics and US foreign policy over these past years with two published monographs and more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, plus a couple of op-eds and multiple TV and radio appearances. My most recent research project explores the role of populism under the Trump presidency and its political impact in the United States.

Georg's book list on understand how populism works

Georg Loefflmann Why did Georg love this book?

This book is maybe my favorite novel ever written about politics and the lengths that some men are willing to go in the pursuit of power.

It features a memorable cast of characters, most importantly, of course, the figure of Governor Willie Stark, the quintessential populist politician, who manipulates others for his own gain and demonstrates a total lack of morals. Set in the 1930s, the story of Stark’s rise to power and eventual downfall always strikes me for how contemporary it feels and how many parallels it offers with the populist politics of our own time. 

By Robert Penn Warren,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked All the King's Men as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 16.

What is this book about?

Willie Stark's obsession with political power leads to the ultimate corruption of his gubernatorial administration.


Book cover of Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy

Kevin James Shay Author Of Operation Chaos: The Capitol Attack and the Campaign to Erode Democracy

From my list on the January 6th Capitol attack.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Washington, D.C., in a hospital not far from the U.S. Capitol. I remember being awestruck walking through its halls on tours as a kid. As a journalist, I covered some hearings and interviewed Congress representatives and staff there. The attack on January 6, 2021, was more than a breach of a landmark, historic building representing the top legislative body in the country; it was an assault on the fabric of democracy itself. A tragic crime occurred there that left several people dead and many injured, both physically and emotionally. We must hold everyone involved, especially those at the top who planned this invasion, accountable for what occurred that day.

Kevin's book list on the January 6th Capitol attack

Kevin James Shay Why did Kevin love this book?

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin was not only inside the Capitol on January 6 when it was stormed, he had just tragically buried his 25-year-old son the previous day. His book, a cathartic exercise for himself and a shocked nation, drills down to the heart of what happened, showing in graphic detail how violent and terrifying that day was from an insider’s perspective. 

As a former constitutional law professor at American University who later became a Trump impeachment manager and member of the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the attack, Raskin eloquently explains the underlying events and issues that led to the violent breach. He argues forcefully why the former president himself must be held accountable before the country can begin a crucial, difficult healing process.

By Jamie Raskin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER.

In this searing memoir, Congressman Jamie Raskin tells the story of the forty-five days at the start of 2021 that permanently changed his life-and his family's-as he confronted the painful loss of his son to suicide, lived through the violent insurrection in our nation's Capitol, and led the impeachment effort to hold President Trump accountable for inciting the political violence.

On December 31, 2020, Tommy Raskin, the only son of Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin, tragically took his own life after a long struggle with depression. Seven days later on January 6, Congressman Raskin returned…


Book cover of Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show

Kathy L Wheeler Author Of Captivated By His Countess

From my list on romance to keep you turning when you want to sleep.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my own writing journey in 2007. I skipped many HS classes just to stay home and read. I want to know the ending of a story. I want happy ending. Life is hard, but when I have the ability to write the stories I write with the ending that so many are deprived of, at least I know I can find it in a book of my own choosing. That is my love of romance.

Kathy's book list on romance to keep you turning when you want to sleep

Kathy L Wheeler Why did Kathy love this book?

Okay! I know this isn’t a romance. However, this book did keep me up at night. I couldn’t put it down.

The reason? Fear. It’s shocking to read about going through the last few years and seeing how things played out through another lens. Because, you know you saw the same thing. But Mr. Karl was right there. Up close and personal.

It’s chilling to read how perilous things were, and frankly, still are. This is a very good book.

By Jonathan Karl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***THE INSTANT New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and IndieBound BESTSELLER***

An NPR Book of the Day

Picking up where the New York Times bestselling Front Row at the Trump Show left off, this is the explosive look at the aftermath of the election—and the events that followed Donald Trump’s leaving the White House all the way to January 6—from ABC News' chief Washington correspondent.

Nobody is in a better position to tell the story of the shocking final chapter of the Trump show than Jonathan Karl. As the reporter who has known Donald Trump longer than any…


Book cover of Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink

Ethan Chorin Author Of Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Story-lover Middle East expert Curious Iconoclast Optimist

Ethan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Benghazi: A New History is a look back at the enigmatic 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, its long-tail causes, and devastating (and largely unexamined) consequences for US domestic politics and foreign policy. It contains information not found elsewhere, and is backed up by 40 pages of citations and interviews with more than 250 key protagonists, experts, and witnesses.

So far, the book is the main -- and only -- antidote to a slew of early partisan “Benghazi” polemics, and the first to put the attack in its longer term historical, political, and social context. If you want to understand some of the events that have shaped present-day America, from political polarization and the election of Donald Trump, to January 6, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russian expansionism, and the current Israel-Hamas war, I argue, you need to understand some of the twists and turns of America's most infamous "non-scandal, scandal.”

I was in Benghazi well before, during, and after the attack as a US diplomat and co-director of a medical NGO. I have written three books, and have been a contributor to The NYT, Foreign Affairs, Forbes, Salon, The Financial Times, Newsweek, and others.

By Ethan Chorin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On September 11, 2012, Al Qaeda proxies attacked and set fire to the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing a US Ambassador and three other Americans.  The attack launched one of the longest and most consequential 'scandals' in US history, only to disappear from public view once its political value was spent. 

Written in a highly engaging narrative style by one of a few Western experts on Libya, and decidely non-partisan, Benghazi!: A New History is the first to provide the full context for an event that divided, incited, and baffled most of America for more than three years, while silently reshaping…


Book cover of Proof of Corruption

Kevin James Shay Author Of Operation Chaos: The Capitol Attack and the Campaign to Erode Democracy

From my list on the January 6th Capitol attack.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Washington, D.C., in a hospital not far from the U.S. Capitol. I remember being awestruck walking through its halls on tours as a kid. As a journalist, I covered some hearings and interviewed Congress representatives and staff there. The attack on January 6, 2021, was more than a breach of a landmark, historic building representing the top legislative body in the country; it was an assault on the fabric of democracy itself. A tragic crime occurred there that left several people dead and many injured, both physically and emotionally. We must hold everyone involved, especially those at the top who planned this invasion, accountable for what occurred that day.

Kevin's book list on the January 6th Capitol attack

Kevin James Shay Why did Kevin love this book?

Though this book was released a few months before the Capitol attack, it provides important details on key trends and events that many missed leading up to January 6. Seth Abramson, a former criminal defense attorney and journalism professor, shows how Trump not only tried to entice foreign leaders of Ukraine to discredit Joe Biden, but conspired with officials in China, Russia, Hungary, and other nations to help him win re-election. Abramson has continued to write ground-breaking articles on his Substack blog, Proof, such as how Trump allegedly worked with planners of Operation Occupy the Capitol to use the occupation to lobby state legislators to change election results.

By Seth Abramson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

USA TODAY BESTSELLER "A searing indictment." --NPR"Careful and exhaustive....a strong case." --Kirkus Reviews This stunning third entry in Seth Abramson's epic, New York Times bestselling Proof series reveals the harrowing scope of Trump bribery schemes involving COVID-19, the 2020 presidential election, and collusion with foreign officials in China, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Venezuela, Hungary, and Russia. Proof of Corruption traces in exacting detail the clandestine schemes of Trump and his cadre of agents and advisers from 2015 onward, with a special emphasis on Michael Cohen, Donald Trump Jr., Sean Hannity, Bill Barr, Roger Stone, Rudy Giuliani, Erik Prince, Michael Flynn, Lev…


Book cover of I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year

Kevin James Shay Author Of Operation Chaos: The Capitol Attack and the Campaign to Erode Democracy

From my list on the January 6th Capitol attack.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Washington, D.C., in a hospital not far from the U.S. Capitol. I remember being awestruck walking through its halls on tours as a kid. As a journalist, I covered some hearings and interviewed Congress representatives and staff there. The attack on January 6, 2021, was more than a breach of a landmark, historic building representing the top legislative body in the country; it was an assault on the fabric of democracy itself. A tragic crime occurred there that left several people dead and many injured, both physically and emotionally. We must hold everyone involved, especially those at the top who planned this invasion, accountable for what occurred that day.

Kevin's book list on the January 6th Capitol attack

Kevin James Shay Why did Kevin love this book?

This book by two Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters contains even more behind-the-scenes looks than most at what happened during Donald Trump’s last year in the White House. Leonnig, a national investigative reporter, and Rucker, senior Washington correspondent, details nuggets such as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham telling Trump a couple of days before January 6 that Pence couldn’t change the result and pointing out how Al Gore hadn’t tried doing that when he actually won the popular vote - but lost the Electoral College - in 2000. Trump replied that Gore wasn’t smart enough to pull such a move.

The authors journeyed to Mar-a-Lago a few months after the Capitol attack for a surreal interview with the former president. That alone is worth the read.

By Carol Leonnig, Philip Rucker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Alone Can Fix It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller | A Washington Post Notable Book | One of NPR's Best Books of 2021

The definitive behind-the-scenes story of Trump's final year in office, by Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters and authors of A Very Stable Genius.

“Chilling.” – Anderson Cooper
“Jaw-dropping.” – John Berman
“Shocking.” – John Heilemann
“Explosive.” – Hallie Jackson
“Blockbuster new reporting.” – Nicolle Wallace 
“Bracing new revelations.” – Brian Williams
“Bombshell reporting.” – David Muir

The true story of what took place in Donald Trump’s White House during a disastrous 2020 has never before…


Book cover of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Georg Loefflmann Author Of The Politics of Antagonism: Populist Security Narratives and the Remaking of Political Identity

From my list on understand how populism works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Lecturer in US Foreign Policy at Queen Mary University of London, and I work on issues of national security and identity, political rhetoric and the role of the everyday in shaping politics, especially media and popular culture. I have written extensively on American politics and US foreign policy over these past years with two published monographs and more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, plus a couple of op-eds and multiple TV and radio appearances. My most recent research project explores the role of populism under the Trump presidency and its political impact in the United States.

Georg's book list on understand how populism works

Georg Loefflmann Why did Georg love this book?

I found this to be a fascinating book. It offered real insights into the everyday lives of working-class individuals in rural Louisiana, especially their emotional states, anger, frustration, fears, hopes, and aspirations.

Reading the book, I felt like I was actually sharing the lives of the families that Hochschild observed, getting a real understanding of how they saw the world and why they might want to vote for a figure like Donald Trump. For my money, it is sociological writing at its best.

By Arlie Russell Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Strangers in Their Own Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country - a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets, people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.


Book cover of What Is Populism?

Georg Loefflmann Author Of The Politics of Antagonism: Populist Security Narratives and the Remaking of Political Identity

From my list on understand how populism works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Lecturer in US Foreign Policy at Queen Mary University of London, and I work on issues of national security and identity, political rhetoric and the role of the everyday in shaping politics, especially media and popular culture. I have written extensively on American politics and US foreign policy over these past years with two published monographs and more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, plus a couple of op-eds and multiple TV and radio appearances. My most recent research project explores the role of populism under the Trump presidency and its political impact in the United States.

Georg's book list on understand how populism works

Georg Loefflmann Why did Georg love this book?

A perfect book for anybody looking for a short and accessible yet very comprehensive introduction to the subject of populism.

What I particularly liked was how engaging the writing was (not a given with political scientists!) and how it offered key insights on real-world political developments, from Trump to Brexit. I found it an ideal starting point for learning more about populism and it greatly helped my own understanding of the concept. 

By Jan-Werner Muller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Is Populism? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Marine Le Pen, Hugo Chavez-populists are on the rise across the globe. But what exactly is populism? Should everyone who criticizes Wall Street or Washington be called a populist? What precisely is the difference between right-wing and left-wing populism? Does populism bring government closer to the people or is it a threat to democracy? Who are "the people" anyway and who can speak in their name? These questions have never been more pressing.
In this groundbreaking volume, Jan-Werner Muller argues that at populism's core is a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that they and…


Book cover of Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth

Georg Loefflmann Author Of The Politics of Antagonism: Populist Security Narratives and the Remaking of Political Identity

From my list on understand how populism works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Lecturer in US Foreign Policy at Queen Mary University of London, and I work on issues of national security and identity, political rhetoric and the role of the everyday in shaping politics, especially media and popular culture. I have written extensively on American politics and US foreign policy over these past years with two published monographs and more than a dozen articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, plus a couple of op-eds and multiple TV and radio appearances. My most recent research project explores the role of populism under the Trump presidency and its political impact in the United States.

Georg's book list on understand how populism works

Georg Loefflmann Why did Georg love this book?

Written by a journalist and media expert in a very engaging way, Hoax made me think about populism in a different way. It’s not just about politics, but about how we consume information, what we perceive of as facts, and the role of the media in confirming our own biases and creating our reality.

I learned a lot about media dynamics in general and the mechanics of Fox News in particular, and it showed me how the boundaries of politics, entertainment and media increasingly overlap and become less and less distinguishable from one another.  

By Brian Stelter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The instant New York Times bestseller that reveals the collusion between Fox News and Donald Trump—with explosive new reporting covering the election and the January 6 riot.

As the nation recovers from the Trump presidency, many questions remain: Why was the COVID-19 pandemic so grossly mishandled? How did we get so politically polarized? What caused white nationalist groups to come out of the shadows, and are they here to stay?

The answers lie the twisted story of the relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News. Through firsthand accounts from over 250 current and former Fox insiders, CNN anchor and chief…


Book cover of The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It

Anita Bartholomew Author Of Siege: An American Tragedy

From my list on plots to overthrow the US government.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a long-time contributor to Reader's Digest (and former contributing editor), specializing in narrative nonfiction who has covered social and geopolitical issues for the magazine. I'm also a political junkie who loves to dig into little-known aspects of history and current events. 

Anita's book list on plots to overthrow the US government

Anita Bartholomew Why did Anita love this book?

The Steal documents what happened in the weeks between the 2020 presidential election and January 6th in swing states that Biden won, where Trump persuaded local loyalists that the election had been rigged. Avid Trump supporters embraced every wild conspiracy theory Trump World tossed their way—imagining minor glitches to be bulletproof evidence of massive fraud. 

As the author of another narrative about the collateral damage wrought by purveyors of the Big Lie, I had obvious reasons to be drawn to The Steal. It deftly see-saws between besieged election workers and officials trying to do their jobs in the face of unrelenting pressure, and those who—truth, law, and logic be damned—applied that pressure. The Steal fascinates, both as a commentary on human nature and a ground-level account of an attempted coup.  

By Mark Bowden, Matthew Teague,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A gripping ground-level narrative…a marvel of reporting: tightly wound… but also panoramic.”—Washington Post

“A lean, fast-paced and important account of the chaotic final weeks.”—New York Times

In The Steal, veteran journalists Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague offer a week-by-week, state-by-state account of the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

In the sixty-four days between November 3 and January 6, President Donald Trump and his allies fought to reverse the outcome of the vote. Focusing on six states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—Trump’s supporters claimed widespread voter fraud.

Caught up in this effort were scores of activists, lawyers, judges,…


Book cover of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man

Jeri Fink Author Of Broken by Evil

From my list on psychopaths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a family therapist and author with a lot of experience in psychopathic behavior. Psychopathy falls on a spectrum – from a few traits to the extreme (serial killer) and everything in-between. Studies have shown that strong psychopathic behavior is common in our leaders – political, religious, business, and cultural. There’s also the psychopath “next door” – people we work, play, and live with. As an author, therapist, and researcher, I’m passionate about the subject – constantly examining psychopathic behaviors. I hope you enjoy my Broken Books Series which features different types of psychopaths in both the present and past, and my booklist that explores this fascinating subject.

Jeri's book list on psychopaths

Jeri Fink Why did Jeri love this book?

We all know a psychopath – whether he or she lives next door, works with you, or is your spouse. No one says it better than psychologist Dr. Mary Trump. She describes her cousin, former President Trump, as a textbook psychopath with all of the behavioral, genetic, and environmental traits. His corruption, lack of empathy and conscience, shallow emotions, sexual promiscuity, and ruthlessness clearly shows his psychopathy. Former President Trump just doesn’t care. He’s not the only President that has psychopathic features but he’s the worst, aiming to destroy democracy and the Constitution for his own purpose. It’s a story we all know. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to see a psychopath in action, bolstered by money, power, and fame.

By Mary L. Trump,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Too Much and Never Enough as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* THE INTERNATIONAL AND SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER *
In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald's only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who threatened the world's health, economic security and social fabric.

Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents' large, imposing house in New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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