100 books like The Petticoat Affair

By John F. Marszalek,

Here are 100 books that The Petticoat Affair fans have personally recommended if you like The Petticoat Affair. 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 The Age of Jackson

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

The O.G. of works on Andrew Jackson, Arthur Schlesinger’s book not only won the Pulitzer Prize, but went a long way towards rehabilitating Jackson’s legacy in the eyes of Americans. Although the historical analysis is dated now—not surprising for a book written in the 1940s—Schlesinger’s prose is beautiful, nearly poetic at times. So long as you take the assumptions about race, gender, and ethnicity in the context in which it was written, it’s a great read. I finished it wishing that historians still wrote with prose like this, albeit with different conclusions. 

By Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The outgrowth of a series of lectures entitled 'A reinterpretation of Jacksonian democracy' delivered at the Lowell Institute in Boston in the fall of 1941."--Acknowledgements.


Book cover of The Passions of Andrew Jackson

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

If you find Schlesinger’s account a bit troubling, this book is your antidote. Burstein engages in a blistering account of Andrew Jackson’s turbulent life; his personalization of political conflicts, his propensity for violence, and his cultivation of populist politics. In the end, the Jackson that emerges is a great deal less heroic than most accounts; certainly more psychotic than earlier ones. That said, Burstein’s book is a great read and shows up on this list because it is a great way to understand how many Americans regard Andrew Jackson these days. 

By Andrew Burstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most people vaguely imagine Andrew Jackson as a jaunty warrior and a man of the people, but he was much more—a man just as complex and controversial as Jefferson or Lincoln. Now, with the first major reinterpretation of his life in a generation, historian Andrew Burstein brings back Jackson with all his audacity and hot-tempered rhetoric.

The unabashedly aggressive Jackson came of age in the Carolinas during the American Revolution, migrating to Tennessee after he was orphaned at the age of fourteen. Little more than a poorly educated frontier bully when he first opened his public career, he was possessed…


Book cover of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

Meacham offers a beautifully written account of the Jackson presidency. As a journalist and biographer outside the edicts of academic rigor, he can skirt quite deftly among the more controversial aspects of Jackson’s actions and offer a fair and balanced account. I grabbed this book right before a long flight and although I was expecting a dated list of paeans to Jackson’s “feistiness”—other popular accounts of Jackson’s life fall squarely into this boring and tired trap—I found Meacham’s book to be one of the better examples of political biography done right. It kept me reading all the way through the flight, even when we hit turbulence. 

By Jon Meacham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever

Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson’s election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding…


Book cover of Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian

Sean Patrick Adams Author Of A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson

From my list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a historian of the period for more than two decades, and I am still fascinated by Andrew Jackson. He captures the attention of my undergraduate students and his name offers one of the best ways to start a shouting match at an academic conference. As I sifted through the various accounts of Jackson for this book, I was amazed at the range. Writers dealing with the same individual concluded that he was either a product of his age, a hero, the founder of American democracy, a populist, a racist, or a monstrous psychopath. All of these interpretations might have some merit, which made the project, in my opinion, all the more interesting. 

Sean's book list on Andrew Jackson’s bizarre, violent, divisive life

Sean Patrick Adams Why did Sean love this book?

If you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, Andrew Jackson would be a great candidate for psychotherapy, but no historian would ever actually try to view his life through Freudian analysis,” well, think again.  Psychohistory enjoyed a brief moment in the sun during the 1970s and Rogin’s posthumous placement of Jackson on the couch was one of its shining examples. This book examines Jackson’s childhood trauma and fatherless upbringing as a major factor in his attitude and treatment of Native Americans throughout his life. Readers might find the analysis that dominates the second half of the book to be a bit dated in psychological terms, but Rogin offers a provocative way to explain Jackson’s confusing blend of patronizing and pathology towards Native Americans in the Early American Republic. 

By Michael Paul Rogin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rogin shows us a Jackson who saw the Indians as a menace to the new nation and its citizens. This volatile synthesis of liberal egalitarianism and an assault on the American Indians is the source of continuing interest in the sobering and important book.


Book cover of House of Cards

DC Alden Author Of The Angola Deception

From my list on coverups and conspiracies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a voracious reader, and from an early age I was drawn to military, political, and science fiction thrillers because they explored a world of black operations, ruthless cabals, and clandestine government programmes. Later, I discovered that such a world exists, one where the military-industrial complex exerts enormous power and influence, a world of secretive global agendas, of dark actors controlling corrupt politicians, and cold-blooded military contractors, their allegiances no longer tied to any national flag but to mega-wealth cabals, offshore accounts, and vast pension funds. A world of shadows, where the light rarely shines, and the truth remains hidden. A truth often stranger than fiction.

DC's book list on coverups and conspiracies

DC Alden Why did DC love this book?

The book that triggered my deeper exploration into the world of political corruption, Dobb’s classic still stands shoulder to shoulder with HBO’s powerhouse TV reimagining of the source material, and ticks all the political thriller boxes—corruption, blackmail, and murderous intent at the highest levels of government. The masterfully crafted Francis Urquhart is one of the most intriguing fictional characters I’ve met, determined, manipulative, and utterly ruthless, and the twisty plot moves along at a cracking pace. Do people like Urquhart really exist? Undoubtedly, although the real versions are infinitely crueler and more corrupt. If you loved the TV show, as I did, the original book will not disappoint.  

By Michael Dobbs,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked House of Cards as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

REVISED AND UPDATED WITH BRAND NEW MATERIAL
The acclaimed political thriller that first introduced the unforgettable Francis Urquhart MP and launched Michael Dobbs' No 1 bestselling career - now updated with brand new material.

Michael Dobbs' entertaining tale of skulduggery and intrigue within the Palace of Westminster has been a huge hit with the public. Its scheming hero, Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, who uses fair means and foul to become Prime Minister, is one of the best-known characters of the last decade - the politician we all love to hate.

Acclaimed for its authenticity and insights into a secret world…


Book cover of A Spell of Good Things

Bekkah Frisch Author Of The Great Quiet

From my list on families from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago in a psycholinguistics class, I discovered that a person’s primary language—not just their vocabulary but the structure of the language itself—shapes the way that person perceives the world and relationships around them. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated with perspective and how perceptions of an event are shaped by who is experiencing them, what stage of life they’re in, the language they speak, and so on. As a full-time marketer in addition to an author, I have to consider every angle of a project before I can begin, whether I’m designing an ad or writing dialogue between characters.

Bekkah's book list on families from around the world

Bekkah Frisch Why did Bekkah love this book?

This novel, of two Nigerian families who are from incredibly different backgrounds and prospects, is in stark contrast to the previous book. It is rooted in the present, in the dual realities of life in modern-day Nigeria. 

I loved this novel for its twists of fate, the way storylines inevitably collide like two freight trains going in opposite directions on the same track, and just how deeply the cultural values surrounding marriage and family shine through—such as when a teenage girl counts the number of times in a week her family members mention marriage to her.

By Ayobami Adebayo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2023
MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2023: the Observer, Guardian, Financial Times, Stylist, the Express and Oprah Daily

Ayobami Adebayo, the Women's Prize-shortlisted author of Stay With Me, unveils a dazzling story of modern Nigeria and two families caught in the riptides of wealth, power, romantic obsession and political corruption.

Eniola is tall for his age, a boy who looks like a man. His father has lost his job, so Eniola spends his days running errands for the local tailor, collecting newspapers and begging, dreaming of a big future.

Wuraola is a golden girl, the perfect…


Book cover of How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future

Rebecca Kingston Author Of Plutarch's Prism: Classical Reception and Public Humanism in France and England, 1500-1800

From my list on why politics matter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of the history of ideas, with a particular interest in political thought, for over forty years. I have read countless books, both ancient and modern, and in several languages, that explore themes related to public life. I am a dedicated citizen of a contemporary liberal democracy, but today, I live in fear of a growing backlash against liberal democracy. The risk of democratic backsliding in the contemporary US is real as citizens become more disillusioned with politics. In other liberal democracies, some party leaders are adopting populist rhetoric to enhance their electoral appeal, but in doing so, they are undermining some of the established norms of public life. 

Rebecca's book list on why politics matter

Rebecca Kingston Why did Rebecca love this book?

Maria Ressa is an inspiring figure. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for her work in trying to defend the freedom of the press in the Philippines, under threat due to the authoritarianism of Duterte. The narrative of her life and struggles offers insight into the ways in which democracy is fragile and can easily be upended.

I am particularly drawn to her discussion of the effects of contemporary social media on social psychology and how it can contribute to the weakening of democratic mores. The case of the Philippines might be considered to have the status of a ‘canary in the coal mine,’ alerting other contemporary liberal democratic countries to the dangers of unregulated social media, AI, and other new electronic technologies.

We need to be informed about the effects of these technologies and work to save our public and democratic institutions, which are being eroded by…

By Maria Ressa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Stand Up to a Dictator as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*BBC RADIO 4 START OF THE WEEK and GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR*

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2021

What will you sacrifice for the truth?

Maria Ressa has spent decades speaking truth to power. But her work tracking disinformation networks seeded by her own government, spreading lies to its own citizens laced with anger and hate, has landed her in trouble with the most powerful man in the country: President Duterte.

Now, hounded by the state, she has multiple arrest warrants against her name, and a potential 100+ years behind bars to prepare for - while she stands…


Book cover of Absolute Power

David Rohlfing Author Of Cold Consequences

From my list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been a voracious reader of murder mysteries and thrillers. My business career took me to all but one continent and countless countries, mostly living and working in large metropolitan areas. After retiring, I moved to a small Midwest city and found it an excellent setting for a murder mystery when I sat down to write. Since I started, I've written two books in the Detective Sasha Frank Mystery Series, and I'm currently writing the third. The first book, Deliberate Duplicity, won a 2021 American Fiction Award. The second book in the series is Cold Consequences. I've been pleased with the reviews on Goodreads and other platforms.

David's book list on murder mysteries to keep you entertained and guessing

David Rohlfing Why did David love this book?

I'm a big fan of David Baldacci, especially his incredible first book, Absolute Power. The book begins with the main character Luther Whitney, portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the movie version, burglarizing a mansion outside of Washington, D.C. Suddenly, as the burglary is interrupted, events spiral out of control, and a murder takes place right in front of Luther. The book is a thriller that keeps you fully engaged as a reader. Unfortunately, countless missteps are made by those attempting to protect the murderer as they strive to keep their involvement with the murder secret. Luther is considered a suspect, but he continues to evade police and the murderer's protectors. Baldacci masterfully guides readers through a story of redemption and justice. Absolute Power is thoroughly entertaining. 

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Absolute Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When burglar Luther Whitney breaks into a Virginia mansion, he witnesses a brutal crime involving the president -- a man who believes he can get away with anything -- and now, Luther may be the only one who can stop him in this #1 New York Times bestselling thriller.

In a heavily guarded mansion in the Virginia countryside, professional burglar and break-in artist Luther Whitney is trapped behind a two-way mirror. What he witnesses destroys his faith not only in justice, but in all he holds dear.

What follows is an unthinkable abuse of power and criminal conspiracy, as a…


Book cover of The Light at the Bottom of the World

Tanvi Berwah Author Of Monsters Born and Made

From my list on oceanic YA fantasy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a South Asian writer who grew up in dry plains and the desert, so when I saw the ocean for the first time—it was an absolute shock to my senses. I was drawn to its vastness, its strangeness. Everything about our seas is fascinating, from the way they sustain life on the planet to the alien creatures that inhabit them. Since I’m a reader, I began to look for books featuring seas, and after nonfic ones, found fantasy books that were set in imaginative water-based worlds. This lifelong love has now led to my own debut being an oceanic fantasy. So I hope you enjoy this list. :)

Tanvi's book list on oceanic YA fantasy

Tanvi Berwah Why did Tanvi love this book?

I love inventive worldbuilding, more than anything else in a story. And The Light at the Bottom of the World, set in a post-apocalyptic future where our world is underwater is a criminally underrated gem. The whole book is as brilliant as it is surrealistic. It follows protagonist Leyla McQueen from submerged London who’s competing in a marathon in the hopes of freeing her political prisoner father — and who finds out there’s much more going on with the corrupt government than she knew. An astutely plotted thriller, The Light at the Bottom of the World is an achievement in imagination.

By London Shah,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Light at the Bottom of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

From debut author London Shah, comes a thrilling futuristic Sci-Fi mystery perfect for fans of Illuminae and These Broken Stars.

In the last days of the twenty-first century, sea creatures swim through the ruins of London. Trapped in the abyss, humankind wavers between hope and fear of what lurks in the depths around them, and hope that they might one day find a way back to the surface.

When sixteen-year-old submersible racer Leyla McQueen is chosen to participate in the city's prestigious annual marathon, she sees an opportunity to save her father, who has been arrested on false charges. The…


Book cover of Shady Acres: Politicians, Developers & Sydney's Public Transport Scandals 1872-1895

Maggie Joel Author Of The Unforgiving City

From my list on to uncover Sydney’s past.

Why am I passionate about this?

I arrived in Sydney in the 90s knowing as much as one brief peruse the Berlitz Guide could provide me. For the next 25 years I immersed myself in its beautiful harbour and beaches whilst writing four novels, all set in my hometown of London. But when I sat down to write my fifth novel, The Unforgiving City, set in 1890s Sydney, I drew a complete blank. What was my adopted city’s history? Did it even have one? If so, where was it? By the time I’d finished the novel I’d unearthed a whole other, hidden, Sydney. I will never view my new home town the same way again. 

Maggie's book list on to uncover Sydney’s past

Maggie Joel Why did Maggie love this book?

A librarian friend recommended Lesley Muir’s explosive exposé of the scandal and corruption that underpinned the development of Sydney’s transport networks in the late Nineteenth Century. Spanning the decades immediately preceding Australia’s Federation, Shady Acres uncovers, as Elizabeth Farrelly says in her introduction, "the perennial crookedness of Sydney’s planning." As I immersed myself in 1890s Sydney for my own novel – and with my story and characters focussed on these very men who sat in the New South Wales’  parliament - I found the book provided the sort of rich vein of detail that allowed me to really bring this time and these people to life. 

By Lesley Muir,

Why should I read it?

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


5 book lists we think you will like!

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