100 books like The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump

By Dan P. McAdams,

Here are 100 books that The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump fans have personally recommended if you like The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump. 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 Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Author Of The Two Moralities: Conservatives, Liberals, and the Roots of Our Political Divide

From my list on the psychology behind our politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

A university professor for 40 years (now emerita), I focused my most recent research on moral psychology. I am also a political junkie, so perhaps it is no surprise that I have combined these two interests. As both a social psychologist and political psychologist, I have conducted numerous studies on the moral underpinnings of our political ideologies. In addition to two books, I have published over 90 papers, many devoted to morality and/or politics, and I was awarded a generous three-year National Science Foundation grant to study the two moralities that are discussed in my book.   

Ronnie's book list on the psychology behind our politics

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Why did Ronnie love this book?

Michele Gelfand is an outstanding cultural psychologist who has studied societies across the globe.

In this fascinating book she draws on her own cross-cultural research to distinguish between what she labels “tight” and “loose” societies. Although the book does not focus on politics, Gelfand’s distinction between cultures that loosely versus tightly adhere to social norms nevertheless provides important insights into differences between the political left and right within our own society.   

By Michele Gelfand,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? ... Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now

Why are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their…


Book cover of Left and Right: The Psychological Significance of a Political Distinction

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Author Of The Two Moralities: Conservatives, Liberals, and the Roots of Our Political Divide

From my list on the psychology behind our politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

A university professor for 40 years (now emerita), I focused my most recent research on moral psychology. I am also a political junkie, so perhaps it is no surprise that I have combined these two interests. As both a social psychologist and political psychologist, I have conducted numerous studies on the moral underpinnings of our political ideologies. In addition to two books, I have published over 90 papers, many devoted to morality and/or politics, and I was awarded a generous three-year National Science Foundation grant to study the two moralities that are discussed in my book.   

Ronnie's book list on the psychology behind our politics

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Why did Ronnie love this book?

Social Psychologist John Jost is a giant in the field of political psychology. In this book the reader is treated to a collection of his superb essays on political ideology. 

From neuroscience to psychology and sociology, Jost draws on research to present a complete picture of the nature, role, and implications of our political ideologies. Anyone interested in politics, and political psychology in particular, would benefit from the knowledge and insights Jost offers in this book.  

By John T. Jost,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book brings together for the first time an updated, revised collection of influential essays and articles that capture some of the most exciting scientific and scholarly contributions to the topic of political ideology. John Jost tackles fundamental questions about how psychology, neuroscience, and societal factors impact political attitudes and group divisions. In what sense, if any, are ordinary citizens "ideological"? Is it useful to locate political
attitudes on a single dimension of representation? Are there meaningful differences in the beliefs, opinions, and values of leftists and rights-or liberals and conservatives? How are personality traits related to ideological preferences? What…


Book cover of Social Dominance: An Intergroup Theory of Social Hierarchy and Oppression

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Author Of The Two Moralities: Conservatives, Liberals, and the Roots of Our Political Divide

From my list on the psychology behind our politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

A university professor for 40 years (now emerita), I focused my most recent research on moral psychology. I am also a political junkie, so perhaps it is no surprise that I have combined these two interests. As both a social psychologist and political psychologist, I have conducted numerous studies on the moral underpinnings of our political ideologies. In addition to two books, I have published over 90 papers, many devoted to morality and/or politics, and I was awarded a generous three-year National Science Foundation grant to study the two moralities that are discussed in my book.   

Ronnie's book list on the psychology behind our politics

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Why did Ronnie love this book?

This book has become a classic in social psychology, and social dominance, as both a personality trait and a feature of societies, has become an indispensable factor in understanding individual, cultural, and political differences.

In this book social/political psychologists Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto draw on their own excellent research and scholarship to present their influential theory of social hierarchy and the psychological and societal mechanisms that support it.

This book is for anyone interested in our political differences, and in particular factors that contribute to social inequality.  

By Jim Sidanius, Felicia Pratto,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This volume focuses on two questions: why do people from one social group oppress and discriminate against people from other groups? and why is this oppression so mind numbingly difficult to eliminate? The answers to these questions are framed using the conceptual framework of social dominance theory. Social dominance theory argues that the major forms of intergroup conflict, such as racism, classism and patriarchy, are all basically derived from the basic human predisposition to form and maintain hierarchical and group-based systems of social organization. In essence, social dominance theory presumes that, beneath major and sometimes profound difference between different human…


Book cover of Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Author Of The Two Moralities: Conservatives, Liberals, and the Roots of Our Political Divide

From my list on the psychology behind our politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

A university professor for 40 years (now emerita), I focused my most recent research on moral psychology. I am also a political junkie, so perhaps it is no surprise that I have combined these two interests. As both a social psychologist and political psychologist, I have conducted numerous studies on the moral underpinnings of our political ideologies. In addition to two books, I have published over 90 papers, many devoted to morality and/or politics, and I was awarded a generous three-year National Science Foundation grant to study the two moralities that are discussed in my book.   

Ronnie's book list on the psychology behind our politics

Ronnie Janoff-Bulman Why did Ronnie love this book?

This was George Lakoff’s groundbreaking early book linking morality and politics.

Here the renowned cognitive psychologist, draws from his expertise as a linguist to uncover the unconscious worldviews of liberals and conservatives. More specifically, he argues that distinct conceptual metaphors, each associated with the family, underlie the politics of the left and right, specifically the strict father for conservatives and the nurturant parent for liberals.  

By George Lakoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Moral Politics was first published two decades ago, it redefined how Americans think and talk about politics through the lens of cognitive political psychology. Today, George Lakoff's classic text has become all the more relevant, as liberals and conservatives have come to hold even more vigorously opposed views of the world, with the underlying assumptions of their respective worldviews at the level of basic morality. Even more so than when Lakoff wrote, liberals and conservatives simply have very different, deeply held beliefs about what is right and wrong. Lakoff reveals radically different but remarkably consistent conceptions of morality on…


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…


Book cover of Peril

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?

Of the three books written by legendary Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward about the Trump Presidency (Fear, Rage, Peril), I thought Peril was the one that best demonstrated the danger that Trump’s style of populism, his authoritarian tendencies, and his post-truth rhetoric presented to the survival of liberal democracy in the US.

I was fascinated by the insider’s look Woodward offered; he makes you feel like you are in the room in Washington DC, when some of the most momentous developments in American politics in recent times unfold, from the Covid-19 pandemic, to the Black Lives Matter protests, and the January 6th riot at the Capitol—great and scary book.    

By Bob Woodward, Robert Costa,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
THE NEW YORK TIMES NO 1 BESTSELLER
The storming of the Capitol on 6 January 2021 revealed the transition from President Trump to President Biden to be one of the most dangerous periods in American history, with the result of the election called into question by the sitting president.

But, as internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. At the highest level of the US military, secret action was taken to prevent Trump from possibly starting…


Book cover of Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America

Warner Blake Author Of J. S. White, Our First Architect: His Surviving Structures from 19th-Century Snohomish

From my list on covering the first draft of history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist who began with object theatre – writing, designing and building characters, and performing. Now, history writing is his primary focus, having written two books for 14 years, and still counting, writes a monthly blog, combining words and images to tell stories of early Snohomish. 

Warner's book list on covering the first draft of history

Warner Blake Why did Warner love this book?

The author also reads this audiobook with professional polish making it a very pleasurable experience. Actually comforting as I would tune in often during the day doing the chores, with the iPhone in the back pocket. 

Maggie Haberman, currently a New York Times reporter with previous positions at the Post and Daily News, makes her account of the man “formidable” – to use a word from the New York Times review. But for me it was continually fascinating to hear the stories of Trump’s early years. For example, one of Haberman’s talking points is that Trump’s orientation to the world is one of hospitality, of course. This explains his charm to voters where I see none. 

It’s a long book, but I loved Haberman reading her story to me, as sad as it is, but as the saying goes, “knowledge is power,” and I feel stronger for knowing the human…

By Maggie Haberman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Confidence Man 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.

“This is the book Trump fears most.” - Axios

“Will be a primary source about the most vexing president in American history for years to come.” - Joe Klein, The New York Times

"A uniquely illuminating portrait." - Sean Wilentz, The Washington Post

“[A] monumental look at Donald Trump and his presidency.” — David Shribman, Los Angeles Times

From the Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times reporter who has defined Donald J. Trump's presidency like no other journalist, Confidence Man is a magnificent and disturbing reckoning that chronicles his life and its meaning from his…


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 Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning

Maxwell L. Stearns Author Of Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy

From my list on books for everyone concerned about the state of U.S. democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an unusual law professor. I’ve taught constitutional law and economic analysis of law in a career spanning over three decades at two very different law schools. Most scholars view these fields as disconnected. My work, including several books and dozens of articles, demonstrates otherwise. This combined expertise helped me understand why our longstanding constitutional democracy is facing an existential crisis, why popular reform proposals won’t work, and what we must do to succeed. I wrote Parliamentary America for citizens seeking genuine solutions. My five-book list includes brilliant works cutting across myriad divides and embracing wide-ranging methodologies to ensure all citizens appreciate the importance of producing a truly thriving democracy.

Maxwell's book list on books for everyone concerned about the state of U.S. democracy

Maxwell L. Stearns Why did Maxwell love this book?

Regardless of personal political ideology, we must all recognize this modern-day profile in courage.  

Few have the moral standing of former Wyoming Congresswoman and one-time rising GOP star Liz Cheney to interrogate the once honorable GOP’s tragic erosion of leadership. Cheney emerged a party pariah not by abandoning conservative values, but rather by refusing to subordinate those values to her party’s absolute embrace of Donald Trump. 

I admire Cheney’s standing firm, resisting Trump’s willingness to undermine longstanding democratic norms, especially his role in fomenting the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol to subvert the peaceful transfer of power. Cheney, whose father was Vice President under George W. Bush, insistently elevated patriotism above partisanship, including serving on the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

By Liz Cheney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

INSTANT #1 BESTSELLER: A gripping first-hand account of the January 6th, 2021, insurrection from inside the halls of Congress, from origins to aftermath, as Donald Trump and his enablers betrayed the American people and the Constitution—by the House Republican leader who dared to stand up to it.
 
In the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump and many around him, including certain other elected Republican officials, intentionally breached their oath to the Constitution: they ignored the rulings of dozens of courts, plotted to overturn a lawful election, and provoked a violent attack on our Capitol.   Liz Cheney, one of…


Book cover of The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln

Sam Rawlins Author Of Young Lincoln of New Salem

From my list on fascinating information about Abraham Lincoln.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the age of ten, I became enthralled with Abraham Lincoln. The story of his life captured my imagination. I had to know more about him. Through the decades I searched out little-known stories, eyewitness accounts, and letters thought lost. Becoming fascinated how he went from an almost illiterate young man to becoming the person we know from history; I went to the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield Illinois and to where he lived in New Salem to do additional research. After that, I started writing a three-year labor of love: my own Lincoln book, primarily focusing on one key period of his life. 

Sam's book list on fascinating information about Abraham Lincoln

Sam Rawlins Why did Sam love this book?

A carefully researched portrait of Lincoln’s inner world and private life is explored by the author in a brilliant book. The Lincoln that emerges from this volume is someone whose marriage to Mary Todd was, according to William Herndon, “a burning scorching hell.” The inner turmoil Lincoln suffered during his life would have broken a lesser man. To fully appreciate Lincoln, this is a must-read.

By Michael Burlingame,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Published to a flurry of praise--and consternation--from Lincoln scholars, Burlingame's book takes a hard and unsentimental look at, among other things, Abraham Lincoln's excruciating yet fruitful midlife crisis, his marriage to a dishonest woman who often embarrassed and sometimes physically abused him, his estrangement from his father, his explosive temper, and his aversion to women.


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