The most recommended books on the Republican Party (United States)

Who picked these books? Meet our 45 experts.

45 authors created a book list connected to the Republican Party, and here are their favorite Republican Party books.
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Book cover of Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class

Jennifer Saul Author Of Dogwhistles and Figleaves: How Manipulative Language Spreads Racism and Falsehood

From my list on how manipulative language stokes racism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a citizen of both the US and the UK, and in 2016, I watched as both my countries were suddenly pulled in shocking political directions, with Brexit in the UK and Trump’s election in the US. In both cases, strong pre-existing norms against openly racist speech seemed to vanish overnight. As a philosopher of language who worked on both deception and racism, I wanted to know how this happened. This has led me to an enduring interest in the ways that manipulative language can change norms around racism, allowing what was once unthinkable to become normal.

Jennifer's book list on how manipulative language stokes racism

Jennifer Saul Why did Jennifer love this book?

I found this book from 2013 deeply illuminating about how we have come to be in the place we are today. It explains how words like "welfare" have become weapons serving multiple nefarious purposes: they help to stoke racism, hatred, and division. And by doing that, they keep groups that share common goals—like low-wage workers seeking a living wage—from uniting to achieve these goals.

Although it’s not out yet, I’m eager for the 2025 revision, which will be updated to reflect all that has happened since Donald Trump's rise.

By Ian Haney Lspez,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" and "strapping young bucks" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle: sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that started with George Wallace
and Richard Nixon, and is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president.

In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian…

Book cover of A Fool's Errand: A Novel of the South During Reconstruction

William A. Blair Author Of The Record of Murders and Outrages: Racial Violence and the Fight over Truth at the Dawn of Reconstruction

From my list on racial violence and more in the post-Civil War South.

Why am I passionate about this?

Racial violence has been on my mind for decades, ever since I encountered the Freedmen’s Bureau Record of Murders and Outrages as a grad student. I didn’t know what prompted the government to gather such data. Later, as a professor directing a Civil War-era research center at Penn State, I sponsored a teacher-training initiative, “Breaking the Silence,” a UNESCO project on the Atlantic Slave Trade. I became starkly aware that most white Americans, myself included, had a poor sense of the brutality enmeshed in our history. This is not meant as a condemnation: without a fuller recognition of this racial past, we will have problems reconciling such issues in our own polarized times.

William's book list on racial violence and more in the post-Civil War South

William A. Blair Why did William love this book?

I used to teach this book in Civil War classes. Although billed as fiction, the book is a thinly veiled account of Albion Tourgée’s actual experiences with terrorism. Tourgée refers to the protagonist as “The Fool,” a dig at himself in the third person. An Ohioan, he relocated to North Carolina after the Civil War, became involved in Radical politics (advocating African American voting), and was elected a superior court judge. Tourgée battled the Ku Klux Klan. He faced death threats and provided accounts of lynchings of prominent Republican leaders—acts of political violence. The “Fool” started out as an idealist who tried to encourage equality under the law and then found himself, along with others, ground down by the violence around him, causing him to return to the North. The book allows readers to feel the problems of Reconstruction through the eyes of someone who lived through them.

By Albion W. Tourgee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Fool's Errand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“We tried to superimpose the civilization, the idea of the North, upon the South at a moment’s warning … It was a Fool’s Errand.”

The year is 1865 and the war between the states of North and South has ended.

Comfort Servosse, a Union officer, has decided to make his life in the South.

But is he only a fool for doing so?

Drawing upon his own experiences Albion Tourgee constructed a novel which vividly brings to life the world of the South during the Reconstruction.

“The native Southron, the 'poor white,' the carpet-bagger, the old Unioner, the freedman, the…

Book cover of The Sleeping Voice

Johana Gustawsson Author Of Blood Song

From my list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a French writer of Spanish origin. My two grandfathers shared history with Spain’s darkest hours. My maternal grandfather was born in Barcelona and he was a teenager at the time of the war; just like Salvayre’s parents, he had to flee Spain as the bombs were hitting his city. My paternal grandfather, who was in his twenties at the time of the civil war, decided to fight for the “International Brigades” to defend Spain’s freedom. It is to honour their memory and one of the millions of men and women who suffered from those almost four decades of dictatorship that I wrote Blood Song, a historical thriller, the third installment in the Roy and Castell series.

Johana's book list on resistance during The Spanish Civil War

Johana Gustawsson Why did Johana love this book?

The Sleeping Voice is the most poignant novel about women in the Spanish civil war you will get to read. Those voices are the ones of the women who fought throughout the dictatorship not to be forgotten as the silent soldiers they were. Those voices tell us that the real heroes are very often anonymous. You won’t be able to part with Hortensia, Elvira and Tomasa, the heroines: I can guarantee that they will all stay with you. I actually chose a quote from that book to open Blood Song: it is about a mother wondering how the sea looks like as her boys are laying in it. 

By Nick Caistor, Dulce Chacon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dulce Chacon's book has had an immense success in Spain, no doubt because the novelist speaks with a just and powerful voice, and because she has allowed women - the most anonymous, the most suppressed, the most silenced - to speak out" Le Monde

It is 1939. In the Ventas prison in Madrid a group of women have been incarcerated. Their crime is to have supported or fought on the Republican side in Spain's cruel and devastating Civil War. Chief among them are Hortensia, who fought with the militia and is pregnant by her husband Felipe - a man still…

Book cover of Building Mid-Republican Rome: Labor, Architecture, and the Urban Economy

Greg Woolf Author Of Rome: An Empire's Story

From my list on new books about the Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an historian and archaeologist of the Roman world, who has lectured on the subject around the world. This summer I am moving from a position in London to one in Los Angeles. One of the attractions of Roman history is that it is a vast subject spanning three continents and more than a thousand years. There is always something new to discover and a great international community of researchers working together to do just that. It is a huge privilege to be part of that community and to try and communicate some its work to the widest audience possible.

Greg's book list on new books about the Roman Empire

Greg Woolf Why did Greg love this book?

The monuments we see when we visit Rome were constructed under the emperors. But Rome was already a great metropolis before they began work, one that was architecturally unique and built on a scale to dwarf most ancient cities. What this book does is reconstruct the great building projects of the Republic, beginning with the original fourth-century walls of Rome and the first aqueducts. It asks (and answers) questions like: Where did they get the stone? Who provided the labour? How long did it take them? And what technologies did they use? This was a Rome built without marble, without concrete, and not a royal foundation, but one managed by generations of magistrates riding the wave of a slow economic boom. Completely fascinating.

By Seth Bernard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building Mid-Republican Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Building Mid-Republican Rome offers a holistic treatment of the development of the Mid-Republican city from 396 to 168 BCE. As Romans established imperial control over Italy and beyond, the city itself radically transformed from an ambitious central Italian settlement into the capital of the Mediterranean world. Seth Bernard describes this transformation in terms of both new urban architecture, much of it unprecedented in form and extent, and new
socioeconomic structures, including slavery, coinage, and market-exchange. These physical and historical developments were closely linked: building the Republican city was expensive, and meeting such costs had significant implications for urban society. Building…

Book cover of Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality

James Cronin Author Of Fragile Victory: The Making and Unmaking of Liberal Order

From my list on the crisis of liberal order and democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Well before I trained as a scholar, I was an activist motivated by opposition to the Vietnam War and support for civil rights and social justice. Those commitments continued throughout my academic career and have now morphed into a resolve to write about recent threats to liberal order, democracy, and justice. The election results of 2016 – the triumph of “leave” in the Brexit vote and of Donald Trump in the Presidential election, forced me to rethink the history of things I have come to cherish – liberal order, democracy, and social and racial justice – how support for them has ebbed, and why they now require vigorous and informed defense.

James' book list on the crisis of liberal order and democracy

James Cronin Why did James love this book?

Hacker and Pierson argue that “plutocratic populism,” their term for what currently ails the United States and other democracies, is the latest solution to a structural dilemma in modern democracy.

Conservatives are regularly determined to protect wealth and privilege but need to win over voters who typically lack wealth and privilege to elect them. That means a continual effort to craft appeals that, in effect, disguise their aims.

The recent turn to populism means relying on non-economic issues – race, nativism, and various culture war issues concerning sex and gender most potently – to attract voters to support parties whose first allegiance is to the economic interests of elites.

This strategy can also lead, at times, to attacks on democracy and voting as well. 

By Jacob S. Hacker, Paul Pierson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Let Them Eat Tweets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Republican Party appears to be divided between a tax-cutting old guard and a white-nationalist vanguard-and with Donald Trump's ascendance, the upstarts seem to be winning. Yet how are we to explain that, under Trump, the plutocrats have gotten almost everything they want, including a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, regulation-killing executive actions, and a legion of business-friendly federal judges? Does the GOP represent "forgotten" Americans? Or does it represent the superrich?

In Let Them Eat Tweets, best-selling political scientists Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters…

Book cover of A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford

Scott Kaufman Author Of Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford

From my list on the life and presidency of Gerald R. Ford.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was 16 years old, my father, Burton Kaufman, who is also a historian, took me to the Jimmy Carter Library in Georgia to help him research a book on America's thirty-ninth president. Having had a love of history since the sixth grade, that trip deepened my desire to major in History in college and teach it as a profession. It also made me interested in learning more about the presidency, starting with Carter. Several years ago, I edited a series of essays on both the Ford and Carter presidencies, and realized there was need for an in-depth political biography of our thirty-eighth chief executive. The result was my book on Ford.

Scott's book list on the life and presidency of Gerald R. Ford

Scott Kaufman Why did Scott love this book?

While any reader should be cautious with memoirs, what they tell you—or, conversely, omit—can offer great insight into what the writer believed and did. Researched and co-authored by Trevor Ambrister, A Time to Heal is at some points disjointed. However, its value is in Ford’s telling of his upbringing, his relationship with his wife, Betty, his ambitiousness to rise up the political ranks, the challenges he faced as president, and his failure to win the presidency in 1976. 

By Gerald R. Ford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Brand new copy still shrink wrapped - sealed from Easton Press. Signed copy.

Book cover of All Politics Is Local: Why Progressives Must Fight for the States

Raina Lipsitz Author Of The Rise of a New Left: How Young Radicals Are Shaping the Future of American Politics

From my list on American politics for open-minded readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with politics and social justice since I was a kid, have been writing professionally for over a decade, and have twice interviewed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I wrote The Rise of a New Left because I was covering a new generation of political candidates who were challenging old orthodoxies, and I was curious about the leftward shift in U.S. politics: where it came from, who was driving it, how deep it went, and how durable it might be. I try to convey a broader and more nuanced view of the American left and give young women and people of color the credit they deserve for reinvigorating it.

Raina's book list on American politics for open-minded readers

Raina Lipsitz Why did Raina love this book?

A timely and well-researched look at the right’s successful, decades-long strategy of capturing state legislatures, this book sounds the alarm—and points to a crucial path forward. I love that Winter succeeds where many academic authors have failed: she has written a book that’s both deeply informative and fun to read. I especially appreciate her concrete and practical approach to moving the United States in a more progressive direction; anyone can point out that the right is, by many measures, winning, but it takes real talent to show us what we can do about it.

By Meaghan Winter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the 2016 election, the Republican Party seized control not just of the White House and Congress but of many state governments. To be precise, the GOP seized control of both legislative chambers in 32 states and governor offices in 33 states-a majority the party hadn't held since 1928. What happened?

In In the Red, journalist Meaghan Winter argues that over the last couple decades, the Democratic Party has made a very risky strategic choice to abandon state and local races in order to win federal races, while the GOP poured money into winning state governor seats and state congresses.…

Book cover of The Secret Army: The IRA

Mark Bulik Author Of Ambush at Central Park: When the IRA Came to New York

From my list on the Irish Republican Army from the 1920s to 1990s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in one of America’s most heavily Irish areas, outside Philadelphia. After Northern Ireland exploded in 1969, IRA gunrunning cases made the local news, and came up in conversations – one friend told me his ancestors smuggled weapons in the 1920s. So I was hooked when I ran across a vivid 1922 account of an IRA shooting in Manhattan, splashed on the front page of The New York Times, my employer. My first book was about Irish rebel gunmen, the Molly Maguires of the Pennsylvania coal fields, where my Irish ancestors were miners. I’ve given lectures about the IRA’s American activities at conferences in Cork and California. 

Mark's book list on the Irish Republican Army from the 1920s to 1990s

Mark Bulik Why did Mark love this book?

A comprehensive history of the IRA from the 1916 Easter Uprising to the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles in the 1970s.

Bell did extensive research, interviewing many IRA veterans, and he offers insights on the organization’s high points and low points, of which there were many. What I liked best, though, was Bell’s writing – his words bring these people and events to life.

By J. Bowyer Bell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Secret Army is the definitive work on the Irish Republican Army. It is an absorbing account of a movement that has had a profound effect on the shaping of the modern Irish state. The secret army in the service of the invisible Republic has had a powerful effect on Irish events over the past twenty-five years. These hidden corridors of power interest Bell and inspired him to spend more time with the IRA than many volunteers spend in it. This book is the culmination of twenty-five years of work and tens of thousands of hours of interviews. Bell's unique…

Book cover of Until I Could Be Sure: How I Stopped the Death Penalty in Illinois

Maurice Possley Author Of Hitler in the Crosshairs: A GI's Story of Courage and Faith

From my list on true stories with meaning and power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who has worked for the past 10 years as the senior researcher for the National Registry of Exonerations. In that capacity, I have written nearly 2,500 individual accounts of men and women and teenagers who were wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit. Some of them were sentenced to death. I have seen and written about these tragedies firsthand.

Maurice's book list on true stories with meaning and power

Maurice Possley Why did Maurice love this book?

This is the true first person account of Illinois Governor George Ryan’s courageous and unprecedented decision to suspend the death penalty and empty death row in 2003. He oversaw the state’s last execution, an experience that was seared in his brain. In 2000, he became the first governor (and a Republican at that) to impose a moratorium on the death penalty. I was there as a journalist and I helped him write this powerful memoir.

By George H. Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Until I Could Be Sure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In January 2000, Illinois Governor George Ryan declared a moratorium on executions-the first such action by any governor in the history of the United States.

Despite a long history as a death penalty proponent, Ryan was emotionally moved after allowing an execution in 1999. He was also profoundly disturbed by the state's history-12 men had been executed and 13 had been exonerated since the return of the death penalty in Illinois in 1977. More had been proven innocent than had been executed.

Three years later, in 2003, Ryan pardoned four death row inmates based on their actual innocence and then…

Book cover of The Last Nazi

David Wickenden Author Of The Home Front

From my list on Nazis and the threat they posed in the past and today.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can recommend this topic because of my interest in anything about WWII and the Nazi horror. It also comes from the recent revival of the ideology, even though the entire world fought to defeat them seventy years ago. I have been haunted by PTSD because of my experiences as a first responder and can speak to that personally. As a former reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces, I also have experience in firearms and munitions. I have recently written my own story, The Home Front, which deals with the rise of the neo-Nazis in the United States through the eyes of a WWII veteran.

David's book list on Nazis and the threat they posed in the past and today

David Wickenden Why did David love this book?

From well-documented facts that the US government hid escaping Nazis after the war, comes a brutal story. This book has it all. Buried Nazi treasure, political wheeling and dealing, revenge, greed, and ruthless killers. Joe Johnson has been hunting war criminals for years after a stint in the CIA. When a story is leaked that Nazi treasure might finance the contender of the U.S. Republican party, Johnson is hired to ferret out the truth. But people don’t like having him poking into matters better left in the past. Can these types of people ever change or do they continue to hurt the weak for their own gains? From the United States to Argentina and England to Poland, this story just doesn’t stop until the last bullet is fired.

By Andrew Turpin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dark truths uncovered . . . The buried contents of a Nazi train. An aging SS killer—with a final sting in his tail. And the World War II secrets of a US presidential hopeful’s Jewish family, hidden in London for 70 years.

★★★★★ “A great read, has more twists than a country road.” — Amazon reviewer.

In this gripping thriller, war crimes investigator and ex-CIA officer Joe Johnson uncovers links between financing for the presidential campaign, the Nazi train, and a ruthless British blackmail plot.

But the mystery becomes bigger and more deeply personal than Johnson expects when it turns…