With 2016 being an election year and my extensive experience with political campaigns, I thought now would be the perfect time to share five must-read political books. After all, just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t improve your understanding of politics while on vacation.
1. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
While this book was written back in the 1830s, what earns it a spot on this list is that many of Tocqueville’s perceptions still remain current and true of modern-day America. What’s unique about the French researcher’s remarks: Tocqueville made them at a time when the U.S. was just learning to crawl across the pages of history.
2. Blueprint for Revolution by Srdja Popovic
Rather than use aggression and scorched-earth political tactics to bring about change, sometimes it’s best to throw flowers rather than verbal grenades, which is what Popovic teaches in this 2015 book. The selection is especially useful for those who often work in group settings or desire to learn more about how to effectively resolve conflicts with a minimum of disruption.
3. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
President Lincoln is one of the most closely examined presidents in American history and Goodwin sets out to show us why. Team of Rivals is an award-winning work of art that has inspired presidents and filmmakers alike.
4. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics by David Axelrod
If you’ve wanted to dive deeper into the roots of the Democratic Party, plunge into the pages of Senior Advisor David Axelrod’s memoir. The book traces his path from journalist and political strategist to the man who was instrumental in America electing its first African-American president.
5. Echo House by Ward Just
If you prefer fiction, Just’s work may be more to your liking. The foreign correspondent’s novel chronicles the lives, intrigues and power plays of three generations of an influential Washington family. The cast of characters runs the gamut from reporters and civil servants to politician’s wives and lawyers.