Popular American Government Books
Want to Understand the World? Read These Books
When a period of war or oppression draws to a close, how should a country face up to past wrongdoing while creating a future free of conflict? Inequality is coming not just from the economy; it is coming from politics and policy, says Jamila Michener, assistant professor of government at Cornell University. Here she chooses five books that showcase some of the best, most thought-provoking writing on the politics and consequences of policy. The best presidential biographies contain insights into both the personal and the political, says the historian HW Brands. He chooses the best biographies of some of the greatest American presidents. The Pulitzer prize-winning history professor tells us how the Constitution came to be written and ratified and explains why, after more than years, Americans are still so deeply wedded to it.
American politics has recently been, shall we say, eventful. Even so, research still shows that American adults have little knowledge of how our government works, with only one-quarter able to name our three branches of federal government. How will they become equipped to become engaged, active citizens? Here are some books that we can read together to begin to pass the torch of democracy and liberty on to our kids. And maybe, just maybe, we grown-ups can learn a thing or two as well. With younger kids, it helps to start with the concrete, and the most recognizable feature of our government is our president.
If you read and absorb these books you will never look at the world the same way again. My time is limited. The books I recommend below belong in that category. They teach you something new and unexpected on every page. And they are a perfect antidote to the propaganda fed to us in the ideological prison camps where most of us spent our formative years. I list them in no particular order.