You might recognize Thomas Paine’s Common Sense from past history classes, and for good reason. Published as a pamphlet in 1775, this small book was instrumental in convincing colonists that a departure from the British monarchy was the only sensible course forward. As such, it is one of the most influential documents we have from the colonial period and is a key resource for anyone interested in the political thought of days past.
While Hillary Clinton may have lost the democratic primary for the 2008 presidency, her political career was by no means over. Journalists Allen and Parnes use eyewitness accounts to trace Clinton’s political rise since then, in what is now an essential account of a presidential candidate that will inform and interest potential voters no matter their party affiliations.
The Radicalism of the American Revolution
Gordon S. Wood
This Pulitzer-Prize winning text isn’t an account of the Revolutionary War, but an examination of how the revolution influenced the social and political structure of a new country practically overnight. If you’re looking to put the revolutionary period into a broader context, The Radicalism of the American Revolution is for you.
Trump and Me
In 1996, Mark Singer was asked to profile business mogul Donald Trump for the New Yorker. When he published the piece, Trump was none too pleased with the result. In light of Trump’s Presidential bid, Singer now chronicles the ensuing back-and-forth that formed between him and Trump after his article, as well as on the evolution and “performance art” of the GOP nominee.
The Deleted E-Mails of Hillary Clinton
Ah, yes, the e-mails. Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails have been a major point of conversation during the election season but fear not—John Moe and WikiLoox have recovered these messages and published them for all to read. If you’ve been finding yourself desperately needing a laugh this election season, this quick parody book featuring the (fictional) email exchange between Beyoncé, Oprah, Gwyneth, and Secretary Clinton is exactly the fix you’ve been looking for.
By the People
Individual liberties are being lost under the regulatory red tape of the federal government, argues social scientist and author Charles Murray. However, as a people, Americans have the ability to fight on behalf of the ordinary man using various forms of civil disobedience, and by using Murray’s suggestions, can expose and rectify government corruption.
Democracy in America and Two Essays on America
Alexis de Tocqueville
First published in 1835, Democracy in America was written as a Frenchman’s observations of how democracy functioned in America. Readers might be somewhat startled to find just how accurate some of de Tocqueville’s predictions have proven to be, and it is this continuing relevance that has established the book as a favorite amongst political scholars.
If you live in America, it’s likely that the only thing you’re seeing on your television lately is coverage of the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Keeping track of this hectic election season in order to make an educated vote come November can sometimes feel taxing, but have no fear: there are a number of books out there that are both educational and entertaining in their discussion of politics past and present. Whether your interest is in the current political climate or the early years of American history that would dictate traditions for years to come, the people, events, and ideas described in these books will provide informative context throughout the remainder of the election season.
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