Political Books Trump Trashy Fiction

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Our favorite political authors range from Machiavelli to Woodward and Bernstein. hide caption

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Summer reading always meant fiction, and often trashy fiction — the kind of books you'd buy at the airport to read on the beach and leave in your hotel room. But in this extensive presidential campaign season, books about politics are selling well, and fast, according to Dermot McEvoy, a senior editor of Publishers Weekly.

As McEvoy reports in his article, "Want Political Truth? Buy a Book", and discusses on Talk of the Nation, the latest crop of political books is issue-focused, with just a few political biographies thrown into the mix.

If your tastes run more toward the political classics, here's a list of some of our favorite books of all time.

Don Gonyea, White House correspondent:

All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren

What it Takes, by Richard Ben Cramer

And from my youth:
Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72, by Hunter S. Thompson

David Greene, White House correspondent:

This may make me sound like more of a history buff, but ...

Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939, by Lizabeth Cohen

Out of Order, by Thomas E. Patterson

In the Shadow of FDR, by William Leuchtenburg

Debbie Elliott, congressional correspondent:

The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer, by Chris Myers Asch

David Welna, congressional correspondent:

This wonderful book is for anyone who wants a lively, engaging account of how the U.S. Constitution came into being — and what its authors worried about as they wrote it:

America's Constitution: A Biography, by Akhil Reed Amar

Beth Donovan, elections editor:

The only three political books you really need to read are de Tocqueville, Machiavelli and Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

My summer reading is escapist from this world: I'm reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini right now. Next up, Run by Ann Patchett. I'm usually not so far behind on current literature. Blame the Democrats.

Brian Naylor, Capitol Hill correspondent:

All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren

Juan Williams, news analyst:

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

Native Son, by Ralph Ellison

The Making of the President, 1960, by Theodore Harold White

The Best and the Brightest, by David Halberstam

The Boys on the Bus, by Timothy Crouse

All the President's Men, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency, by Mark Hertsgaard

Spin Cycle, by Howard Kurtz

Evie Stone, associate producer:

The Boys on the Bus, by Timothy Crouse

Laurel Wamsley, editorial assistant:

I loved David Foster Wallace's long, funny essay on traveling with the McCain campaign in 2000, called "Up, Simba" and found in his amazing book Consider the Lobster and Other Essays. What's fascinating is how many of the things that were said about McCain then (e.g., He's a person who you really believe in to deliver us from the old politics, etc.), are the exact things being said about Obama now. It's also important as media criticism, as it looks at how McCain holds court for a small circle of reporters aboard the old S.T. Express. They're reissuing that essay as a slim stand-alone book with an introduction by Jacob Weisberg, titled McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope.

Thomas Pierce, production assistant:

Abraham Lincoln, by Carl Sandburg



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