The best 82 Political Figures books

Political figures shape the course of history and influence societies worldwide. Our carefully selected book list delves into the lives and decisions of prominent leaders, offering fresh perspectives on their impact and legacies.

Discover the captivating stories behind the faces that changed the world. Dive into our recommended reads today and uncover the secrets of power, leadership, and diplomacy!

The best 82 Political Figures books
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1
Political Figures Books: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope

Barack Obama
Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
4.5 (119 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's The Audacity of Hope about?

The Audacity of Hope is based on a keynote speech Barack Obama delivered at the 2004 Democratic Convention, which launched him into the spotlight of the nation. It contains many of the subjects of Obama’s 2008 campaign for the presidency.

Who should read The Audacity of Hope?

  • Anyone interested in American politics and international affairs
  • Anyone who wants to find out about Obama’s core values

2
Political Figures Books: The Black Jacobins by C.L.R. James

The Black Jacobins

C.L.R. James
Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution
4.6 (88 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Black Jacobins about?

The Black Jacobins (1938) traces the remarkable history of the revolution in the French colony of San Domingo (modern day Haiti). It describes the events that helped the revolution become the first successful slave rebellion in history.

In particular, The Black Jacobins views the events through the prism of the revolution’s greatest figure, Toussaint L’Ouverture. It shows how he, a former slave who was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, successfully defeated the European empires and helped to destroy the brutal practice of slavery in San Domingo.

Who should read The Black Jacobins?

  • Students of history and postcolonial studies
  • Anyone who wants to understand why people revolt
  • Anyone interested in how political ideas can change the world

3
Political Figures Books: The Man Without A Face by Masha Gessen

The Man Without A Face

Masha Gessen
The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
4.3 (313 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Man Without A Face about?

A biography of Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Man Without A Face shines a clear light on one of contemporary history’s more shadowy political figures. The book charts Putin’s almost accidental rise to Russia’s highest office, starting from his benign beginnings in the state secret police. His vindictive personality, overwhelming greed and disdain for democratic norms continue to transform Russia today.

Who should read The Man Without A Face?

  • Anyone interested in Russia’s place in global politics
  • Anyone curious about the life of a notorious world leader
  • Anyone fighting for accountability and transparency in politics

4
Political Figures Books: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela
The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
4.5 (193 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Long Walk to Freedom about?

Nelson Mandela's A Long Walk to Freedom (1994) is one of the most famous autobiographies of recent times. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings in the South African countryside to his work as an iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter, and ends, after chronicling his twenty-year prison sentence, with his final victory and release.

Who should read Long Walk to Freedom?

  • People interested in Nelson Mandela
  • Anyone curious about South African history
  • Proponents of social justice

5
Political Figures Books: Blood Feud by Edward Klein

Blood Feud

Edward Klein
The Clintons vs. the Obamas
3.5 (32 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Blood Feud about?

Blood Feud (2014) tells the story of how two of the most influential families in the United States, the Obamas and the Clintons, came to despise one another, and how this mutual hatred has led to a long and cruel history of manipulation, back-stabbing and broken trust.

Who should read Blood Feud?

  • Gossip aficionados who love wild rumours about America’s Beltway
  • Anyone interested in American politics
  • Fans of Machiavelli’s The Prince

6
Political Figures Books: The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown

The Myth of the Strong Leader

Archie Brown
Political Leadership in the Modern Age
3.9 (84 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Myth of the Strong Leader about?

The Myth of the Strong Leader (2014) explores why people tend to favor charismatic leaders, those they perceive as “strong.” These blinks show which factors allow such leaders to rise to power and why such a personality type shouldn’t necessarily lead a democratic society. Importantly, you’ll learn what can happen on an international scale when ill-suited “strong leaders” take the reins of a democracy.

Who should read The Myth of the Strong Leader?

  • Students of politics or history
  • People curious how authoritarian leaders rise to power
  • Aspiring leaders who want to lead fairly

7
Political Figures Books: Ukraine Crisis by Andrew Wilson

Ukraine Crisis

Andrew Wilson
What It Means for the West
4.3 (709 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Ukraine Crisis about?

Ukraine Crisis (2014) addresses the peaceful protests and violent conflicts that have rocked Ukraine in recent years. This book take a look at the events surrounding the Maidan uprising, the Russian annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in the Donbas. Importantly, the crisis is put into context not just for the future of Ukraine but also how it affects Russia, the European Union and the world.

Who should read Ukraine Crisis?

  • Students and professors of history or politics
  • People interested in contemporary history
  • Anyone curious about the power play between Russia and the West

8
Political Figures Books: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Alex Haley, Malcolm X
As told to Alex Haley
4.6 (140 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Autobiography of Malcolm X about?

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) is a profound and personal account of one man’s journey from dropping out of school and entering a life of crime and drug addiction to finding redemption through human rights activism. These blinks tell the story of a curious and evolving mind: a man who dedicated his life to helping African-Americans gain identity and freedom from oppression by any means necessary.

Who should read The Autobiography of Malcolm X?

  • Human rights activists
  • Historians
  • People interested in the civil rights movement

9
Political Figures Books: Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman

Alexander the Great

Philip Freeman
4.6 (334 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Alexander the Great about?

The eponymous hero of Alexander the Great (2011) is remembered as one of the greatest military commanders who ever lived. Setting out from Greece at the age of 21, Alexander waged a ten-year campaign, during which he defeated the Persian Achaemenids and, in so doing, created the largest empire the world had ever seen. By spreading Greek culture and language throughout Eurasia, his legacy remained influential for centuries after.

Who should read Alexander the Great?

  • People interested in how Greek culture became so dominant
  • History buffs interested in military strategy
  • Students of ancient history

10
Political Figures Books: On His Own Terms by Richard Norton Smith

On His Own Terms

Richard Norton Smith
A Life of Nelson Rockefeller
4.1 (20 ratings)
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What's On His Own Terms about?

On His Own Terms (2014) tells the remarkable life story of Nelson Rockefeller, who used his family’s notoriety and wealth to change the world for the better. These blinks walk you through Nelson’s life, from his involvement in the family oil business to his extended career in politics.

Who should read On His Own Terms?

  • Students of history and politics
  • Readers who love a good biography

11
Political Figures Books: Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

Fire and Fury

Michael Wolff
Inside the Trump White House
4.2 (64 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Fire and Fury about?

Fire and Fury (2018) gives a fly-on-the-wall account of the Trump administration’s early days. With his insider access to the West Wing and over two hundred conversations with senior staff under his belt, Michael Wolff paints a fascinating portrait of an administration he claims is wholly unprepared to govern.

Who should read Fire and Fury?

  • Readers who want a behind-the-scenes peek into the White House
  • US citizens concerned about how fit Donald Trump is for the job
  • News junkies looking for more insight into the Trump presidency

12
Political Figures Books: Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff and David Corn

Russian Roulette

Michael Isikoff and David Corn
The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump
4.0 (57 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Russian Roulette about?

Russian Roulette (2018) relates the results of an investigation by two journalists into the Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election. These include details on Trump’s business ties to Russia, the Russian connections of his campaign team, the Russian hacking of Democratic institutions, the disinformation campaigns on social media and what Russian intelligence might have gathered to compromise Trump. The blinks also tell how the American intelligence community and the Obama administration reacted to the Russian hacking.

Who should read Russian Roulette?

  • News junkies interested in the 2016 US presidential election
  • Concerned citizens who want to know more about Trump’s ties to Russia
  • Students of politics seeking an explanation for why Trump won

13
Political Figures Books: The World as It Is by Ben Rhodes

The World as It Is

Ben Rhodes
A Memoir of the Obama White House
4.5 (35 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The World as It Is about?

The World as It Is (2018) is a deeply personal look at the Obama presidency, written by a man who not only worked closely with the forty-fourth president, but also became his friend. Taking us on a behind-the-scenes tour of Obama’s presidency, from his first campaign to Trump’s inauguration, these blinks also chronicle the author’s personal journey from fresh-faced staffer to hardened national security operator.

Who should read The World as It Is?

  • History and politics buffs
  • Anyone interested in an inside look at the highest levels of government
  • People who want a better understanding of the state of US politics today

14
Political Figures Books: The Big Lie by Dinesh D’Souza

The Big Lie

Dinesh D’Souza
Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left
3.0 (153 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Big Lie about?

The Big Lie (2017) is a right-wing account of current American political events. Author Dinesh D’Souza thinks that attacks against Trump from the Left are unfair. The progressive Left claim that Trump is a racist and a fascist, and have likened him to a Nazi, but this book radically upends these accusations. For D’Souza, the American Left is recycling one big lie. It’s the Democrats who are the real Nazis, the true fascists and racists.

Who should read The Big Lie?

  • Conservatives, Republicans, Trump-supporters, right-wing voters
  • Historians and political scientists
  • Progressive and liberal voters who want to understand populist arguments

15
Political Figures Books: Dear Madam President by Jennifer Palmieri

Dear Madam President

Jennifer Palmieri
An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World
3.8 (20 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Dear Madam President about?

Dear Madam President (2018) explores the factors that led to Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 US presidential election. The blinks give an insider’s perspective on the discrimination and controversies Clinton faced in her fight to become America’s first female president.

Who should read Dear Madam President?

  • Followers of American politics
  • Women seeking greater access to leadership positions
  • Those interested in learning more about Hillary Clinton

16
Political Figures Books: Adults in The Room by Yanis Varoufakis

Adults in The Room

Yanis Varoufakis
My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment
4.1 (76 ratings)
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00:00

What's Adults in The Room about?

Adults in the Room (2017) is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of what it’s like to deal with the European Union establishment, as experienced by the former Minister of Finance of Greece. This scathing exposé shows that, when it comes to global politics, the best interests of weaker nations aren’t always of the utmost importance to those in charge.

Who should read Adults in The Room?

  • European citizens
  • Anyone interested in European politics
  • Students of economics and world affairs

17
Political Figures Books: No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein

No Is Not Enough

Naomi Klein
Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need
3.3 (26 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's No Is Not Enough about?

No Is Not Enough (2017) offers a critical account of Trump’s first months in the Oval Office, reflecting on how he got there and what we should expect from him. At the heart of this account is not only an unmasking of Trump’s routine shock tactics, but also advice on how we can resist and forge a better tomorrow.

Who should read No Is Not Enough?

  • Readers trying to make sense of Trump’s presidency
  • Americans outraged by the policies of the Trump administration
  • Activists willing to resist the corporate takeover of politics

18
Political Figures Books: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow
4.6 (87 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Alexander Hamilton about?

Alexander Hamilton (2004) tells the incredible story of a poor orphan boy whose limitless ambition, intelligence and tenacity shaped the course of American history. From his early years in the Caribbean to his role in the War of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution, this is the biography of Alexander Hamilton, the intellectual, soldier and politician who helped make the United States into the country that it is today.

Who should read Alexander Hamilton?

  • History buffs
  • Anyone captivated by the Hamilton musical and keen to learn more about its hero
  • Fans of epic true-life stories

19
Political Figures Books: The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris

The Truths We Hold

Kamala Harris
An American Journey
4.0 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Truths We Hold about?

The Truths We Hold (2019) is an intimate self-portrait of one of the rising forces in contemporary American political life: Californian Senator and civil rights activist Kamala Harris. Combining the personal with the political, Harris sheds light on her early years as the daughter of immigrants, her legal career in the Golden State and the causes she has championed as an elected representative in Trump’s America.

Who should read The Truths We Hold?

  • Politics and history buffs
  • Anyone interested in the life and views of a potential presidential candidate
  • Legal professionals and civil rights activists

20
Political Figures Books: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming

Michelle Obama
4.5 (628 ratings)
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What's Becoming about?

Becoming (2018) tells the story of Michelle Obama, née Robinson. Born to loving parents in a working-class Chicago neighborhood, she grew into a strong, independent woman, who just happened to meet and fall in love with a man named Barack Obama. This is the life story of a woman who didn’t expect to become the first African-American First Lady, yet found a way to continue exercising her own unique voice under the most unusual and trying of circumstances.

Who should read Becoming?

  • People who enjoy an inspirational story
  • Working moms
  • Anyone eager to make a difference

21
Political Figures Books: The Prime Ministers by Steve Richards

The Prime Ministers

Steve Richards
Reflections on Leadership from Wilson to May
4.3 (61 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Prime Ministers about?

The Prime Ministers (2019) looks back on nine British prime ministers, from Harold Wilson to Theresa May. Taking in different political eras – from Thatcher’s booming eighties to the troubled post-Brexit landscape of Theresa May – Steve Richards considers the particular leadership qualities of these figures, judging their merits and defects at crucial junctures in their careers.

Who should read The Prime Ministers?

  • Anyone following the current political crisis in the UK
  • Those interested in British political history
  • Would-be leaders looking to learn from past mistakes and triumphs

22
Political Figures Books: Anarchism by Colin Ward

Anarchism

Colin Ward
A Very Short Introduction
4.4 (115 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Anarchism about?

Anarchism (2004) lays out the history and principles behind an oft-misunderstood political ideology. Crucially, anarchists emphasize freedom over oppression, thereby seeking to do away with human life’s many hierarchies, be they those imposed by the modern nation-state, by patriarchal societies or even by religious organizations. Anarchism envisions a world free from any sort of coercion.

Who should read Anarchism?

  • Anyone looking to learn about alternative societal models
  • Students of politics or history
  • Citizens concerned about climate change and how we might stop it

23
Political Figures Books: Siege by Michael Wolff

Siege

Michael Wolff
Trump Under Fire
4.3 (41 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Siege about?

Siege (2019) gives a detailed account of Donald Trump’s presidency between 2017 and early 2019, portraying a White House that always seems to be on the brink of collapse. In a blow-by-blow description of the seismic events of Trump’s second and third years in office, Michael Wolff evokes an administration under siege.

Who should read Siege?

  • Readers who are morbidly fascinated by the Trump presidency
  • Fans of gripping political narratives
  • US citizens wondering whether their president will see through a full term in office

24
Political Figures Books: American Carnage by Tim Alberta

American Carnage

Tim Alberta
On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump
4.0 (76 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's American Carnage about?

American Carnage (2019) details the ideological battle at the heart of the Republican Party over the last decade. From George Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” to the Tea Party’s right-wing fervor, Tim Alberta covers the ideological metamorphosis that led to Donald Trump’s presidency.

Who should read American Carnage?

  • Anyone with an interest in American politics 
  • Budding Washington hacks
  • Those anxious about the rise of the far right

25
Political Figures Books: The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater

The Conscience of a Conservative

Barry Goldwater
4.4 (147 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Conscience of a Conservative about?

The Conscience of a Conservative (1960) is a classic statement of the conservative mindset. Penned in an age of bipartisan support for big government, Barry Goldwater’s manifesto rekindled a conservative movement committed to shrinking the state. Over the next 20 years, Goldwater’s positions on topics such as taxation, education, and welfare became commonsensical on the American right, laying the foundations for the 1980s Reagan revolution. 

Who should read The Conscience of a Conservative?

  • History buffs and politicos 
  • Advocates of limited government 
  • Liberals interested in the other side of the argument

26
Political Figures Books: Dark Towers by David Enrich

Dark Towers

David Enrich
Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction
4.4 (94 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Dark Towers about?

Dark Towers (2020) is a heavily researched look into the ignominious rise and devastating fall of Deutsche Bank. Over the course of 150 years, the bank helped build the American railroad system, funded Nazi genocide, schmoozed Russian oligarchs, and had a hand in the election of President Donald Trump. When Deutsche executive Bill Broeksmit killed himself in 2014, he came to symbolize the destructive power of the bank’s institutional greed.

Who should read Dark Towers?

  • People who work in finance
  • Anyone still mad about the government’s Wall Street bailout
  • Stock market watchers

27
Political Figures Books: A Very Stable Genius by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig

A Very Stable Genius

Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig
Donald J. Trump's Testing of America
3.6 (104 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Very Stable Genius about?

A Very Stable Genius (2020) is the definitive account of Donald Trump’s time in the White House. After three years of silence, dozens of public officials and other first-hand witnesses familiar with the workings of the Trump administration went on record with reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. Their testimony forms the backbone of these blinks, which reveal the forty-fifth president of the United States up close. 

Who should read A Very Stable Genius?

  • Politics buffs 
  • News junkies looking for the bigger picture 
  • Journalists and reporters

28
Political Figures Books: Profiles in Corruption by Peter Schweizer

Profiles in Corruption

Peter Schweizer
Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite
3.3 (73 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Profiles in Corruption about?

Profiles in Corruption (2020) challenges us to question and confront the moral integrity of the politicians at the forefront of the modern progressive movement in America. Derived from a range of sources, from financial reports to corporate documentation, eight profiles of the biggest names in left-wing politics tell us a harrowing story of illicit exchanges, cover-ups, and double-crosses.

Who should read Profiles in Corruption?

  • Americans concerned about the integrity of Democratic politicians
  • Truth-seekers who want to know what goes on behind Washington’s closed doors
  • Fans of political intrigue

29
Political Figures Books: Putin's People by Catherine Belton

Putin's People

Catherine Belton
How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West
4.3 (403 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Putin's People about?

Putin’s People (2020) is a shocking account of the corruption and political schemes that swirl around Russia’s infamous president, Vladimir Putin, and his close inner circle. The KGB is well-known as the former Soviet Union’s secret police force – but that was far from its only role in the Soviet government and economy. This is the story of how the KGB lost its power, gained it back, and has been exploiting it ever since.

Who should read Putin's People?

  • Fans of political intrigue and international relations
  • Students of Russian history and culture
  • Anyone curious about the inner workings of Vladimir Putin’s regime

30
Political Figures Books: It Was All a Lie by Stuart Stevens

It Was All a Lie

Stuart Stevens
How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump
4.0 (130 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's It Was All a Lie about?

It Was All A Lie (2020) is former Republican political consultant Stuart Stevens’ take on how Republican leaders, desperate for power, have mortgaged their purported values to support Donald Trump.

Who should read It Was All a Lie?

  • Americans disappointed by the Trump presidency
  • Lovers of well-crafted snark
  • Political junkies

31
Political Figures Books: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

A Promised Land

Barack Obama
4.5 (442 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Promised Land about?

A Promised Land (2020) is the first volume of the memoirs of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. The memoir chronicles Obama’s journey from teenage Honolulu ne'er-do-well to Chicago community organizer and on to one of the most beloved – and mistrusted – figures in American history.

Who should read A Promised Land?

  • Anyone wanting to understand modern American politics
  • Lovers of deep-dive biography
  • Those looking to learn college-age Obama’s strategy for picking up girls

32
Political Figures Books: Bedtime Biography: Queen of Fashion by Caroline Weber

Bedtime Biography: Queen of Fashion

Caroline Weber
What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution
4.5 (68 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bedtime Biography: Queen of Fashion about?

Narrated by Marston York

Music by Federico Coderoni

Queen of Fashion (2006) unveils the untold ways in which Marie Antoinette, with her iconoclastic sense of fashion and rebellious nature, challenged the status quo of 18th century French court. Expressing herself through daring originality, her story reveals a great deal about the revolutionary politics that make up the history of both fashion and France.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Queen of Fashion?

  • Fashionistas wanting to know more about the link between power and clothing
  • Francophiles obsessed with Marie Antoinette
  • History students interested in the French Revolution

33
Political Figures Books: Compromised by Peter Strzok

Compromised

Peter Strzok
Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump
3.9 (42 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Compromised about?

Compromised (2020) is an inside account of the FBI’s handling of the now-famous Midyear Exam and Crossfire Hurricane investigations concerning Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, respectively. It tackles partisan media and White House accusations head-on, from the point of view of a person at the center of it all.

Who should read Compromised?

  • Politically engaged Americans on both sides of the aisle
  • Those who have been exposed to conflicting narratives about the FBI
  • Curious followers of current events and politics

34
Political Figures Books: The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson

The Splendid and the Vile

Erik Larson
A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz
4.6 (122 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Splendid and the Vile about?

The Splendid and the Vile (2020) is a meticulously researched account of Winston Churchill’s first year of leadership. Beginning in 1940, he led the country through France’s surrender, the miraculous rescue at Dunkirk, and the Nazi air force’s bombing blitz of the UK, which killed over 44,000 Brits. Through it all, he retained his sense of humor and charming eccentricities that ensure him a fond place in our collective memory.

Who should read The Splendid and the Vile?

  • World War II nerds
  • People interested in eccentric histories
  • Anyone curious about Winston Churchill’s legacy

35
Political Figures Books: American Crisis by Andrew M. Cuomo

American Crisis

Andrew M. Cuomo
Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
3.6 (26 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's American Crisis about?

American Crisis (2020) is a candid retelling of how Governor Andrew Cuomo managed the COVID-19 crisis in one of the worst affected states in America: New York. It reveals the steps Cuomo took to steer New York through the early days of the pandemic in a country run by a president Cuomo sees as incapable of leadership. It also shows how real leadership requires honesty and transparency, clear communication, and compassion for others.

Who should read American Crisis?

  • Anyone interested in American politics 
  • Leaders of organizations who want to learn about crisis management
  • Those curious about how New York has fared throughout the crisis

36
Political Figures Books: The Economists’ Hour by Binyamin Appelbaum

The Economists’ Hour

Binyamin Appelbaum
False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society
4.3 (68 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Economists’ Hour about?

The Economists’ Hour (2019) is a compact history of how economists came to dominate our political discourse. This work traces the rise of neoliberal ideology from the 1960s to today.

Who should read The Economists’ Hour?

  • Political wonks wanting to parse the current climate
  • Citizens concerned about America’s rightward shift
  • Anyone asking, “how did things get so bad?”

37
Political Figures Books: The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
4.8 (65 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr. about?

The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998) is a firsthand account of the life and work of one of the most important figures in recent American history: Martin Luther King Jr. Assembled from his writings, letters, interviews, and speeches, this autobiography tells of King’s journey from Christian minister in the segregated South to leading figure of the civil rights movement. 

Who should read The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr.?

  • History and political buffs
  • Citizens concerned with issues of racial, social, and economic justice
  • Anyone looking to educate themselves on Black American history

38
Political Figures Books: Where Law Ends by Andrew Weissmann

Where Law Ends

Andrew Weissmann
Inside the Mueller Investigation
4.2 (36 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Where Law Ends about?

Where Law Ends (2020) offers a behind-the-scenes look at the special counsel investigation that resulted in the controversial Mueller Report. It takes you step-by-step through the 22-month process of interviews and evidence gathering that resulted in unprecedented findings that raise serious questions about America’s democratic institutions.

Who should read Where Law Ends?

  • American voters worried about election interference
  • People curious about the limits of executive power
  • Fans of gripping legal investigations

39
Political Figures Books: First Principles by Thomas E. Ricks

First Principles

Thomas E. Ricks
What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country
4.3 (250 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's First Principles about?

Over the years, much has been made of the influence of Enlightenment ideas –⁠ particularly those of English philosopher John Locke –⁠ on America’s founding fathers. First Principles (2020) takes a different approach. It focuses instead on the ways in which Greek and Roman history and philosophy profoundly shaped the values and goals of America’s first four presidents, and how classical ideas are embedded in the nation to this day.

Who should read First Principles?

  • Anyone interested in American history, or political philosophy
  • Students of Greek and Roman classics

40
Political Figures Books: The Man I Knew by Jean Becker

The Man I Knew

Jean Becker
The Amazing Story of George H. W. Bush's Post-Presidency
4.4 (23 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Man I Knew about?

The Man I Knew (2021) is the simultaneously heartwarming, tear-jerking, and surprising story of George H. W. Bush’s life after the White House. Many people are aware of President Bush’s accomplishments as a politician – shepherding the US through the end of the Cold War, successfully navigating the Gulf War, and signing the Americans With Disabilities Act into law, to name but a few. But this isn’t the story of George Bush the politician –⁠ it’s the story of George Bush the husband, friend, and father.

Who should read The Man I Knew?

  • Fans of the Bush family and other prominent Republicans
  • Democrats who want to get to know someone on the other side of the aisle
  • Memoir-lovers

41
Political Figures Books: American Kompromat by Craig Unger

American Kompromat

Craig Unger
How the KGB Cultivated Donald Trump, and Related Tales of Sex, Greed, Power, and Treachery
4.0 (70 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's American Kompromat about?

American Kompromat (2021) tells the dark and unsettling tale of how the Russian KGB began cultivating Donald Trump as an asset –⁠ and then hit the jackpot when he became the president of the United States. Drawing connections between Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, and a mysterious Catholic sect called Opus Dei, it explores the reasons why Trump repeatedly did Putin’s bidding –⁠ and who enabled him to do so.

Who should read American Kompromat?

  • Americans trying to make sense of Trump’s connection to Russia
  • Fans of political gossip and conspiracies
  • Citizens concerned about how politicians and businessmen weaponize their power

42
Political Figures Books: The Plantagenets by Dan Jones

The Plantagenets

Dan Jones
The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England
4.5 (192 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Plantagenets about?

The Plantagenets (2012) is a rollicking history of eight generations of English royal rule. From the Crusades through the signing of Magna Carta and up to the start of the Hundred Years’ War, the House of Plantagenet ruled during some of the most thrilling times of English history.

Who should read The Plantagenets?

  • Lovers of high drama and intrigue
  • Game of Thrones fans
  • Medieval history fanatics

43
Political Figures Books: On the House by John Boehner

On the House

John Boehner
A Washington Memoir
4.3 (16 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's On the House about?

On the House (2021) is the memoir of a political maverick and one of the Republican party’s most outspoken representatives. Tracing his life from a Democrat-voting, blue-collar household in Cincinnati through to his crusading career on Capitol Hill, John Boehner tells us how Washington really works and dishes the dirt on enemies and allies alike.

Who should read On the House?

  • Politics buffs
  • Liberals interested in the other side of the story
  • Old-school conservatives

44
Political Figures Books: All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days by Rebecca Donner

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days

Rebecca Donner
The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
4.5 (158 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days about?

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days (2021) offers a deeply intimate look at individuals who risked their lives by establishing an anti-Nazi resistance movement in Germany. With years of research, and access to letters and declassified documents, this is a detailed story about people who have often been overlooked in the fight against fascism.

Who should read All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days?

  • Fans of real-world espionage stories
  • People curious about life in WWII-era Germany
  • History buffs

Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bedtime Biography: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World about?

Read to you by Marston York.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (2004) tells the fascinating story of Genghis Khan, the man who founded the great Mongol Empire. Today, he’s remembered as a ruthless, violent conqueror who thrived on bloodshed and destruction. What has largely been forgotten, though, is how he united disparate peoples, fostered trade and modernization, and advanced democracy – and in so doing, ushered in the modern world.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World?

  • History buffs
  • Global citizens interested in the roots of the modern world
  • Anyone with preconceived notions about the Mongol Empire

46
Political Figures Books: Richard Nixon by John A. Farrell

Richard Nixon

John A. Farrell
The Life
4.3 (112 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Richard Nixon about?

Richard Nixon: The Life (2017) is a thorough biography of one of the most controversial American presidents. Tracing Nixon’s life from his humble upbringing through his meteoric political ascent to his crashing downfall in the Watergate scandal, it reveals a complex, troubled, and sentimental man.

Who should read Richard Nixon?

  • US-politics aficionados
  • Biography enthusiasts who love a scandal
  • People looking to deepen their knowledge of American history

47
Political Figures Books: After the Fall by Ben Rhodes

After the Fall

Ben Rhodes
Being American in the World We've Made
3.9 (232 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's After the Fall about?

After the Fall (2021) takes a sobering look at the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism in places like Hungary, China, Russia, and the United States of America. It examines how the standing and influence of the US changed in the years following the Cold War, and how this has led to the current challenges facing democracy around the world. 

Who should read After the Fall?

  • Political junkies
  • Fans of democracy
  • Students of modern history

48
Political Figures Books: Navalny by Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet and Ben Noble

Navalny

Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet and Ben Noble
Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future?
4.4 (292 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Navalny about?

Navalny (2021) is an in-depth look at the life and politics of Russian politician Alexei Navalny. This biography details how Navalny rose to prominence and what plans he has for Russia’s future.

Who should read Navalny?

  • Outsiders seeking to understand life in Russia 
  • Political thinkers keen to grasp the concept of power in a post-USSR world
  • All those invested in the future of world governance

49
Political Figures Books: Bedtime Biography: Margaret Thatcher by Margaret Thatcher

Bedtime Biography: Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher
The Autobiography
4.6 (232 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bedtime Biography: Margaret Thatcher about?

Margaret Thatcher: The Autobiography (2013) is the definitive account of the Iron Lady. Covering everything from her upbringing to the political battles that defined her time in office, this memoir sheds light on the thinking and values of Britain’s most transformative twentieth-century leaders. 

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Margaret Thatcher?

  • History buffs
  • Anglophiles
  • Politicos

50
Political Figures Books: Maoism by Julia Lovell

Maoism

Julia Lovell
A Global History
4.3 (86 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Maoism about?

Maoism (2019) is a deep dive into Maoist ideology, tracing the origins of the movement in the caves of northwest China to the jungles of India, the high Andean sierra, and the California city parks where The Black Panthers did their military drills. Maoism is a movement that’s hardly limited to China or even Asia.

Who should read Maoism?

  • Anyone looking to bone up on Chinese history
  • Followers of leftist politics
  • Those interested in transnational historical arcs

51
Political Figures Books: Becoming Kim Jong Un by Jung H. Pak

Becoming Kim Jong Un

Jung H. Pak
A Former CIA Officer's Insights into North Korea's Enigmatic Young Dictator
4.2 (66 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Becoming Kim Jong Un about?

Becoming Kim Jong Un (2020) tells the story of the North Korean dictator from his childhood as the son and grandson of two infamous Korean leaders through to his momentous summit with American president Donald Trump. Setting aside the insults and jokes about Kim that the media and internet often perpetuate, it takes a serious look at Kim’s enigmatic persona and behavior and diagnoses the grave threat that he and his nation⁠ pose to the world.

Who should read Becoming Kim Jong Un?

  • People fascinated by international politics and global issues
  • History lovers
  • Anyone with an interest in modern Asia

52
Political Figures Books: The Reckoning by Mary L. Trump

The Reckoning

Mary L. Trump
Our Nation's Trauma and Finding a Way to Heal
3.2 (213 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Reckoning about?

The Reckoning (2021) is an unflinching look at contemporary American society. This sharp treatise draws informative connections between the nation’s traumas and its current issues.

Who should read The Reckoning?

  • Voters struggling to understand the contemporary political landscape
  • Citizens concerned about the future of their country
  • Anyone interested in a critical analysis of American society

53
Political Figures Books: Renegades by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen

Renegades

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen
Born in the USA
4.1 (327 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Renegades about?

Renegades (2021) documents eight intimate and enlightening conversations between two living legends: the musician Bruce Springsteen and the former US president Barack Obama. These two friends delve into some of the issues that have defined both of their careers, including American identity, fatherhood, class and racial divides, wrestling with the past, and maintaining hope for the future.

Who should read Renegades?

  • American citizens concerned about the country’s future
  • Fans of “the Boss” and the forty-fourth president
  • Music buffs

54
Political Figures Books: I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker

I Alone Can Fix It

Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker
Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year
3.8 (96 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's I Alone Can Fix It about?

I Alone Can Fix It (2021) is the definitive behind-the-scenes account of Donald Trump’s final 12 months in the White House. Drawing on in-depth interviews with participants in the drama, it charts how a president who was on course for reelection ended up presiding over a doomed and bloody attempt to cling on to power. Along the way, it reveals the thinking behind Trump’s dysfunctional responses to the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement. 

Who should read I Alone Can Fix It?

  • Politics buffs
  • Current affairs junkies
  • Americanophiles

55
Political Figures Books: Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography by M.K. Gandhi

Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography

M.K. Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments With Truth
4.4 (247 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography about?

Narrated by Marston York

An Autobiography (First published in two volumes; Volume 1, 1927, and Volume 2, 1929) is the autobiography of one of the world’s most famous political icons – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The book traverses his rebellious childhood, his early activism in South Africa and his work for the Indian Independence Movement up until 1920, and gives insight into Gandhi’s personal philosophy and his lifelong quest for Truth.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: An Autobiography?

  • Anyone interested in Gandhi’s life and personal philosophy
  • Students of history and political science
  • People cultivating leadership skills

56
Political Figures Books: Reagan by H. W. Brands

Reagan

H. W. Brands
The Life
4.3 (185 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Reagan about?

Reagan (2015) is the definitive account of the life of a towering figure in American history. Starting with his childhood in Illinois, the narrative follows the course of Ronald Reagan’s life, from his charmed days in Hollywood to his time as governor of California and, finally, from the White House to the world stage of the Cold War.

Who should read Reagan?

  • All those who think they know what Reagan was all about
  • History buffs
  • People looking to understand modern American conservatism

57
Political Figures Books: Leadership by Henry Kissinger

Leadership

Henry Kissinger
Six Studies in World Strategy
4.3 (393 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Leadership about?

Leadership (2022) is a detailed analysis of six monumental twentieth-century leaders. By examining both the circumstances that formed these leaders and the strategies they used to shepherd their respective nations through periods of turmoil, it presents invaluable lessons for anyone working to shape the world’s future. From Charles de Gaulle’s strategy of will to Anwar Sadat’s strategy of transcendence and beyond, it serves as a historical debriefing on some of the defining leadership strategies of the last century.

Who should read Leadership?

  • History and politics geeks
  • Aspiring politicians
  • Biography lovers

58
Political Figures Books: Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela
The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
4.6 (84 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom about?

Read to you by Twaambo Kapilikisha

Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom (1994) is one of the most famous autobiographies of recent times. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings in the South African countryside to his work as an iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter, and ends, after chronicling his twenty-year prison sentence, with his final victory and release.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Long Walk to Freedom?

  • People interested in Nelson Mandela
  • Anyone curious about South African history
  • Proponents of social justice

59
Political Figures Books: Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

Elizabeth the Queen

Sally Bedell Smith
The Life of a Modern Monarch
3.9 (216 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Elizabeth the Queen about?

Elizabeth the Queen (2012) is a brisk yet in-depth exposé of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Tracing key moments in her life, big and small, lighthearted and tragic, it pulls back the curtain on a most singular figure. Elizabeth II was at once a woman who struggled to balance her roles as both mother and monarch; a leader who learned to embody dignity and diplomacy; and the calm epicenter of the drama that ever swirled around her closest relations.

Who should read Elizabeth the Queen?

  • Royal watchers and anglophiles
  • Americans interested in British politics
  • Biography lovers

60
Political Figures Books: The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

The Nazi Conspiracy

Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch
The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill
4.6 (298 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Nazi Conspiracy about?

The Nazi Conspiracy (2023) tells the thrilling true story of the first meeting between the leaders of the Allied forces during the height of World War II – and the top-secret Nazi plot that almost changed the course of history. Full of drama, twists, and political intrigue stretching all over the world, it shows how the three leaders – Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin – defied all odds, and arranged one of the most pivotal events in the entire war.

Who should read The Nazi Conspiracy?

  • World War II buffs looking for a deep exploration of one of the lesser-known developments of the war 
  • Armchair historians interested in the small events that changed the world
  • Anyone who loves political drama, intrigue, and a good spy story

61
Political Figures Books: The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

The Light We Carry

Michelle Obama
Overcoming in Uncertain Times
4.3 (460 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Light We Carry about?

In The Light We Carry (2022), former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, tackles complex questions about community, identity, and relationships with trademark warmth and honesty. Obama believes we all carry a light inside us – in this book, she tells us how to shine that light so it illuminates the potential for hope and healing, and pathways toward a better world.

Who should read The Light We Carry?

  • Anyone whose fear is holding them back from living authentically
  • Those who wants to trade disconnection for community and friendship
  • People who need encouragement to keep doing the work in challenging times

62
Political Figures Books: And There Was Light by Jon Meacham

And There Was Light

Jon Meacham
Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle
4.6 (75 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's And There Was Light about?

And There Was Light (2022) is a biography of Abraham Lincoln that takes a nuanced look at a complex leader. Focusing especially on Lincoln’s evolving views on and actions around slavery, it’s a picture of a man who wrestled with his moral convictions while attempting to hold together a divided nation. Echoes of that struggle still ring out today, making it essential to keep Lincoln’s story at the forefront of American consciousness.

Who should read And There Was Light?

  • American history enthusiasts
  • People interested in controversial historical figures
  • Budding political pundits looking to add to their historical knowledge

63
Political Figures Books: G-Man by Beverly Gage

G-Man

Beverly Gage
J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century
4.5 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's G-Man about?

G-Man (2022) is a thorough and comprehensive biography of J. Edgar Hoover and the history of the FBI. Drawing from established history as well as newly uncovered documents, it covers the entire timeline of Hoover’s personal life as well as his role in shaping America as we know it.

Who should read G-Man?

  • American history buffs
  • People curious about J. Edgar Hoover
  • Anyone interested in the hidden forces influencing American politics

64
Political Figures Books: Killing the Killers by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard

Killing the Killers

Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
The Secret War Against Terrorists
3.9 (265 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Killing the Killers about?

Killing the Killers (2022) takes you deep into the global war on terror. As it examines the role of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, it moves through all the theaters of action including Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and Afghanistan. It’s the eleventh book in the best-selling Killing series.

Who should read Killing the Killers?

  • Fans of the Killing series
  • History buffs interested in the war on terror
  • Lovers of dramatic story-telling

65
Political Figures Books: The Revolutionary by Stacy Schiff

The Revolutionary

Stacy Schiff
Samuel Adams
4.6 (217 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Revolutionary about?

The Revolutionary (2022) offers a nuanced look at one of the most central figures in the lead-up to the American War of Independence. It reveals a man of character and contradiction, whose revolutionary thinking and deep commitment to civil liberties came to define a revolution.

Who should read The Revolutionary?

  • History lovers looking for a deep dive into characters that create change
  • Political thinkers looking for an inside view of revolutionary politics
  • Anyone seeking inspiring examples of ideals put into practice

66
Political Figures Books: Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman

Confidence Man

Maggie Haberman
The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America
3.7 (310 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Confidence Man about?

Confidence Man (2022) is a full account of Trump’s life in the spotlight. It tracks his career from early New York real estate deals to his tumultuous tenure in the White House. It shows how his aggressive personality was molded early on and only intensified as the stage grew bigger.

Who should read Confidence Man?

  • Politics junkies
  • People interested in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol
  • Anyone interested in the unique life of Donald J. Trump

67
Political Figures Books: The Courage to Be Free by Ron DeSantis

The Courage to Be Free

Ron DeSantis
Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival
3.4 (78 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Courage to Be Free about?

The Courage to Be Free (2023) is an account of Ron DeSantis’s career so far, focusing on his work as governor of Florida. He reflects on his approach to leadership and outlines his vision for America.

Who should read The Courage to Be Free?

  • Republicans and anyone who has right-wing political views
  • People interested in US politics
  • Anyone who wants to know more about a potential future president

68
Political Figures Books: Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King

Devil in the Grove

Gilbert King
Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
4.6 (10 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Devil in the Grove about?

Devil in the Grove (2012) tells the true story of four young Black men falsely accused of rape in 1949 Florida. It follows lawyer Thurgood Marshall’s tireless efforts to save their lives in the face of racial hatred, obstruction, violence, and injustice at every turn. Ultimately, Marshall exposed devastating flaws in the case, achieving some semblance of justice despite a system aligned against the defendants. 

Who should read Devil in the Grove?

  • People interested in the Groveland case
  • Those curious about Thurgood Marshall’s legal career
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about the history of racial injustice in the US

69
Political Figures Books: Thirteen Days by Robert F. Kennedy

Thirteen Days

Robert F. Kennedy
A Memoir Of The Cuban Missile Crisis
3.4 (97 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Thirteen Days about?

Thirteen Days (1969) offers an inside look into the Cuban Missile Crisis, revealing the intense deliberations and decision-making processes of the U.S. government at the time. It chronicles the 13-day standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Through its pages, readers gain insight into the high-stakes diplomacy and behind-the-scenes actions that took place during this critical period.

Who should read Thirteen Days?

  • History buffs eager to delve deeper into the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Political enthusiasts curious about U.S. decision-making during crises
  • Those intrigued by pivotal moments in twentieth-century history

70
Political Figures Books: American Prometheus by Kai Bird & Martin J Sherwin

American Prometheus

Kai Bird & Martin J Sherwin
The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
4.3 (206 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's American Prometheus about?

American Prometheus (2005) captures Oppenheimer’s life in a way that echoes Prometheus’s audacity in gifting fire. From atomic breakthroughs to ethical entanglements, this is a nuclear narrative of epic proportions.

Who should read American Prometheus?

  • Quantum physics enthusiasts
  • Nuclear nerds with noble notions
  • History buffs seeking backstories

71
Political Figures Books: King by Jonathan Eig

King

Jonathan Eig
A Life
4.6 (153 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's King about?

King (2023) is a compelling biography of Martin Luther King. It tells the story of a man, not a saint, who had a remarkable career. His life was cut short at the age of 39, but in his 13-year career King’s vision of a United States based on equality and justice for all, lives on.

Who should read King?

  • History lovers particularly interested in the history of social justice movements
  • Civil rights activists and advocates inspired by King’s life and strategies
  • Inspiration seekers wanting to learn from a story of struggle, resilience, and monumental impact

72
Political Figures Books: Becoming FDR by Jonathan Darman

Becoming FDR

Jonathan Darman
The Personal Crisis That Made a President
4.3 (117 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Becoming FDR about?

Becoming FDR (2022) tells the remarkable story of the personal health crisis and recovery that transformed Franklin D. Roosevelt from a self-centered, pampered golden boy to the mature, empathetic President who would go on to lead a nation through the darkest days of The Great Depression and the second World War. 

Who should read Becoming FDR?

  • History buffs looking for the inside story on one of America’s defining presidents
  • Political minds curious about the personalities that shaped the twentieth century
  • Anyone curious about how crisis and adversity can shape character

73
Political Figures Books: An Ordinary Man by Richard Norton Smith

An Ordinary Man

Richard Norton Smith
The Surprising Life and Historic Presidency of Gerald R. Ford
4.6 (27 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's An Ordinary Man about?

An Ordinary Man (2023) is the complete biography of Gerald R. Ford, the thirty-eighth president of the United States. Under his leadership, America navigated its gravest constitutional crisis since the Civil War and confronted its most profound economic slump since the Great Depression. While Ford can be seen as an “accidental president,” historian Richard Norton Smith argues that his accomplishments were numerous and significant.

Who should read An Ordinary Man?

  • History buffs 
  • Politicos interested post-Watergate America
  • Fans of in-depth biographical works 

74
Political Figures Books: Democracy Awakening by Heather Cox Richardson

Democracy Awakening

Heather Cox Richardson
Notes on the State of America
3.5 (68 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Democracy Awakening about?

Democracy Awakening (2023) looks back at the unique relationship America has had with the concept of democracy over the years. It puts modern events into the larger context of the nation’s ongoing struggle for voting rights, equality, and the looming threat of authoritarian politics.

Who should read Democracy Awakening?

  • History buffs
  • Political junkies
  • Anyone interested in current events

75
Political Figures Books: Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm

Escape from Freedom

Erich Fromm
3.8 (24 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Escape from Freedom about?

Escape from Freedom (1941) examines the paradox of human freedom: though it is cherished, increased freedom also brings anxiety, responsibility, and a quest for surrendering individuality, which human history and individual development vividly illustrate.

Who should read Escape from Freedom?

  • Psychology enthusiasts
  • History buffs
  • Social science students

76
Political Figures Books: Tired of Winning by Jonathan Karl

Tired of Winning

Jonathan Karl
Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party
2.7 (177 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Tired of Winning about?

Tired of Winning (2023) invites you into a gripping narrative of political intrigue and legal drama, centering on Donald Trump's unprecedented challenges and actions that reshaped American politics. Experience a compelling journey through political chess games, legal battles, and the ongoing saga of a figure who continues to dominate the American political landscape.

Who should read Tired of Winning?

  • Political history enthusiasts
  • Followers of US presidency studies
  • Anyone interested in contemporary American politics

77
Political Figures Books: Milton Friedman by Jennifer Burns

Milton Friedman

Jennifer Burns
The Last Conservative
4.2 (152 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Milton Friedman about?

Milton Friedman (2023) provides a nuanced biography of the influential free-market economist. Tracing Friedman's groundbreaking work across diverse policy areas, it explores his instrumental role in the rise of modern American conservatism and free market ideology. 

Who should read Milton Friedman?

  • Those looking to understand the roots of modern neoliberalism
  • Students of public policy and political history
  • Anyone interested in impactful, paradigm-shifting thinkers

78
Political Figures Books: Renegade by Adam Kinzinger & Michael D'Antonio

Renegade

Adam Kinzinger & Michael D'Antonio
Defending Democracy and Liberty in Our Divided Country
3.0 (10 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Renegade about?

Renegade (2023) offers an insider’s perspective on the turbulent political landscape in the United States. Focusing on the challenges and divisions within the Republican Party, it delves into the personal and political consequences of standing against party norms during a time of heightened partisanship, showcasing the complexities of democracy and liberty in a divided country.

Who should read Renegade?

  • Political science students and researchers
  • Members of the Republican Party seeking introspection
  • American history and contemporary politics enthusiasts

79
Political Figures Books: Prequel by Rachel Maddow

Prequel

Rachel Maddow
An American Fight Against Fascism
4.0 (145 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Prequel about?

Prequel (2023) explores a forgotten chapter in modern American history – the attempt by a powerful, Nazi-funded movement to roll back democracy in the United States in the 1930s. The reason we rarely remember this “plot against America” is simple: it failed. But there’s also a good reason to return to this troubling chapter – the citizens who foiled this fascist conspiracy can help us understand how to defeat threats against democracy in our own time. 

Who should read Prequel?

  • History buffs
  • Politicos 
  • Activists fighting to protect democracy 

80
Political Figures Books: Oath and Honor by Liz Cheney

Oath and Honor

Liz Cheney
A Memoir and a Warning
4.1 (73 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Oath and Honor about?

Oath and Honor (2023) is an insider account of the events leading up to the riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the long investigation that followed. In it, Cheney exposes this coordinated assault on American democracy and sounds a dire warning about safeguarding the nation's future from ongoing threats.

Who should read Oath and Honor?

  • American history buffs and political enthusiasts looking for insight into pivotal recent events
  • Memoir lovers wanting an inside look into events behind the news
  • Anyone curious about contemporary American politics, and the personalities that are reshaping democracy

81
Political Figures Books: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
4.5 (54 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin about?

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1793) provides an intimate look at Franklin's successes and failures, revealing his views on practical wisdom and self-improvement. It showcases his journey from a young apprentice to a renowned figure in history, offering valuable life lessons along the way.

Who should read Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Self-improvement seekers
  • Fans of personal narratives

82
Political Figures Books: The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

The Federalist Papers

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay
4.4 (70 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Federalist Papers about?

The Federalist Papers (1787) present insightful arguments for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Offering fascinating insights into the minds of the Founding Fathers, it explores the fundamental principles of American governance and legal system. It remains on the most influencial texts ever written.

Who should read The Federalist Papers?

  • Constitutional law students
  • American history buffs 
  • Aspiring politicians

Related Topics

Political Figures Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Political Figures book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The Audacity of Hope as the ultimate read on Political Figures.

What are the Top 10 Political Figures books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • The Black Jacobins by C.L.R. James
  • The Man Without A Face by Masha Gessen
  • Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  • Blood Feud by Edward Klein
  • The Myth of the Strong Leader by Archie Brown
  • Ukraine Crisis by Andrew Wilson
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, Malcolm X
  • Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman
  • On His Own Terms by Richard Norton Smith

Who are the top Political Figures book authors?

When it comes to Political Figures, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Barack Obama
  • C.L.R. James
  • Masha Gessen
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Edward Klein