- The 2016 presidential election was one of the most controversial in American history.
- Even though it’s been almost two years since Election Day 2016, many are still hashing out what happened, and how the final result catapulted President Donald Trump into office.
- See below for a list of the 13 best books about the historical election – from journalists, academics, and two of the candidates themselves.
The 2016 presidential election will likely go down as one of the most dramatic in American history.
The showdown between Hillary Clinton, the first female politician to lead a major political party in a presidential race, and Donald Trump, a reality TV star and businessman, involved an email scandal, shocking leaked audio, and interference from Russia.
If you’re not yet tired of the, “How did this happen?” discussion on this particular election, here are some of the best books from both sides of the aisle.
‘Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History’ by Katy Tur
Trump has called NBC News correspondent Katy Tur “Little Katy” and “third-rate,” as Business Insider previously reported.
In this book, she details her 500 days following him around 40 states as he campaigned for president.
She gives readers a real inside look on what it’s like to be a female journalist on the campaign trail.
‘Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency’ by Joshua Green
Named one of The New York Times Book Review’s Notable Books of 2017 and NPR’s 2017 Great Reads, this book from journalist Joshua Green takes an inside look at the partnership between Trump and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
According to reviews on Amazon, the narrative is so riveting that you won’t be able to put it down.
‘Beyond the Messy Truth’ by Van Jones
How can two parties with such opposite views come together now to make real policy change? CNN commentator Van Jones hopes to answer that question with his book, which exposes the failures of both parties that led to the divided state of the US today.
Jones warns against tribalism and urges both sides to stop accusing each other of wrongdoing in order to fix real problems, such as rural and inner-city poverty, pollution, and addiction.
‘How the Hell Did this Happen?’ by P.J. O’Rourke
What’s the process of picking a president?
Political satirist and journalist P.J. O’Rourke answers this question by analysing both the Clinton and Trump campaigns and critically looking at the debates and key primaries.
O’Rourke also surveys other notable candidates and gives readers a brief history lesson on how the process of picking a presidential candidate evolved from the very first nominating convention to the present.
‘Unprecedented: The Election That Changed Everything’ by Thomas Lake
CNN Politics’ first book paints a rich picture of one of the most controversial elections of all time through words and images.
The book is filled with exclusive photos of both campaigns and provides insight and commentary from notable CNN contributors, such as legendary investigative journalist Carl Bernstein and CNN senior correspondent Brian Stelter.
‘Understanding Trump’ by Newt Gingrich
Fox News contributor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich might be able to provide some clarity for liberals trying to understand why so many Americans voted for Trump in the 2016 election.
Gingrich shares what he learned from following Trump for two years during his campaign and the beginning of his presidency – from insight into his decision-making process to his vision for the future of the US.
‘Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House’ by Donna Brazile
Who better to discuss what the Democratic party did wrong than the woman who led Democratic National Committee?
In this book, former interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile pens her version of how she inherited a party that was plagued with infighting and the fallout of Russian hacking.
She doesn’t hold back when pointing fingers.
”Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America and What We Can All Do to Save the Middle Class’ by Wayne Allyn Root
Author Wayne Allyn Root, a self-proclaimed “angry white male,” explains why many people like him are pro-Trump.
He argues that liberal policies and political correctness are destroying the middle class.
Root tries to empower those like him to protect their rights before liberals vote them out of existence.
This politically incorrect book provides an insight to some Trump supporters’ psyches.
‘A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership’ by James Comey
Why did he do it? Comey’s tell-all explains his decision to look into her personal email during such a pivotal time. You can decide for yourself whether it was the right call or not.
This book details his actions before, during, and after the 2016 election. Trump fired him as FBI director in May 2017, and continues to blame Comey for what he characterises as bias within the bureau.
‘Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right’ by Arlie Russell Hochschild
If you want to begin to understand anyone’s motives, you should start by hearing his or her side of the story.
Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild interviewed many people in the southwest region of Louisiana who voted for Trump and gave them a platform to speak out their frustrations.
Many talked about losing well-paying jobs and their stalled American dreams.
You’ll start to see how their struggles shaped their political views and gain a better understanding of life in “a Tea Party stronghold.”
‘Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In’ by Bernie Sanders
If you’re a Sanders fan, or you never quite understood the Bernie hype, this book lays out his progressive political philosophy and reveals what’s in store for the future.
It was published just days after Election Day 2016.
‘Why Trump Won: And Why He Will Win Again in 2020’ by Mitchell Steven Morrison
Author and former FBI employee Mitchell Steven Morrison was not surprised that Trump won the election.
In his book, Morrison argues that Trump understood exactly what voters wanted in their next president: someone who listened to their problems.
Morrison discusses a wide range of different topics, from how Trump embodies “old-fashioned American beliefs” to the alleged corruption in most mainstream media outlets – all of which, he predicts, will lead Trump to a second term.
‘What Happened’ by Hillary Rodham Clinton
For those who said Clinton wasn’t a relatable candidate, this book shows more of her human side.
It could also serve as tale of encouragement for those who may feel defeated in some aspect in their lives – if Clinton can learn to move forward after such a punishing defeat, you can certainly fight whatever you’re going through.