If you’re interested in politics but are in the mood for something other than election coverage, you might try turning off the news and cracking open a biography or autobiography of a past political figure instead.
For everyone looking for inspiration from history, Amazon Books senior editor Jon Foro compiled his list of top political biographies and autobiographies. He focused on American politics and stayed away from very recent and hyper-political publications.
Here are his picks, listed in no particular order, with descriptions in his own words:
'As multifaceted a character as has ever been seen in American history (not to mention politics), Jefferson was perhaps the ideal leader for the young nation still struggling with external threats and its own identity. Pulitzer Prize-winner Meacham weaves the strands of Jefferson's personality into a complete portrait of a sophisticated politician and thinker -- a philosopher-president.'
'The Years of Lyndon Johnson Set: The Path to Power; Means of Ascent; Master of the Senate; The Passage of Power' by Robert A. Caro
'It might seem like a tough choice: The Pulitzer Prize winner's monumental four-volume life of LBJ -- considered by many to be the apex of presidential biography -- or 'The Power Broker,' his equally astounding tale of Robert Moses and backroom NYC politics. But the answer is simple: Read both.'
'Throughout his career that included stints as a four-star general, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State, Powell has maintained his integrity and belief in 'the greatness of America and the opportunities it offers.' His is an inspirational story for challenging times.'
'However you feel about his policies, Obama's election as the first African-American president represented a landmark moment in our politics and society. This book -- an account of his life before national politics -- offers the candid and nuanced thought born from an unprecedented life.'
'The trouble with books by politicians is that they're almost always written as campaign tools, or if we're going to be cynical about it, 'brand extensions.' Well, JFK's might have been the first, but also probably the best. Not only did it differentiate himself as a candidate -- it won a Pulitzer Prize in the process.'
'No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II' by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.