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Bibliofiles: Page-Turning Politics

These days, political discourse may feature the occasional soaring oratory, but more often, it comes down to talking heads yelling at each other. Maybe what the world needs now is the kind of politics found only in books. As we approach the 2016 presidential election, we take a moment to explore the best books about politics with KCUR's Bibliofiles.


The Bibliofiles recommend:

  • Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72, by Hunter S. Thompson (Von Drehle)
  • The Selling of the President 1968, by Joe McGinniss (Von Drehle)
  • What It Takes, by Richard Ben Cramer (Von Drehle)
  • Barkskins, by Annie Proulx (Goudie)
  • March: Book One and March: Book Two, by John Lewis (Goudie)
  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Goudie)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich (Goudie)
  • All the President's Men, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (Goudie)
  • Advance Man, by Stephen Jaques (Stover)
  • Off Script: An Advance Man's Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, Political Suicide, by Josh King (Stover)
  • The People's Choice, by Jeff Greenfield (Stover)
  • Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams, by Louisa Thomas (Stover)
  • First Ladies: An Intimate Group Portrait of White House Wives, by Margaret Truman (Stover)
  • Star-Spangled Men: America's Ten Worst Presidents, by Nathan Miller (Stover)
  • The Hopefuls, by Jennifer Close (Stover)
  • Expand Social Security Now! How to Ensure Americans Get the Retirement They Deserve, by Steven Hill (Skidmore)
  • Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, by Jane Mayer (Skidmore)
  • American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper, by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson (Skidmore)
  • Lies, Incorporated: The World of Post-Truth Politics, by Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters For America (Skidmore)
  • It's Even Worse Than It Was: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism, by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein (Skidmore)
  • Advise and Consent, by Allen Drury (listener recommendation)
  • Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy (listener recommendation)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, series by Elliot Roosevelt (listener recommendation)
As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a community storyteller taking a new look at local history, I aim to provide that context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today. I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.