Books about American politics

by Henry Farrell on July 8, 2008

Having handed in my tenure file, and gotten my book accepted (yay!), I’m now, for the first time in years, in a place where I can think about doing some really serious reading outside the topics of my research, while I wait for the results to come in on the first, and do copy preparation on the second. So I’m in the market for good books about American politics, society, and history to fill in some of the holes in my knowledge of same as a non-US native. What I’m looking for are interesting, intellectually rich, accounts of American politics, preferably with a minimum of boosterism. Less Doris Kearns Goodwin then, than _The Boys on the Bus._ I’m interested both in academic books with a general appeal and good popular histories with intellectual bite. I’m also happy to entertain suggestions for good fiction that touches on these subjects – first on my list is Peter Mathiessen’s “Shadow Country”: (I read one of the books that it’s based on, _Killing Mr. Watson_, years ago, and loved it). So please submit recommendations in comments. Up before I start on this list, I hope, my reviews of John McGowan on American liberalism and Dan Solove on reputation and the Internet.