Good Minds Suggest—Jon Meacham's Favorite History Books

Posted by Goodreads on October 31, 2012
Historian Jon Meacham's latest book hits the mark for a U.S. presidential election year. Instead of debating the current candidates' merits, readers can turn back the clock and examine the life and political prowess of the third United States president in the new biography Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, which covers Jefferson's formative years and many legacies, including the Declaration of Independence and the Louisiana Purchase. Meacham, the executive editor at Random House and former Newsweek editor, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. His nonfiction work also includes Franklin and Winston and American Gospel. The Tennessee native shares his favorite examples of historical scholarship.

The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made by Walter Isaacson & Evan Thomas
"A wonderful group portrait of six Americans who were critical players in the creation of the post-World War II order. Essential reading to understand how the personal and the political are intimately connected."

The Crisis Years: Kennedy & Khrushchev 1960-63 by Michael R. Beschloss
"A brilliant account of the Kennedy-Khrushchev showdowns, moments where nothing less than Armageddon was at stake."

The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America 1932-72 by William Raymond Manchester
"The making of America, from the Bonus March to Nixon's 1972 landslide. Vivid, brilliant."

The Age of Jackson by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
"Schlesinger couldn't write a bad sentence. This is intellectual and political history at its finest."

Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Robert Lewis, with Michael D'Orso
"The memoir of perhaps the bravest American of our time, from his preaching to chickens on the farm to the March on Washington to Selma."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Best History Books

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