Our Reading List
Here are some books GovTrack staff members have read and recommend!
About the Beginnings of the Nation
Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, by Richard Beeman
Easily one of our most favorite books, Plain, Honest Men tells the story not of the nation but of the people who came together to create it.
1776, by David McCullough
A narrative of just the year 1776, the year the nation entered into its war for independence. It’s a long book, but we could’t put it down.
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, by Jon Meacham
This biography of one of the most important men in American history looks at what made Thomas Jefferson the man that he was.
About the Beginnings of Congress
The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government
This one was so good we bought it for each other.
Inventing Congress: Origins & Establishment Of First Federal Congress
Inventing Congress is a scholarly publication on the precedents set early on in the history of Congress. It’s a bit technical — so probably best if you already know how Congress works.
GovTrack user Dennis Bevan suggests Master of the Senate by Robert A. Caro: "This book not only details the way the modern Senate really works, but also tells the story of how LBJ made it that way. A fascinating read."
GovTrack user pattigoke suggests The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy.
GovTrack user Nola Elson recomments Dark Money by Jane Mayer.