If you thought 2016 was crazy in the political world, hold your horses because here comes 2018 raring to go. 2018 is a midterm election year with 33 Senate seats up for grab as well as 33 governor’s races and every single seat in the House of Representatives.  Therefore, it should be no surprise that the political books coming out in 2018 are going to be must-reads. Expect tell-alls, criticism and praise one year into the Trump administration, biographies of rising figures like Justice Gorsuch, and books by people planning to run for a higher office in 2020.

Here are the books every politico should put on their To Be Read List and pre-order in 2018.

Gorsuch: The Judge Who Speaks For Himself by John Greenya — January 2ndLearn all about Neil Gorsuch, the youngest judge to be nominated to the Supreme Court in twenty-five years, with this comprehensive and fascinating biography. When forty-nine-year-old Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump, he was told by a senator, “We need to know what’s in your heart.” Now, acclaimed author John Greenya seeks to answer that question with this captivating book. Born in Colorado, Gorsuch remains somewhat of a mystery to Democrats and Republicans alike. Based on intense research and interviews with people who have known Gorsuch in all periods of his life, both his opponents and his friends—from his early work as a lawyer and his year as a Justice Department official, to his ten-and-a-half years on the Federal bench, this is the best way to learn more about the conservative replacement to Justice Antonin Scalia.

Secrets of the Secret Service by Gary J Byrne – January 2ndIn his new book, former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne takes readers behind the scenes to understand the agency’s history and today’s security failings that he believes put Americans at risk 

The American public knows the stories of Secret Service heroism, but they don’t know about the hidden legacy of problems that have plagued the agency ever since its creation. Gary Byrne says that decades of catastrophic public failures, near misses, and bureaucratic and cultural rot threaten to erode this critical organization from the inside out.

Deal of the Century: The Iranian Nuclear Agreement by Scott Ritter – January 15thThe story of the Iranian nuclear agreement, as told in the West, is a classic narrative of good versus evil, where a recalcitrant Iran is driven to the negotiating table by crippling economic sanctions imposed by a international coalition led by the United States, and then compelled to surrender its nefarious designs for a nuclear weapon in the face of steely American negotiators. Deal of the Century presents a counter-narrative where Iran actually does the world a service by charting a course out of the treacherous shoals of Western-induced fear and mistrust, and leading the negotiations onto a path that provides a meaningful chance for peace.

American Pravda: My Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News by James O’Keefe –  January 16thThe one real difference between the American press and the Soviet state newspaper Pravda was that the Russian people knew they were being lied to. To expose the lies our media tell us today, controversial journalist James O’Keefe created Project Veritas, an independent news organization whose reporters go where traditional journalists dare not. Their investigative work–equal parts James Bond, Mike Wallace, and Saul Alinsky—has had a consistent and powerful impact on its targets. In American Pravda, the reader is invited to go undercover with these intrepid journalists as they infiltrate political campaigns, unmask dishonest officials and expose voter fraud. A rollicking adventure story on one level, the book also serves as a treatise on modern media, arguing that establishment journalists have a vested interest in keeping the powerful comfortable and the people misinformed.

Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia by Bryan Garner – January 16thFrom legal expert and veteran author Bryan Garner comes a unique, intimate, and compelling memoir of his friendship with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Bryan Garner’s friendship with Justice Scalia was instigated by celebrated writer David Foster Wallace and strengthened over their shared love of language. Despite their differing viewpoints on everything from gun control to the use of contractions, their literary and personal relationship flourished. Justice Scalia even officiated at Garner’s wedding. In this humorous, touching, and surprisingly action-packed memoir, Garner gives a firsthand insight into the mind, habits, and faith of one of the most famous and misunderstood judges in the world.

Armed in America: A History of Gun Rights from Colonial Militias to Concealed Carry by Patrick Charles – January 23rdThis illuminating study traces the transformation of the right to arms from its inception in English and colonial American law to today’s impassioned gun-control debate. As historian and legal scholar Patrick J. Charles shows, what the right to arms means to Americans, as well as what it legally protects, has changed drastically since its first appearance in the 1689 Declaration of Rights. Armed in America explores how and why the right to arms transformed at different points in history. The right was initially meant to serve as a parliamentary right of resistance, yet by the ratification of the Second Amendment in 1791 the right had become indispensably intertwined with civic republicanism. As the United States progressed into the 19th century the right continued to change–this time away from civic republicanism and towards the individual-right understanding that is known today, albeit with the important caveat that the right could be severely restricted by the government’s police power. 

Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War over the Truth by Howard Kurtz – January 29thAccording to the media, Donald Trump could never become president. Now many are on a mission to prove he shouldn’t be president. The Trump administration and the press are at war—and as in any war, the first casualty has been truth. Bestselling author Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News’s Media Buzz and former Washington Post columnist, offers a stunning exposé of how supposedly objective journalists, alarmed by Trump’s success, have moved into the opposing camp. Kurtz’s exclusive, in-depth, behind-the-scenes interviews with reporters, anchors, and insiders within the Trump White House reveal the unprecedented hostility between the media and the president they cover.

The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency by Larry J Davis – February 6thDavis traces Clinton’s email controversy and Comey’s July 2016 appearance before Congress, in which he said the Clinton email matter was effectively closed. From that moment until Comey’s late October letter to Congress, Davis says, Clinton was destined to be elected president by substantial popular and electoral vote margins. But the decision to send his October 28 letter, so near to the election, not only violated long-standing justice department policies but also contained no new facts of improper emails at all—just pure speculation. Davis shows state by state, using polls data before October 28, and on election day, how voter support for Hillary Clinton eroded quickly. He proves that had the election been held on October 27, Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency by a substantial margin. Despite so many other issues in the closing days of the campaign—Trump’s behavior, the Russian hacking, reports of Clinton momentum in marginal states such as Georgia, Arizona, even Texas—after the October 28 Comey letter, everything changed. References to “Clinton emails” and “new criminal investigation” dominated media coverage virtually round-the-clock through election day November 8. Now Davis proves with raw, indisputable data how Comey’s October surprise changed American history in the blink of an eye and cost Hillary Clinton the presidency.

Movie Night with the Reagans by Mark Weinberg – February 27th Former special advisor and press secretary to President Ronald Reagan shares an intimate, behind-the-scenes look inside the Reagan presidency—told through the movies they watched together every week at Camp David. Movie Nights with the Reagans is a nostalgic journey through the 1980s and its most iconic films, seen through the eyes of one of Hollywood’s former stars: one who was simultaneously transforming the Republican Party, the American economy, and the course of the Cold War.

Suicide of the West by Jonah Goldberg – April 24thAt a moment when authoritarianism, tribalism, identity politics, nationalism, and cults of personality are rotting our democracy from within, Goldberg exposes the West’s suicidal tendencies on both sides of the ideological aisle. For the West to survive, we must renew our sense of gratitude for what our civilization has given us and rediscover the ideals that led us out of the bloody muck of the past – or back to the muck we will go. 

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey – May 1stIn his forthcoming book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.

The Restless Wave by John McCain – May 22nd  The Restless Wave begins in 2008 with McCain’s presidential campaign and then follows the Senator during his time as a senior Republican lawmaker through the Obama administration, when the country was tested at home and abroad. McCain shares his experiences during the divisive 2016 election and his no-holds-barred opinions on the current developments coming out of Washington. He also discusses the vital challenges from abroad: Russia, NATO, the campaign to defeat ISIS, our ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, among others. Candid, pragmatic, and always fascinating, John McCain holds nothing back in his latest memoir.

The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt — July 17thFirst Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt take us on a tour of the social trends stretching back to the 1980s that have produced the confusion and conflict on campus today, including the loss of unsupervised play time and the birth of social media, all during a time of rising political polarization. This is a book about how to fix the mess. The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life, with devastating consequences for them, for their parents, for the companies that will soon hire them, and for a democracy that is already pushed to the brink of violence over its growing political divisions. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity. 

The Briefing by Sean Spicer – July 23rdSean Spicer takes readers behind the scenes of his turbulent tenure as President Trump’s press secretary, shedding new light on the headline-grabbing controversies of the Trump administration’s first year.

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member