That bumper sticker on your car is never coming off.

The one beneath it won’t, either, but that’s OK. In a way, they serve as a kind of political history for you, going back a number of years, but wouldn’t a book be easier? Yeah, it would, so revisit history with these great books.

Readers who’ve been around long enough to remember when John Kennedy was assassinated will want to read Kennedy’s Avenger by ABC News correspondent Dan Abrams and David Fisher (Hanover Square Press) because this book takes readers past the first shock of that week and into the second one: the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald on live TV. 

Abrams and Fisher then write about Jack Ruby’s trial, which happened some time later and isn’t usually something covered by the history books. It’s fascinating all the same. This is the perfect read for conspiracy theorists, 20th-century historians, and fans of law-based stories.

You almost can’t understand John Kennedy’s presidency without first knowing about his father, Joseph.

In The Ambassador: Joseph P. Kennedy at the Court of St. James’s 1938-1940 by Susan Ronald (St. Martin’s Press), you’ll read about Roosevelt’s America; Great Britain, pre-World War II; and about how Joseph Kennedy wrangled himself an appointment to one of this country’s most prestigious, highest-regarded ambassadorships to England.

Hint: It didn’t go well at all. Don’t you just love a good scandal?

Speaking of a good scandal, look for Watergate’s Forgotten Hero: Frank Wills, Night Watchman by Adam Henig (McFarland).

It’s the story of the then-24-year-old night watchman who was on guard duty the night the Watergate Hotel was broken into: his life, his struggles, and what happened to him in the aftermath of the news-making crime.

Wills, the only African American attached in any way to the Watergate scandal, was the one who called the police. They arrested five burglars, and the rest is history …

And finally, relax a little and read a presidential love story inside The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H.W. Bush’s Post-Presidency by Jean Becker (Twelve).

Becker, you may remember, was Bush’s chief of staff, and she begins her story the “morning after” Bush was “fired” by the American people, losing his seat in the Oval Office to Bill Clinton in November of 1992.

Becker was there that day, and she writes about how the former president dealt with the disappointment and the optimism that allowed him to turn the setback into a chance to benefit others, over time.

Becker remained close friends with the former president until the end of Bush’s life; because of that accessibility, this deeply personal peek inside the lives of the elder Bush family is an absolute joy to read.

Ah, but you want to know about some other guy in the White House, and you’re in luck: Kindly ask your favorite bookseller or librarian for help. They’ll guide you toward the book you need about the guy you voted for (or not). To begin, just get in the car …


The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 14,000 books.

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