Brace yourself for this shocker: a distinct political theme runs through the top history books of 2008. Five presidents (and one presidential candidate) dominate our Editors' Top 10, while customers looked back at the birth of liberalism, our founding mothers, and the political blunders surrounding World War II.
Interestingly, only Rick Perlstein's Nixonland and Thurston Clarke's The Last Campaign were tabbed as Top 10 reads by both editors and customers. Although Kennedy and Nixon were distinctly different characters, both titles depict a common struggle to calm a confused (and often violent) America in search of answers. The Last Campaign was my Best of June pick in large part to Clarke's aching ability to reveal the wounds of RFK's America, while Nixonland was my colleague Tom's choice for May due to Perlstein's true-to-the-era style that is "equal parts Walter Winchell and Hunter S. Thompson."
Check out the full lists below and be sure to visit our Best of 2008 Store for more of the year's top books.