American Government Reading List
Catholic Homeschooling: Democracy, Government & Citizenship
Supplemental Reading List
By Ed Rivet
This American government booklist includes everything from classic pieces like The Federalist and Common Sense to modern studies of power and government. The contemporary pieces may not be free of various ideological biases of the authors, but they represent the types of works often studied in secular academic institutions and still have value, despite occasional biases.
Be forewarned that some of these books are THICK and intellectual. I’m recommending the book on Thomas More as a study in true statesmanship, character and faith. There are interesting pieces on Presidents Roosevelt, Johnson and Nixon. There are innumerable books on Lincoln, don’t even know where to start in recommending something on him.
The following selections list title, author, and a reference page from the homeschooling book For the Love of Literature by Maureen Wittmann. These are books you will likely have to find at your public library (or through inter-library loan).
The Magna Carta, James Daugherty, p. 139
St. Thomas More of London, Elizabeth Ince, p. 150
Paul Revere & the World He Lived In, Ester Forbes, p. 184
Common Sense, Thomas Paine, p. 185
Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson, (from the Constitution & Democracy Series)
David N. Mayer, p. 186
The Federalist, Hamilton, Madison, Jay, p. 186
Democracy in America, Alexis deTocqueville, p. 180 (I quoted this one in class – a classic!!)
The Roosevelt Myth, John T. Flynn, p. 202
Hiroshima, John Hersey, p. 127 (the moral implications of war & nuclear weapons)
The Power Broker, Robert Caro, p. 208 (a study in corruption and power)
The Path to Power, Robert Caro, p. 207 (about LBJ)
Additional Contemporary or Academic Works
All the President’s Men, Woodward & Bernstein (about Nixon)
*The Brethren (1979) and The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (2005), Bob Woodward
The Tempting of America, Robert Bork
+Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do & Why They Do It, James Q. Wilson
The Broken Branch, Thomas Mann & Norman Ornstein
*These are inside looks at the U.S. Supreme Court by investigative reporters… interesting
+James Q. Wilson is a preeminent political scientist, this is academic stuff.
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