Author in Chief

“Delightfully instructive . . . One of the best books on the American presidency to appear in recent years.” — Thomas Mallon, Wall Street Journal 

My first book, Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote, comes out on February 11. I spent ten years writing it, and its story truly is “untold” — there are new letters by Reagan and JFK; fresh insights into some of our most famous presidents (who knew Lincoln wrote a book?); and so much more about the history of reading and readers in America.

Author in Chief is being published by Avid Reader, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, and their website has all sorts of formats and purchase options.

Here are some more early reviews:

  • “Both history buffs and politics enthusiasts will relish this.” — Booklist (starred review)
  • “Entertaining and illuminating . . . Bibliophiles and presidential history buffs alike will relish this.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “An engaging and enlightening perspective on the history of the presidency.” — Library Journal (highly recommended)

The header on this site is an 1866 engraving of the White House library, which first ran in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. I’m quite proud of the sixty odd illustrations in Author in Chief, so if you like rare images of bookstores, printing presses, or Jimmy Carter staring past a $12,000 word processor, give it a look!