Best Books About Washington, D.C.

Whether you’re a Civil War buff, an American politics wonk, or an excited first-time Washington tourist, there’s plenty of history to uncover in DC. To learn more about the city’s unique stories and culture, check out our recommendations below.

A History of Dupont Circle: Center of High Society in the Capital- Stephen A. Hansen

Take a stroll around Dupont Circle, just steps from the St. Gregory Hotel, and leaf through this elegant tome about the history of DC’s aristocracy in the neighborhood. The book delves into the stories and scandals of luminaries such as inventor Alexander Graham Bell and President William Howard Taft during their time living in Dupont.

All The President’s MenCarl Bernstein and Bob Woodward

You’ve probably seen the Oscar-winning movie, but make sure not to miss the book by Pulitzer-prize winning Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward on their groundbreaking Watergate expose. There’s no better place than DC to read the story that brought down the Nixon presidency.

Lost In The CityEdward P. Jones

Don’t have time for a full-length novel? Check out this spellbinding collection of short stories about African-American men and women in DC during the sixties and seventies. Each of the 14 tales focuses on a different character’s struggles through poverty and opposition.

Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington– Kenneth J. Winkle

This engaging 19th century history explores the lives of DC’s residents during the Civil War. Given DC’s location directly below the Mason-Dixon line, the book provides a compelling portrait of Northern and Southern rivalries in the microcosm of Washington.

Dupont CirclePaul Kafka-Gibbons

This fast-paced comedic novel about three couples living in the nation’s capital unfolds against the backdrop of a legal case on gay marriage. The book’s characters confront mental illness, heartbreak, and parenting tribulations in this Washingtonian page-turner.