CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper has provided widely-respected coverage of America’s capital for more than 20 years. In addition to his work in broadcast journalism, he’s also an accomplished cartoonist and author of three nonfiction books – Body Slam, Down and Dirty, and The Outpost. His debut novel The Hellfire Club – a political thriller set in 1950s Washington, at the height of the McCarthy era – was published in 2018.

In an interview with The Washingtonian, Tapper shared his four favorite books on the history and culture of DC. With gripping tales of conspiracy and corruption, find Jake Tapper’s recommended reads below.


Washington Confidential by Jack Lait and Lee Mortimer

“At the time, it was regarded as junk…It portrayed the 1950s as anything but benign. There was a lot of corruption and debauchery behind the scenes.” -JT

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

“They say history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. There’s a lot of rhyming when it comes to McCarthyism and some of the debates we’re having in the public square today about decency, lies, and smearing by public officials.” -JT

Right as Rain by George Pelecanos

“I love his evocative descriptions of the city that have nothing to do with its being the capital. His novels are more about the actual citizens of Washington, DC, than the politicians.” -JT

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

“Matthews did a really good job of portraying that world of dark taverns where a senator might meet with a Russian agent. I’ve heard the movie’s not great, so I’m going to stick with the book.” -JT

(via The Washingtonian)

Categories: Artists Writers