Susan Coll

The Stager named an essential Washington book by Washingtonian Magazine
The Stager named an essential Washington book by Washingtonian Magazine

It’s safe to say Washington is one of the better-documented cities on Earth. Last year alone, the roster of books set in and around here included headline-snagging national bestsellers (Michael Wolff’s devastating account of the Trump-era capital, which sold 1.7 million copies in three weeks) as well as slightly less buzzy works (George Mason professor Dae Young Kim’s study of how information technology affects the region’s Korean immigrants, which almost certainly did not sell 1.7 million copies).

But what would you read if you really wanted to understand the place? It’s a tricky question, even if you can get people to agree on what constitutes a “Washington” book anyway. A complete library would include human stories set in everyday neighborhoods and heroic tales of globetrotting statesmen—but also poison-pen political memoirs and reportage on now-forgotten Beltway scandals.

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The Stager named an essential Washington book by Washingtonian Magazine
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The Stager named an essential Washington book by Washingtonian Magazine
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The Stager named an essential Washington book by Washingtonian Magazine
It’s safe to say Washington is one of the better-documented cities on Earth. Last year alone, the roster of books set in and around here included headline-snagging national bestsellers (Michael Wolff’s devastating account of the Trump-era capital, which sold 1.7 million copies in three weeks) as well as slightly less buzzy works (George Mason professor Dae Young Kim’s study of how information technology affects the region’s Korean immigrants, which almost certainly did not sell 1.7 million copies).
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