Political Suicide
Erin McHugh

Book cover image

Narrated By: Lisa Flanagan

Duration: 5 hours and 38 minutes

What to expect

A collection of entertaining and cautionary tales of political missteps in American history, from the birth of the nation through the present day

Just in time for the presidential election of 2016 comes Political Suicide, a history of the best and most interesting missteps, peccadilloes, bad calls, backroom hijinks, sordid pasts, rotten breaks, and just plain dumb mistakes in the annals of American politics.

They have tweeted their private parts to women they’re trying to impress. They have gotten caught on tape doing and saying things they really shouldn’t have. They have denied knowing about the underhanded doings of underlings—only to have a paper trail lead straight back to them. Nowadays, it seems like half of what we hear about politicians isn’t about laws or governing but is instead coverage focused on shenanigans, questionable morals, and scandals too numerous to count. And while we shake our heads in disbelief, we still can’t resist poring over the details of these notorious incidents.

In Political Suicide, the foibles of our politicians are brought from the tabloid pages to this entertaining—and cautionary—tale of American history.


Politics and government, Political science and theory, History of the Americas

Listen to a sample

“If you need a little light relief from the current political campaign, consider this book by Erin McHugh, whose background in history and trivia serves her well here.”

Washington Life

“Compulsively readable, at times hilarious, at times cringe-worthy. From prostitute dalliances to pistol duels, American politics has, as McHugh reports it, quite a colorful and bewildering history.”

South Coast Today

“Those who think the current electoral season resembles a circus will enjoy this entertaining collection of incredible misdeeds by contemporary and long-gone politicos.”

Publishers Weekly

“Serves up a hodgepodge of tales of less-than-bright-and-shining moments in American history…McHugh’s breezy style will appeal.”

Library Journal

“Flanagan’s narration is consistent and clear, and her appropriate pace holds the listener’s attention…Each anecdote is brief and self-contained, which makes them work well for commuting or other short drives.”


“An important, sad, and very funny book. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will understand American history in a new way.”

Susan Cheever, author of Drinking in America

“A brilliant time capsule of solid proof that America has had a long history of elected officials who have been expert at sinking their own careers―in every possible way. A rollicking, jaw-dropping antidote for these ‘oh no s/he didn’t!’ times.”

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post opinion writer and MSNBC contributor

“A thoroughly captivating take on America’s rich parade of rogues, scoundrels, and buffoons…History and hijinks might be ‘political suicide,’ but Erin McHugh knows that this combo also makes for a rip-roaring read.”