Monday, July 13, 2015

Author Spotlight: David O. Stewart

By Jeff Burns

David O. Stewart became a writer of history after a long legal career in Washington D.C., and his legal training and career provide an interesting perspective in his work.  His first book, The Summer of 1787, is about the tumultuous constitutional convention, and he was inspired to write it by a Supreme Court case he was working on.  His second book, Impeached, is about the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson and was inspired by a judicial impeachment case he worked on in 1989.  His third book, American Emperor: Aaron Burr's Challenge to Jefferson's America, is about Burr’s alleged conspiracy to commit treason by creating his own personal empire in the Louisiana territory and the trial that resulted.

All three books were great sellers and accumulated praise and acclaim.  Summer was awarded the Washington Writing Prize for best book of 2007, and Stewart received the 2013 History Award of the Society of the Cincinnati as well.  In 2013, he released his first historical fiction novel, The Lincoln Deception, about the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy.  His most recent book, Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America is a unique biography of the fourth president, told in terms of five pivotal personal relationships, each of which was crucial in some way to the development of the United States.

Whether it’s the result of his own personality and interests or the result of his legal training and career, Stewart is not the typical historian.  His books are different and fresh, well worth checking out.

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