Three D.C. History Books to Get For Christmas

We frequently receive emails asking for book recommendations. So, we’ll write up a quick post and refer all future inquiries to this post.

If you have any recommendations that you’d like to add, please share them in the comments below.

1. Capital Losses: A Cultural History of Washington’s Destroyed Buildings

James Goode is the godfather of all things DC history. His two books Capital Losses and Best Addresses are the two coffee table books you have to have. Allow yourself plenty of time to get lost in these books, because they are each nearly 600 pages and weigh about 35 pounds (okay, only one of those statements is true).

We’re picking the former book because it highlights all the lost buildings of our city, which were sadly demolished in the name of urban progress. Buy yourself (or your loved one) this book for Christmas, sit back with a glass of wine (or DC Brau) and enjoy your new book.

Buy it online for about $40 here.

2. Lost Washington, D.C.

If Goode is the godfather of local history, John DeFerrari would be the … consigliere? Okay, mafia references aside, this is a great book by John that makes a great Christmas stocking stuffer.¬†Lost Washington, D.C. is another book dedicated to the buildings and places that no longer stand. Much like Goode’s book, it will make you sad that they’re gone, but it’s a gem of a book with some terrific stories.

You can get the book on Amazon for $15 in paperback, or less than $10 for your Kindle.

3. Mark Twain in Washington, D.C: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent

Picking a third one was difficult, because there are far more than three great books about local history. I picked John Muller’s book because the time period is fascinating, and the main subject — Mark Twain — is someone many people love and read growing up.

Samuel Clemens (aka, Mark Twain) spent some time here in Washington, and Muller’s book — Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent — tells the tales of his time in our city.

Buy it on Amazon for $15 or $10 for the Kindle version.

Both Garrett Peck and Paul K. Williams have several interesting books about Washington, D.C. history as well, so make sure you check those two out as well.