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David O. Stewart

David O. Stewart is a lawyer, public speaker, and bestselling author who has written both historical nonfiction and fiction across a range of subjects. His histories have explored the writing of the Constitution, the gifts of James Madison, the outrageous western expedition and treason trial of the mysterious Aaron Burr, and the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. His histories have won the Washington Writing Award for best book of the year, the History Prize of the Society of the Cincinnati, and the William H. Prescott Award of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America. He has also contributed reporting and writing to various other outlets, including the Staten Island Advance, the American Bar Association Journal, the Washington Post, and History News Network.

Stewart's first book, The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution, was a Washington Post bestseller and won the Washington Writing Award as Best Book of 2007. Two years later, Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy, was a Davis-Kidd Bestseller and was called “by all means the best account of this troubled episode” by Professor David Donald of Harvard. His first novel, The Lincoln Deception, about the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy, was called the best historical novel of 2013 by Bloomberg View.  In February 2015, Simon & Schuster released his latest nonfiction book, Madison's Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America.

A former trial and appellate attorney, Stewart has argued before juries, judges, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Supreme Court. From 2011 to 2018, he served as president of the Washington Independent Review of Books. He currently lives in Garrett Park, Maryland. 

Articles by this Author

The horrors of the Civil War led to madness and suicide among many soldiers and veterans, but comparisons to modern diagnoses of PTSD are difficult.
Our first President spoke about abolishing slavery, but couldn’t manage without the unpaid labor of hundreds on Mount Vernon.
The attack on the Capitol was not a true coup d’etat,  but a poorly organized and ill-thought-out attempt to strongarm Congress.
As Covid-19 threatens to push millions of Americans into poverty, we can look to the past for lessons on how to deal with a pandemic.
American foreign policy was a uniquely fraternal affair during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency in the 1950s: John Foster Dulles served as Secretary of State while his brother Allen led the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Treason!, Spring 2012 | Vol. 62, No. 1
The 1807 trial of Aaron Burr challenged the Constitution