Formerly a trial and appellate lawyer, now I write history and historical novels.
My recent George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, was called “an outstanding biography” by the Wall Street Journal, with “clear, often superlative” writing and “a narrative drive such a life deserves.” The book has won the 2022 Book Award of the Colonial Dames of America, the 2022 History Prize of the Society of the Cincinnati, New Jersey (as did my Aaron Burr book, below), plus the 2022 George Washington Memorial Award, and was a finalist for the George Washington Prize for the best book of 2021 about the Founding Era.
A fictional trilogy — The Overstreet Saga — launched in November 2021 with The New Land. Book Two, set during the bloody upheaval of America in the 1860s, released on April 4, 2023. The novels are inspired by experiences of my mother’s family from their settlement on the Maine coast in the 1750s.
My 2015 book on James Madison — Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America – examines Madison’s talent for working with different personalities and won the William H. Prescott Award of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America. American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America, explores Aaron Burr’s Western expedition of 1806-07, which threatened to destroy the nation and landed Burr on trial for treason. The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution, focused on the grimy compromises that produced the U.S. Constitution, and the men who hammered them out. It won the Washington Writing Prize for the best book of 2007. Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy grew from my defense of a Senate impeachment trial.
My first novel, The Lincoln Deception , explores the secrets behind the Booth conspiracy through the unlikely partnership of Dr. Jamie Fraser and ex-ballplayer Speed Cook. The Paris Deception reunites Fraser and Cook at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. The Washington Post called it “another terrific Fraser and Cook mystery.” The Babe Ruth Deception, brings Fraser and Cook back to protect the Yankee slugger from gangland violence and the Black Sox scandal.
My new trilogy, The Overstreet Saga, began with The New Land. The novel follows the travails of a family that lands on the Maine coast in 1753 and contends with an unforgiving climate, rampant disease, a bloody war with Indians and Frenchmen, and the war for independence from Britain. Book Two (The Burning Land) traces their descendants through the Civil War era and released on April 4; Book Three (The Resolute Land) finds the Overstreets in the upheaval of World War II, and will launch in February 2024.
I received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Independent Review of Books. My writing has included reporting for the Staten Island Advance, monthly Supreme Court columns for the American Bar Association Journal, and items in the Washington Post, its Sunday Magazine, the New York Times, and on Bloomberg View, History News Network, and American Heritage. I’ve done commentary for CNN, C-SPAN, Bloomberg News, and MSNBC.
From 2011 to 2018, I was founding president of the Washington Independent Review of Books, which posts new reviews and book-related content daily, and now serve on the board of the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD.
SHORT FORM BIO, FOR SPEAKER INTRODUCTIONS:
David O. Stewart has published five books of history and five historical novels. His most recent nonfiction work, George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, has won several awards for best work of history for 2021. In 2023, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Washington Independent Review of Books. His most recent novel, set during the Civil War and its aftermath, The Burning Land, is inspired by family stories his mother told. He lives in Maryland with his wife of 48 years, Nancy; they have three children and six grandchildren.
Publicist for The Overstreet Saga:
A novel written by my son, Matt Stewart, The French Revolution, was long-listed for the 2011 Indies Choice awards and was listed as a Best Book of 2010 by the San Francisco Chronicle.