About David

As a lawyer, I argued before juries, judges, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  Now, I write history and historical novels, always looking for the people behind the stories, and for stories that have been missed or misunderstood.

My most recent book, George Washington:  The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, was called “an outstanding biography” by the Wall Street Journal, with writing that “is clear, often superlative” and “a narrative drive such a life deserves,” and has won the History Prize of the Society of the Cincinnati, New Jersey.

My 2015 book on James Madison — Madison’s Gift:  Five Partnerships That Built America – unspools Madison’s rare talent for working productively with others who were as different as Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, and his wife Dolley.   It won the the William H. Prescott Award of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America.

In  American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America,t I studied Aaron Burr’s  fantastic Western expedition of 1806-07, which threatened to destroy the nation and landed Burr on trial for treason, in the shadow of the gallows.  My first book, The Summer of 1787:  The Men Who Invented the Constitutionfocused on the horse-trading and grimy compromises that produced the U.S. Constitution, as well as the brilliant and forgotten men who hammered out that charter.

Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy grew from my experience defending a Senate impeachment trial.  The book examines the festering wounds of the Civil War, which President Andrew Johnson made worse, and the corruption that kept Johnson in office after an impeachment contest without winners.

My first novel, The Lincoln Deception , explores the secrets behind the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy. Tthe fictional Dr. Jamie Fraser seeks the truth about the Lincoln assassination, working with Speed Cook, the last black man to play big league baseball in the 1880s.  Publishers Weekly called it “an impressive debut novel.”

The Paris Deception reunites Fraser and Cook at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, trying to free Cook’s son from military injustice and prevent the catastrophic renewal of the war.  The Washington Post called it “another terrific Fraser and Cook mystery.”

The Babe Ruth Deceptionbrings Fraser and Cook back to New York in 1920 and 1921 — when the Babe has reinvented baseball with a barrage of home runs. Our heroes fight gangsters  to protect the legendary slugger survive the gang violence of Prohibition and the notorious Black Sox scandal.

On November 16, 2021, Book One of my Overstreet Saga (a trilogy) will launch — The New Land follows the travails of a German family that lands on the Maine coast in 1753 and contend with a harsh climate, rampant disease, a bloody war with Indians and Frenchmen, and finally the tumultuous war for independence from Britain.  Book Two (The Burning Land) traces descendants through the Civil War era and will be released in late spring 2022; Book Three (The Resolute Land) picks up the Overstreets in the global upheaval of World War II, and will launch in late 2022.

My writing has included reporting for the Staten Island Advance, a decade of monthly Supreme Court columns for the American Bar Association Journal, and pieces in the Washington Post, its Sunday Magazine, the New York Times, and on Bloomberg View, History News Networkand American Heritage.  I’ve done commentary for CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and MSNBC.

From 2011 to 2018, I was 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.


After many years as a trial and appellate lawyer, David O. Stewart became a bestselling writer of history and historical fiction.  The Wall Street Journal recently called his George Washington:  The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father, “an outstanding biography,” with writing that “is clear, often superlative” providing “a narrative drive such a life deserves.” His other histories have explored the writing of the Constitution, the gifts of James Madison, Aaron Burr’s western expedition and treason trial, and the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.  He has won the Washington Writing Award for best book, the History Prize of the Society of the Cincinnati (twice), and the Prescott Award of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America.

David’s first novel, The Lincoln Deception, about the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy, was called the best historical novel of 2013 by Bloomberg View.   Sequels are The Paris Deception, set at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and The Babe Ruth Deception, which follows the Babe’s first two years with the Yankees.  His new trilogy (The Overstreet Saga) will begin when The New Land launches in November 2021, and follows German settlers on Maine’s bloody and unforgiving coast in the 1750s.

Literary agent: 

Carol Mann
Carol Mann Agency, New York City

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.