Published in 1948, The American Political Tradition was written by American author and historian Richard Hofstadter. Telling the tales of the work and ideas of all of the prior presidents (Harry Truman was president at the time the book was published), a common theme shown throughout all of the details is that all of these men fought to have rights, but entered that fight with a sense of competition. The book is so well known because it was one of the first to actually give the facts behind the thoughts of American leaders, rather than blindly praise them.
Richard Hofstadter was born on August 6, 1916 in Buffalo, New York. The home of Niagara Falls impacted his life as a young adult, as he attended high school and University there, graduating with degrees in philosophy and history. At one time, he taught history at the University of Maryland, where he became interested in famous leaders in the field of psychology. Hofstadter has had many published works that focus on his political views (which were, after all, quite strong), and The American Political Tradition is perhaps one of his most famous.