I got a book called Team of Rivals-- about the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln- for Christmas. I just barely finished it. Written for more of a broad audience (ex: no footnotes on the pages) in a very comprehendable voice. It focused on the inside story of Washington D.C and more specifically the inner workings of Lincoln's cabinet during the Civil War.
Nearly everyone in Lincoln's cabinet was very intelligent, had studied law and had experienced tremendous amount of loss during their lifetime. The author paints Lincoln almost as a miracle worker in getting the most out of the people he appointed to assist him in cabinet positions.
On the final page it summarized Lincoln's ambition to achieve based on his disbelief in an afterlife and his desire to accomplish something his fellow men could remember him by.
Although it generally doesn't go very deep, there is a lot of information there to really digest and internalize to understand the timeframe and thought process of the President and Cabinet. It really makes life in Washington seem pretty swell.