Chris DeRose (author)

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Chris DeRose
Chris DeRose.jpg
Born February 3, 1980
Occupation Author, Lawyer
Alma mater

Northern Illinois University

Pepperdine University School of Law

Chris DeRose is a bestselling, critically acclaimed American author, law professor, and political strategist. His latest book, "The Presidents' War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War That Divided Them," is a chronicle of the five former presidents who lived to see the Civil War and their relationship with Abraham Lincoln. Previous works include Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America's Greatest President and "Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, the Bill of Rights, and the Election That Saved a Nation."

Early life and education[edit]

Chris DeRose was born February 3, 1980 in North Riverside, Illinois.

He graduated with a B.A. in political science from Northern Illinois University in 2002 and J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law in 2004.


DeRose volunteered on his first political campaign at the age of fifteen. He previously worked for former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert. He has since served in a variety of roles for candidates in five different states, including serving as Director of Election Day Operations for Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell in 2009 and managing the early efforts of Congressman Sean Duffy in 2010.[1]


DeRose's first book, Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, the Bill of Rights, and the Election that Saved a Nation, was named by The Washington Post as one of the "Best Political Books of 2011"[2] and by Human Events as a "Top Ten American History Book to Read this Summer."[3]

Kirkus called "Founding Rivals" "A fresh, narrow, knowledgeable-of-minutia take on a well-known friendship and rivalry during the early establishment of the U.S. Constitution," with a "Compelling narrative throughout…A lively, clear-cut study of the myriad hurdles and uncertainty that characterized the first attempts to form the U.S. government.” [4] Publishers Weekly described it as "An engaging account of the Republic’s contentious founding.” [5]

His second book, Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America's Greatest President, released in 2013, was also selected as a Washington Post "Political Book of the Year." It made headlines when referenced by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in a memo to House members discussing Abraham Lincoln's views on government debt.[6]

Booklist called "Congressman Lincoln" "a vibrant impression of Lincoln’s activity as he circulated through Washington’s political whirls. Lincoln fans will be absorbed by DeRose’s able account about the Thirtieth Congress’ representative from the Seventh Congressional District of Illinois." Library Journal called it "a gripping portrait of the young Lincoln and the polarized Congress in which he served." [7]

Personal life[edit]

Prior to his work in national politics, writing, and academia, DeRose was a full time practicing attorney in Phoenix. Notable representations included the high profile defense of a Police Chief threatened with termination, allegedly for arresting a County Supervisor and for firing an unqualified employee who was personal friends with the mayor.[8]

DeRose is presently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the Arizona Summit Law School where he teaches Constitutional Law, International Law, Voting Rights/Election Law, and Trade Law.

In 2014, the Phoenix Business Journal named DeRose among the "Top 40 Under 40" business leaders. [9]

He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.[10]