American Presidents series

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American Presidents series

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Jan 15, 2009, 9:17 pm

Hi: Is it cheating to read one of those short books in the American Presidents series?

Jan 16, 2009, 9:51 am

There's no cheating per se except if it's fiction. The challenge is to read a biography, whichever you choose. This series may be used by many of us when we get to the lesser known presidents.

It's all up to you.

Jan 30, 2009, 3:18 pm

I think I read those when I was a kid - I remember the one on Washington, Jefferson, Betsy Ross and Ben Franklin, though I may have read more...

Jan 30, 2009, 8:09 pm

The American Presidents Series was edited by Arthur Schlesinger before and was then and still is edited by Sean Wilentz. There are 31 issued so far and still coming out. I find them very informative especially on Presidents where you wonder how in the world did they get elected ie Millard Fillmore who has fallen to the wayside but in his time I guess was a very well known name and was closed to being asked to run on several tickets before being chosen to run with Z. Taylor and then succeeded to the Presidency on his death. Might want to check them out.

Jan 30, 2009, 9:04 pm

Perhaps I am remembering something else then...

Jan 31, 2009, 2:55 pm

The most recent one in the series is the Herbert Hoover bio by William E. Leuchtenburg. I started it this morning.

They list all the books in the series at the front of the book. They show 39 but I don't think all are out yet. For instance, there is a bio shown for William Henry Harrison (by Gail Collins) but neither Amazon nor my library/ILL show that it's available.

Fev 4, 2009, 2:30 am

I've just started the one on Rutherford B. Hayes by Hans L. Trefousse.

Mar 2, 2009, 10:58 am

I've read a couple of them now, and they are great introductions to the presidents. Not so much minutia that you get bogged down, but enough to pique your interest for further reading if you want.

Mar 2, 2009, 3:18 pm

I'm reading one right now on'd think that there would be plenty about him, but I haven't been able to find much.

Mar 2, 2009, 3:56 pm

#9 I'm so glad to hear you say that - I thought it was just me.

Mar 2, 2009, 5:02 pm

There's more on Dolley Madison in my local library. However, The Naval War of 1812 by Theodore Roosevelt covers a lot of this particular war and its effects--written by a man who would himself become president! It's a well-written history which I'm enjoying very much.

Mar 2, 2009, 5:55 pm

Years ago I started doing this challenge by myself, and at that time thought I would go in order. I did great until I got to Madison. There the trail went nowhere. We need to remember tho, that Lynne Cheney is writing one,

Mar 2, 2009, 8:55 pm

I've read a book on the writing of the Constitution and have a book about the War of 1812 but I could only find the American President series book from my library. I guess I'm going to have to settle for that.

Mar 3, 2009, 8:14 pm

I would like to suggest a book from my library, James Madison:a Biography by Ralph Ketchum. I got my copy at Borders. I have not read it yet but I am sure there is a review somewhere on LibraryThing. The ISBN is 0813912652

Editado: Mar 4, 2009, 12:13 am

I've been looking for that one, but haven't found it in any of the state libraries. I'll keep looking. Thanks, Chris.

Fev 23, 2010, 5:03 pm

This Series -- The American Presidents Series published by Times Books/Henry Holt -- is an excellent introduction to our presidents. I have read all that have been published to date. They are not uniformly excellent, as some are better than others (I found Tom Wickers's biography of Eisenhower to be rather disappointing) but they are all worth reading, especially as an introduction and, as others have pointed out, to read a biography of a president about whom little has been written.

Here is a list of the books in the series to date:

Already Available:

1) George Washington, by James MacGregor Burns & Susan Dunn
2) John Adams, by John Patrick Diggins
3) Thomas Jefferson, by Joyce Appleby
4) James Madison, by Garry Wills
5) James Monroe, by Gary Hart
6) John Quincy Adams, by Robert Remini
7) Andrew Jackson, by Sean Wilentz
8) Martin Van Buren, by Ted Widmer
10) John Tyler, by Gary May
11) James K. Polk, by John Seigenthaler
12) Zachary Taylor, by John S.D. Eisenhower
15) James Buchanan, by Jean Baker
16) Abraham Lincoln, by George S. McGovern (Dec. 2008)
18) Ulysses S. Grant, by Josiah Bunting III
19) Rutherford B. Hayes, by Hans Trefouse
20) James A. Garfield, by Ira Rutkow
21) Chester A. Arthur, by Zachary Karabell
22) Grover Cleveland, by Henry F. Graff
23) Benjamin Harrison, by Charles W. Calhoun
24) Grover Cleveland, by Henry F. Graff
25) William McKinley, by Kevin Phillips
26) Theodore Roosevelt, by Louis Auchincloss
28) Woodrow Wilson, by H.W. Brands
29) Warren Harding, by John W. Dean
30) Calvin Coolidge, by David Greenberg
31) Herbert Hoover, by William E. Leuchtenburg
32) Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by Roy Jenkins
33) Harry Truman, by Robert Dallek
34) Dwight D. Eisenhower, by Tom Wicker
37) Richard Nixon, Elizabeth Drew
38) Gerald Ford, by Douglas Brinkley
41) George H.W. Bush, Timothy Naftali

Shortly Forthcoming:

9) William Henry Harrison, by Gail Collins
13) Millard Fillmore, by Paul Finkelman
14) Franklin Pierce, by Michael Holt – March 2010
17) Andrew Johnson, by Annette Gordon-Reed – November 2010
27) William Howard Taft, by Lewis Lapham
35) John F. Kennedy, by Alan Brinkley
36) Lyndon Johnson, by Charles Peters – June 2010
39) Jimmy Carter, by Julian Zelizer

Still Unscheduled:

40) Ronald Reagan
42) Bill Clinton
43) George W. Bush
44) Barak Obama

Mar 30, 2010, 1:18 pm

On Madison there is a 6 vol set by Irving Brant, a full biography by Ralph Ketchum, another by Robert A Rutland, a fresh view of madison by Richard K. Matthews "If men were Angels" also helpful is Mr Madison's War by J C A Stagg, which is regarded as the authoritative source on the war of 1812. Drew McCoy in his "last of the Founders" is also good.

Mar 30, 2010, 8:11 pm

The Franklin Pierce edition of this series is released today.

Abr 7, 2010, 7:59 pm

I recieved my Franklin Pierce edition today from Amazon!!!

Abr 7, 2010, 7:59 pm

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