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Books on the Presidency in the HMCPL Catalog
The following are selected Reference and Adult Non-Fiction books available in the HMCPL Catalog.
Call Number: J 353.031 GRE
Publication Date: 1984
The American Presidency: An Intellectual History by
Call Number: 353.0313 MACD
Publication Date: 1994
From Amazon.com: "McDonald chronicles the presidency's creation, implementation, and evolution and explains why it's still working today despite its many perceived afflictions. Along the way, he provides trenchant commentary upon the Constitutional Convention, ratification debates, presidencies of Washington and Jefferson, presidential administration and leadership, presidential-congressional conflicts, the president as chief architect of foreign policy, and the president as myth and symbol. He also analyzes the enormous gap between what we've come to expect of presidents and what they can reasonably hope to accomplish.
Ambitious, comprehensive, and engaging, this is the best single-volume study of an institution that has become troubled and somewhat troublesome yet, in McDonald's words, "has been responsible for less harm and more good than perhaps any other secular institution in history." It will make a fine and necessary companion for understanding the presidency as it moves into its third century."
Call Number: J 353.03 SAN
Publication Date: 1995
From the book jacket: "George Washington became the first president of the United States in 1789. Since then, the highest office in the land has been occupied by forty-two different people, individuals whose ideals and aspirations have shaped our country as we know it.
Illustrated with over one hundred photographs, posters, and prints from the archives of the Library of Congress--often called "the storehouse of the national memory"--as well as from the presidential libraries across the country, here is a captivating glimpse into the public and private lives of our nation's presidents."
The Presidency of the United States by
Call Number: J 353.03 JUD
Publication Date: 1996
From the book jacket: "In 'The Presidency of the United States', author Karen Judson discusses the history and future of the executive branch of government, the roles of the President, Vice President, and Cabinet, and life in the White House. Included are fascinating presidential anecdotes and biographical information. From George Washington to the present, those who have filled our nation's top office have brought with them a wide variety of traits, skills, backgrounds, and goals and have worked tirelessly for the benefit of our country."
Presidential Biographies in the HMCPL Catalog
Following is a selection of presidential biographies available in the HMCPL catalog.
Washington: A Life by
Call Number: B WAS CHE
Publication Date: 2010
From WorldCat: "In "Washington : a Life" celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation, dashing forever the stereotype of a stolid, unemotional man, and revealing an astute and surprising portrait of a canny political genius who knew how to inspire people."
John Adams by
Call Number: B ADA MACC
Publication Date: 2001
From Amazon.com: "The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling biography of America’s founding father and second president that was the basis for the acclaimed HBO series, brilliantly told by master historian David McCullough.
In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second president of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as “out of his senses”; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history."
American lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by
Call Number: B JAC MEA
Publication Date: 2008
From Amazon.com: "Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson’s election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad. To tell the saga of Jackson’s presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House. Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, he details the human drama–the family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers–that shaped Jackson’s private world through years of storm and victory....Jon Meacham in American Lion has delivered the definitive human portrait of a pivotal president who forever changed the American presidency–and America itself."
Call Number: B LIN DON
Publication Date: 1995
From the book jacket:
"This fully rounded biography of America's sixteenth President is the product of Donald's half-century of study of Lincoln and his times. In preparing it, Donald has drawn more extensively than any previous writer on Lincoln's personal papers and those of his contemporaries, and he has taken full advantage of the voluminous newly discovered records of Lincoln's legal practice. He presents his findings with the same literary skill and psychological understanding exhibited in his previous biographies, which have received two Pulitzer Prizes ... Much more than a political biography, Donald's Lincoln reveals the development of the future President's character and shows how his private life helped to shape his public career. In Donald's skillful hands, Lincoln emerges as a youthful, vigorous President. One of the youngest men ever to occupy the White House, he was also the husband of an even younger wife and the father of boisterous children. We witness how Lincoln's absorption with politics disrupted his family life, and how his often tumultuous marriage affected his political career. And we see a man renowned for his storytelling and his often sidesplitting humor lapse into the periods of deep melancholy to which he was prone, not only during the dark days of the Civil War but throughout his life ... Donald's strikingly original portrait of Lincoln depicts a man who was basically passive by nature, who confessed that he did not control events but events had controlled him. Yet coupled with that fatalism was an unbounded ambition that drove him to take enormous political risks and enabled him to overcome repeated defeats. Donald shows that Lincoln was a master of ambiguity and expediency--but he also stresses that Lincoln was a great moral leader, inflexibly opposed to slavery and absolutely committed to preserving the Union."
The Bully Pulpit by
Call Number: 973.911 GOO
Publication Date: 2013
From Amazon.com: "Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit is a dynamic history of the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air...Goodwin’s narrative is founded upon a wealth of primary materials. The correspondence of more than four hundred letters between Roosevelt and Taft begins in their early thirties and ends only months before Roosevelt’s death. Edith Roosevelt and Nellie Taft kept diaries. The muckrakers wrote hundreds of letters to one another, kept journals, and wrote their memoirs. The letters of Captain Archie Butt, who served as a personal aide to both Roosevelt and Taft, provide an intimate view of both men."
Woodrow Wilson: A Biography by
Call Number: B WIL COO
Publication Date: 2009
From Amazon.com: "The first major biography of America’s twenty-eighth president in nearly two decades, from one of America’s foremost Woodrow Wilson scholars...John Milton Cooper, Jr., gives us a vigorous, lasting record of Wilson’s life and achievements. This is a long overdue, revelatory portrait of one of our most important presidents—particularly resonant now, as another president seeks to change the way government relates to the people and regulates the economy."
No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by
Call Number: 973.917 GOO
Publication Date: 1994
From WorldCat: "The United States of 1940, an isolationist country divided along class lines, still suffering the ravages of a decade-long depression, and woefully unprepared for war, was unified by a common threat and by the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Roosevelt to become, only five years later, the preeminent economic and military power in the world. At the center of the country's transformation was the complex partnership of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Franklin knew the war could not be won without focusing the energies of the American people and expanding his base of support -- making his peace with conservative leaders and gaining the cooperation of big business. Eleanor, meanwhile, felt the war would not be worth winning if the old order of things at home prevailed, and was often at odds with her husband in her efforts to preserve the gains of the New Deal and achieve reforms in civil rights, housing, and welfare programs. While Franklin manned the war room at the White House and met with Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Mackenzie King, and other world leaders to discuss strategy for the war abroad, Eleanor crisscrossed the country, visiting the American people, seeing how the war and policies her husband made in Washington affected them as individuals. Using diaries, interviews, and White House records of the president's and first lady's comings and goings, Goodwin paints a detailed, intimate portrait not only of the daily conduct of the presidency during wartime but of the Roosevelts themselves and their extraordinary constellation of friends, advisers, and family, many of whom lived with them in the White House: Missy LeHand, FDR's "other wife" and secretary; Harry Hopkins, FDR's closest friend and adviser; the president's indomitable mother, Sara; the Roosevelts' daughter, Anna; Eleanor's close friends Lorena Hickock and Joe Lash; Crown Princess Martha of Norway; FDR's former lover Lucy Rutherfurd, who, in a final, painful blow to Eleanor, was with him when he died. Bringing to bear the tools of both history and biography, Goodwin relates the unique story of how Franklin Roosevelt, surrounded by his small circle of intimates, led the nation to military victory abroad against seemingly insurmountable odds and, with Eleanor's essential help, forever changed the fabric of American society."
Call Number: B TRU MAC C
Publication Date: 1992
From Amazon.com: "The Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Harry S. Truman, whose presidency included momentous events from the atomic bombing of Japan to the outbreak of the Cold War and the Korean War, told by America’s beloved and distinguished historian.
The life of Harry S. Truman is one of the greatest of American stories, filled with vivid characters—Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Wallace Truman, George Marshall, Joe McCarthy, and Dean Acheson—and dramatic events. In this riveting biography, acclaimed historian David McCullough not only captures the man—a more complex, informed, and determined man than ever before imagined—but also the turbulent times in which he rose, boldly, to meet unprecedented challenges. The last president to serve as a living link between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries, Truman’s story spans the raw world of the Missouri frontier, World War I, the powerful Pendergast machine of Kansas City, the legendary Whistle-Stop Campaign of 1948, and the decisions to drop the atomic bomb, confront Stalin at Potsdam, send troops to Korea, and fire General MacArthur. Drawing on newly discovered archival material and extensive interviews with Truman’s own family, friends, and Washington colleagues, McCullough tells the deeply moving story of the seemingly ordinary “man from Missouri” who was perhaps the most courageous president in our history."
Eisenhower: In War and Peace by
Call Number: B EIS SMI
Publication Date: 2012
From Amazon.com: "In this extraordinary volume, Jean Edward Smith presents a portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower that is as full, rich, and revealing as anything ever written about America’s thirty-fourth president. Here is Eisenhower the young dreamer, charting a course from Abilene, Kansas, to West Point and beyond. Drawing on a wealth of untapped primary sources, Smith provides new insight into Ike’s maddening apprenticeship under Douglas MacArthur. Then the whole panorama of World War II unfolds, with Eisenhower’s superlative generalship forging the Allied path to victory. Smith also gives us an intriguing examination of Ike’s finances, details his wartime affair with Kay Summersby, and reveals the inside story of the 1952 Republican convention that catapulted him to the White House.
Smith’s chronicle of Eisenhower’s presidential years is as compelling as it is comprehensive. Derided by his detractors as a somnambulant caretaker, Eisenhower emerges in Smith’s perceptive retelling as both a canny politician and a skillful, decisive leader. He managed not only to keep the peace, but also to enhance America’s prestige in the Middle East and throughout the world.
Unmatched in insight, Eisenhower in War and Peace at last gives us an Eisenhower for our time—and for the ages."
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 by
Call Number: B KEN DAL
Publication Date: 2003
From Amazon.com: "When it was originally published in 2003, AN UNFINISHED LIFE brought to light new revelations about JFK's health, his love affairs, his brothers and father, and the path JFK would have taken in the Vietnam entanglement if he had survived. A blockbuster bestseller, the book was embraced by critics and readers as a landmark assessment of our 35th president. Now, in time for what promises to be remarkable media attention on Kennedy's death and legacy, AN UNFINISHED LIFE returns with a new, strikingly incisive examination by Robert Dallek in which he further assesses JFK's impact and hold on American culture."
Lone Star Rising : Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960 by
Call Number: B JOH DAL
Publication Date: 1991
From Amazon.com: "n Lone Star Rising, Robert Dallek, winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize for his study of Franklin D. Roosevelt, now turns to this fascinating "sinner and saint" to offer a brilliant, definitive portrait of a great American politician. Based on seven years of research in over 450 manuscript collections and oral histories, as well as numerous personal interviews, this first book in a two-volume biography follows Johnson's life from his childhood on the banks of the Pedernales to his election as vice-president under Kennedy. We see Johnson, the twenty-three-year-old aide to a pampered millionaire Representative, become a de facto Congressman, and at age twenty-eight the country's best state director of the National Youth Administration. We see Johnson, the "human dynamo," first in the House and then in the Senate, whirl his way through sixteen- and eighteen-hour days, talking, urging, demanding, reaching for influence and power, in an uncommonly successful congressional career.
Dallek pays full due to Johnson's failings--his obsession with being top dog, his willingness to cut corners, and worse, to get there-- but he also illuminates Johnson's sheer brilliance as a politician, the high regard in which key members of the New Deal, including FDR, held him, and his genuine concern for minorities and the downtrodden."
Flawed Giant : Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973 by
Call Number: B JOH DAL
Publication Date: 1998
From Amazon.com: "Flawed Giant--the monumental concluding volume to Robert Dallek's biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson--provides the most through, engrossing account ever published of Johnson's years in the national spotlight. Drawing on hours of newly released White House tapes and dozens of interviews with people close to the President, Dallek reveals LBJ as a visionary leader who worked his will on Congress like no chief executive before or since, and also displays the depth of his private anguish as he became increasingly ensnared in Vietnam. Writing in a clear, thoughtful, and evenhanded style, Dallek reveals both the greatness and the tangled complexities of one of the most extravagant characters ever to ascend to the White House."
Publication Date: 1987-1991
Comprised of three volumes:
Nixon: The Education of a Politician 1913-1962
Nixon, Vol. 2: The Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972
Nixon, Vol. 3: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990
Ambrose, noted for his books on Eisenhower, reconsiders Nixon's career objectively in light of the passage of time and puts him into a useful historical context. Primarily, Ambrose examines Nixon's performance as a politician. No prior work has been based upon the amount of primary documentation cited here, and with the exception of Nixon's own writing ( Six Crises and The Memoirs of Richard Nixon ), there is no more thorough treatment of his pre-presidential years. There is altogether new material on Nixon's vice presidency and his relationship with Eisenhower.
Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment with History by
Call Number: 973.924 CAN
Publication Date: 1993
Summary: With unrestricted access to Gerald Ford's papers, James Cannon chronicles Ford's rise and Nixon's ruin with unprecedented depth, objectivity, and clarity. Here is the last word on Ford's ascent to the White House and on the Watergate scandal. As he fell from power, Richard Nixon caused the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War, and an obscure, stolid Middle American named Gerald Ford emerged to struggle with a foundering Federal government and a nation losing faith in that government. Time and Chance reveals how Nixon, by his own hand, ended his public career, and how and why powerful men in Congress replaced him with Ford, a man they could trust.
Jimmy Carter : A Comprehensive Biography from Plains to Post-Presidency by
Call Number: B CAR BOU
Publication Date: 1997
From Amazon.com: "A perfect amount of time has elapsed for beginning a proper historical understanding of Jimmy Carter--enough to allow the emotions of witnesses and participants to cool, but not enough to overly dim their recall. And this book is a solid effort in that direction. Bourne, a psychiatrist, had known Carter for years before his presidency and followed him to the White House. (Which he left after getting caught prescribing drugs under a false name for one of his staffers.) This book is full-scale: it starts with Carter ancestors in 1635 and proceeds to describe in some detail the hard times characteristic of a place like Sumter County, Georgia. In Bourne's view, Carter's meteoric rise is best understood as the successive mastery of the narrow cultures of local, state, and national politics by a proud, intelligent man who had seen and understood the wider world (at the Naval Academy and then in nuclear submarines) before coming back to take over the family farm after his father's death. How meteoric? Well, Bourne tells us, Carter was elected President less than four years after stumping the panel on What's My Line?."
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by
Call Number: B BUS MEA
Publication Date: 2015
From Amazon.com: "In this brilliant biography, Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, chronicles the life of George Herbert Walker Bush. Drawing on President Bush’s personal diaries, on the diaries of his wife, Barbara, and on extraordinary access to the forty-first president and his family, Meacham paints an intimate and surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of Communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a modern president who may have been the last of his kind. This is the human story of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed."
In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography by
Call Number: B CLI GAR
Publication Date: 2008
From Amazon.com: "William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States is undoubtedly the greatest American enigma of our age -- a dark horse that captured the White House, fell from grace and was resurrected as an elder statesman whose popularity rises and falls based on the day's sound bytes. John Gartner's In Search of Bill Clinton unravels the mystery at the heart of Clinton's complex nature and tells the story we all thought we knew, from the fresh viewpoint of a psychologist, as he questions the well-crafted Clinton life story. Travelling to Arkansas and around the world, Gartner uncovers long-held secrets about Clinton's wild and seductive mother, Virginia Kelley, the truth surrounding Clinton's birth, and how Kelley's character set the tone for Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. He considers Clinton's two fathers as the root of his self-destructive nature and looks afresh at Sec. of State Hillary Clinton to see in her the figure of Edith Cassidy, Clinton's stern grandmother. Gartner then shows a Clinton reborn from diplomatic triumphs and humanitarianism across the globe. John Gartner's exhaustive journey provides the richest portrait of Clinton yet, a man who is one of our national obsessions. In Search of Bill Clinton is a surprising and compelling book about a man we all thought we knew."
Call Number: B BUS SMI
Publication Date: 2016
From Amazon.com: "Distinguished presidential biographer Jean Edward Smith offers a critical yet fair biography of George W. Bush, showing how he ignored his advisors to make key decisions himself—most disastrously in invading Iraq—and how these decisions were often driven by the President’s deep religious faith...Bush is a comprehensive evaluation of the Bush presidency—including Guantanamo, Katrina, No Child Left Behind, and other important topics—that will surely surprise many readers. Controversial, incisive, and compelling, it is thoroughly researched and sure to add to the debate over Bush’s presidential legacy."
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by
Call Number: B OBA REM
Publication Date: 2010
From Amazon.com: "In this nuanced and complex portrait of Barack Obama, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Remnick offers a thorough, intricate, and riveting account of the unique experiences that shaped our nation’s first African American president.
Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, Remnick explores the elite institutions that first exposed Obama to social tensions, and the intellectual currents that contributed to his identity. Using America’s racial history as a backdrop for Obama’s own story, Remnick further reveals how an initially rootless and confused young man built on the experiences of an earlier generation of black leaders to become one of the central figures of our time.
Masterfully written and eminently readable, The Bridge is destined to be a lasting and illuminating work for years to come, by a writer with an unparalleled gift for revealing the historical significance of our present moment."