Sunday, May 12, 2013

The American President: A Complete History

By Kathryn Moore

Since 1789 forty-three men have held the office of President of the United States.  Their personalities, backgrounds, and biographies vary widely between them.  Each defined the role of President for himself.  Some were successful while others were not.  A few have ascended to greatness while others are largely forgotten by the modern American public.  Four have been assassinated and four died while in office.  Some have ridden through the calm waters of peace while others have steered through the turbulent seas of war.  All have in some way shaped and influenced the destiny of The United States.  Their stories are American stories.  Their biographies are American history.  To get a firm grasp on American history it is essential that you have an understanding of the lives of the men who became President.

Kathryn Moore’s “The American President: A Complete History” is nothing less than the ultimate guide to the Presidents.  Her 688 page tome contains complete biographies of the 43 men who have held the office of President of the United States.

Presented in chronological order from George Washington to Barack Obama; each biography is accompanied by a full page portrait on the left, while its opposing page lists the biographical facts of each President: birth and death dates and places, religion, higher education, profession, military service, family (mother, father, wife and children), political life (all political offices held), and presidency (number of terms, party, reason for leaving office & Vice President).  On the following pages is a narrative biography of each President.  In the margins of each president’s biographical sketch are: a list of his cabinet members, presidential trivia, Supreme Court Appointments, State of the Union (population, national debt, states admitted to the Union, number of states in the Union).  Colored boxes appear frequently throughout the book highlighting significant laws which were passed and events that happened during each presidency.  At the bottom of each page runs a time line of American and world events which place each presidency within the context of its time.  End notes are located at the end of each biographical sketch.

“The American President: A Complete History” is exhaustively researched, well written and easily read.  By itself, Ms. Moore’s book is a treasury of presidential information and is a must have for scholars of American history.  It is a perfect companion book to the History Channel documentaries, “The Presidents,” and “Ultimate Guide to the Presidents.” 

ISBN 978-1435146020, Fall River, Revised and Updated Edition, © 2013, Paperback, 688 pages, 9.1 x 7.4 x 1.7 inches, Photographs, Illustrations, End Notes & Index. $19.95.  To purchase this book click HERE.

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