USA American President Biographies

American President Biographies USA Flag

John Adams (1735 - 1826) The 2nd President of the United States; born in Quincy. Diggins pays tribute to David McCullough's reestablishment of John Adams's reputation, but he has his own take in this entry in the American Presidents series, edited by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. He seeks to rebut the conventional wisdom that the country's second president was a "loser," a view based on the fact after losing the election of 1800, Adams's party, the Federalists, disappeared from the scene. The 1800 election was, in fact, a triumph for Adams and the ideas the Federalists espoused, says CUNY historian Diggins (On Hallowed Ground), as an opposition party came to power "without America shedding a single drop of blood." Furthermore, Diggins asserts, "American political history begins with the rift between Adams and Jefferson," and though Adams has been disparaged by historians, he played a central role in the development of American democracy. More than just a miniature of our second president, Diggins's slim volume offers a reconsideration of Adams, a thoughtful study of American politics of the period and Adams's legacy for today. John Adams (1797-1801)
John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848) The 6th President of the United States and son of John Adams; born in Quincy. Of all American public figures, none led a more remarkable life than John Quincy Adams. The son of a president, Adams was an elected congressman, an accomplished diplomat, a president himself, and, after vacating the White House in virtual disgrace, a congressman once again from 1831 until his death in 1848. He was a man of letters, had a passion for science and technology, and, more important for the historian, kept a diary for nearly 70 years. With this excellent biography, Nagel continues a string of successful books on America's first families?the Adamses and the Lees (e.g., Descent from Glory, LJ 12/1/82, and The Lees of Virginia, LJ 6/15/90). Nagel focuses more on the private Adams, utilizing diary entries to provide keen insight into this extraordinary man, who often suffered from severe depression. The result is a fascinating psychobiography. Highly recommended for all libraries.?Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
  Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) The 21st President of the United States (1881-1885); born in Fairfield. was an American politician who served as the 21st President of the United States. Arthur was a member of the Republican Party and worked as a lawyer before becoming the 20th Vice President under James Garfield. While Garfield was mortally wounded by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, he did not die until September 19, at which time Arthur was sworn in as president, serving until March 4, 1885.

Before entering elected politics, Arthur was a member of the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party and a political protÚgÚ of Roscoe Conkling, rising to Collector of the Port of New York, a position to which he was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant. He was then removed by the succeeding president, Rutherford B. Hayes, in an effort to reform the patronage system in New York. Chester Arthur (1881-1885)

  George Bush (1924 - ) The 41st President of the United States; born in Milton. This is the groundbreaking classic exposÚ of the Bush family, cited by all that followed it, yet still unmatched. Exhaustively documented by intensive search of dozens of archives and months of interviews with government insiders, this biography digs up all the dirt — frightening, gory, hilarious — on the Bush dynasty: How the Bushes made their fortune building up Hitler and the Nazi war machine ~ Iran-Contra ~ Zapata’s Watergate burglars ~ The Reagan shooting ~ The "war hero" story ~ The secret government ~ "Eugenic" population reduction plans ~ Kissinger, China, and genocide in the Third World ~ Luring Iraq to attack Kuwait ~ The Bush Leveraged Buyout Mob, theft of a nation ~ Jupiter Island, Skull and Bones, and other power bases.  George Bush (1989-1993)
  George W. Bush (born July 6, 1946) 43rd U.S. President; grew up in Midland and Houston. was the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009 and the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

Bush is the eldest son of George H. W. Bush (the 41st President) and Barbara Bush, making him one of only two American presidents to be the son of a preceding president. After graduating from Yale University in 1968, and Harvard Business School in 1975, Bush worked in his family's oil businesses. He married Laura Welch in 1977 and unsuccessfully ran for the United States House of Representatives shortly thereafter. He later co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team before defeating Ann Richards in the 1994 Texas gubernatorial election. In a close and controversial election, Bush was elected President in 2000 as the Republican candidate, receiving a majority of the electoral votes while losing the popular vote to then-Vice President Al Gore. George W. Bush (2001-2009)

  James Buchanan (April 23, 1791 – June 1, 1868) The 15th president of the U.S.; born in Mercersburg. Almost no president was as well trained and well prepared for the office as James Buchanan. He had served in the Pennsylvania state legislature, the U.S. House, and the U.S. Senate; he was Secretary of State and was even offered a seat on the Supreme Court. And yet, by every measure except his own, James Buchanan was a miserable failure as president, leaving office in disgrace. Virtually all of his intentions were thwarted by his own inability to compromise: he had been unable to resolve issues of slavery, caused his party to split-thereby ensuring the election of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln-and made the Civil War all but inevitable. Historian Jean H. Baker explains that we have rightly placed Buchanan at the end of the presidential rankings, but his poor presidency should not be an excuse to forget him. To study Buchanan is to consider the implications of weak leadership in a time of national crisis. Elegantly written, Baker's volume offers a balanced look at a crucial moment in our nation's history and explores a man who, when given the opportunity, failed to rise to the challenge. James Buchanan (1857-1861)
  Jimmy Carter (1924 - ) James E. Carter 39th president of the United States; born in Plains. Growing up in the 1990s, I was never familiar with President Carter or his specific policies. This book gives a very thorough and honest review of the major policy issues confronting President Carter in the late 1970s. If you think his presidency was a failure, you should at least take time to read about why he acted the way he did. He explains the seemingly endless energy debate in great detail and also what led him to give his infamous "crisis of confidence" speech. He gives a practically minute-by-minute account of the hostage crisis and how he worked (successfully) to win their release without nuclear weaponry or massive bloodshed. His coverage of the 1980 election was somewhat superficial so I suggest those interested in that election look elsewhere. If you are a die-hard Republican intent on bashing President Carter, this book is not for you, but if you are sincerely interested in knowing more about the Carter administration, then by all means buy it. Carter does try to justify his actions, but what presidential memoir doesn't? This is a great book that some of the other reviewers seem not to have read. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
  Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)
  Grover Cleveland (1837 - 1908) The 22nd and 24th President of the United States; born in Caldwell. In this brief, excellent volume written for Arthur Schlesinger's American Presidents series, Columbia professor emeritus Graff (The Tuesday Cabinet) picks up the often neglected Grover Cleveland, dusts him off and reminds us how substantial he was. After serving as mayor of Buffalo and governor of New York, Cleveland (1837-1908) was the first Democrat to be elected president after the Civil War. He forced America's railroad titans to return 81,000,000 western acres previously granted by the federal government and regulated them with the Interstate Commerce Act. Although defeated in the electoral college by Benjamin Harrison in 1888, Cleveland won the popular vote, which set the stage for his return to the presidency in 1892 in the midst of nationwide depression. As usual, Cleveland acted decisively. He repealed the inflationary Sherman Silver Purchase Act and, with the aid of Wall Street, maintained the Treasury's gold reserve. When Chicago railroad strikers violated an injunction against further disruption, Cleveland dispatched federal troops. Cleveland's no-nonsense treatment of the strikers stirred many Americans, as did the way he forced Great Britain to accept arbitration of a disputed boundary in Venezuela Grover Cleveland (1893-1897)
  William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton (1946- ) 42nd President of the United States; born in Hope.

Grade 4-8-Good-quality photographs and clear, accessible texts create instant appeal for these presidential profiles. Each volume provides insightful chapters about each man's youth, family, and education, revealing not only how they launched him into politics but also sustained him through his political life. Burgan describes FDR's rapid ascent to national prominence in 1932, explaining how that election centered on Americans' hope of finding a leader to help them survive the Great Depression. There is a candid discussion of his bout with polio that crippled his body yet molded his belief that he could overcome anything. Subsequent chapters chronicle the war years and his legacy as the country's only four-term president. Disappointingly, there is little mention of Eleanor Roosevelt, a gross omission in light of her active involvement in his domestic and foreign policies. The presence and power of the First Lady are more evident in Heinrichs's volume. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

  John Calvin Coolidge Jr  (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) The 30th President of the United States (1923-1929); born in Plymouth Notch. John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States (1923–1929). A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state. His actions during the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight. Soon after, he was elected as the 29th Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small government conservative. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
  Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1969) Dwight D. Eisenhower  The 34th U.S. President (1953-1961); born in Denison. Texas. Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was a five-star general in the United States Army and the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. During the Second World War, he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, with responsibility for planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.

As President, he oversaw the cease-fire of the Korean War, maintained pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, made nuclear weapons a higher defense priority, launched the Space Race, enlarged the Social Security program, and began the Interstate Highway System. He was the last World War I veteran to serve as U.S. president, and the last president born in the 19th century. Eisenhower ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating. He was also the first term-limited president in accordance with the 22nd amendment.

  Millard Fillmore (1100% - 1874) Thirteenth President of the United States; born in Summer Hill.Serving only two and a half years as president, it is not surprising that Millard Fillmore has been given short shrift among historians. This book helps history rediscover the importance of Fillmore's brief tenure. Fillmore assumed office with the country in turmoil over the question of extending slavery to the territories acquired after the war with Mexico. His predecessor, President Taylor, was presumably on an course which would have led to civil war in 1850. Fillmore carefully guided the country toward compromise and away from war. Although his enemies argue that there should be no compromise with slavery, Fillmore's prudent, but politically unpopular stance did preserve the union. Unfortunately, future presidents did not follow Fillmore's example and the country was split in two as a result of uncompromising sectionalism. This book is an excellent study of both President Fillmore and the rise and fall of the Whig Party. The book traces Fillmore's career along with the founding of the Whig party in New York as a protest again the secret organization of the Masonic Lodge, to the accession of a Whig president, to the party's degeneration into a nativist, secret organization of "Know-Nothings."  Millard Fillmore (1850-1853) New York
   
  Gerald R. Ford (1913 - ) Became the 38th President of the United States when Richard Nixon resigned; grew up in Grand Rapids. When historian Douglas Brinkley was asked by the late Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., general editor of the American Presidents series published by Times Books, to undertake a short biography of Gerald R. Ford, the man from Michigan who served less than three years in the White House was a neglected subject.

By the time Brinkley had finished the manuscript, Ford's story had been told, copiously and repeatedly, in newspaper obituaries recording his death at age 93 last December, and his contributions to American life had been praised in memorial ceremonies in California, Washington and Grand Rapids, Mich. -- and in dozens of columns and editorials. As his body was carried across the country, from his final home near Palm Springs, to the Capitol where he had served, and then back to Michigan for burial, the praise rolled in for the man who had applied the healing comfort of his common sense and goodwill to a nation badly bruised by the ordeals of the Vietnam War and Watergate. Gerald Ford (1974-1977)

  James A. Garfield (1881) James A. Garfield ((November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881)  The 20th President of the United States; born in Cuyahoga County Ohio was the 20th President of the United States. His death, two months after being shot and six months after his inauguration, made his tenure, at 199 days, the second shortest (after William Henry Harrison) in United States history. Before his election as president, Garfield served as a major general in the United States Army and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and as a member of the Electoral Commission of 1876. Garfield was the second U.S. President to be assassinated; Abraham Lincoln was the first. President Garfield, a Republican, had been in office a scant four months when he was shot and fatally wounded on July 2, 1881. He lived until September 19, having served for six months and fifteen days. To date, Garfield is the only sitting member of the House of Representatives to have been elected President.
  Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877) Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) The 18th President of the United States; born in Point Pleasant.Ohio (born Hiram Ulysses Grant  was general-in-chief of the Union Army from 1864 to 1869 during the American Civil War and the 18th President of the United States from 1869 to 1877. The son of an Appalachian Ohio tanner, Grant entered the United States Military Academy at age 17. In 1846, three years after graduating, Grant served as a lieutenant in the Mexican–American War under Winfield Scott and future president Zachary Taylor. After the Mexican-American War concluded in 1848, Grant remained in the Army, but abruptly resigned in 1854. After struggling through the succeeding years as a real estate agent, a laborer, and a county engineer, Grant decided to join the Northern effort in the Civil War.
  Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) Warren G. Harding (1865 - 1923) The 29th President of the United States; born near Marion. Ohio Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States, serving from 1921 until his death from a heart attack or stroke in 1923. A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate (1899–1903) and later as Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1903–1905) and as a U.S. Senator (1915–1921). His conservative stance on issues such as taxes, affable manner, and campaign manager Harry Daugherty's 'make no enemies' strategy enabled Harding to become the compromise choice at the 1920 Republican National Convention. During his presidential campaign, in the aftermath of World War I, he promised a return to "normalcy". In the 1920 election, he and his running-mate, Calvin Coolidge, defeated Democrat and fellow Ohioan James M. Cox, in what was then the largest presidential popular vote landslide in American history since the popular vote tally began to be recorded in 1824: 60.36% to 34.19%.
  Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) The 23rd President of the United States; born North Bend near Cincinnati.Ohio was the 23rd President of the United States, serving one term from 1889 to 1893. Harrison was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of 21, where he became a prominent state politician. During the American Civil War Harrison served as a Brigadier General in the XX Corps of the Army of the Cumberland. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, but was later appointed to the U.S. Senate from that state.

Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. He is the only president from the state of Indiana. His presidential administration is most remembered for its economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for reelection in 1892. He also saw the admittance of six states into the Union.

  Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) Rutherford B. Hayes (October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893) The 19th President of the United States; born in Delaware, Ohio was an American politician, lawyer, military leader and the 19th President of the United States (1877–1881). Hayes was elected President by one electoral vote after the highly disputed election of 1876. Losing the popular vote to his opponent, Samuel Tilden, Hayes was the only president whose election was decided by a congressional commission. Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, on October 4, 1822. His parents were Rutherford Hayes (January 4, 1787 Brattleboro, Vermont – July 20, 1822 Delaware, Ohio) and Sophia Birchard (April 15, 1792 Wilmington, Vermont – October 30, 1866 Columbus, Ohio). His father, a storekeeper, died ten weeks before his birth, thus making Hayes the second U.S. president born after the death of his father, Andrew Jackson being the first. An uncle, Sardis Birchard, lived with the family and served as Hayes' guardian. Birchard schooled a young Hayes in Latin and Ancient Greek, and contributed much to his early education. Birchard was close to him throughout his life and became a father figure to him.
  William Henry Harrison (1841) - William Henry Harrison (1773 - 1841) Ninth president of the U.S.; born in Berkeley Virginia (February 9, 1773 – April 4, 1841) was the ninth President of the United States, an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. The oldest president elected until Ronald Reagan in 1980, and last President to be born before the United States Declaration of Independence, Harrison died on his thirty-second day in office—the shortest tenure in United States presidential history. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis, but that crisis ultimately resolved many questions about presidential succession left unanswered by the Constitution until passage of the 25th Amendment.

Before election as president, Harrison served as the first territorial congressional delegate from the Northwest Territory, governor of the Indiana Territory and later as a U.S. representative and senator from Ohio. He originally gained national fame for leading U.S. forces against American Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname "Tippecanoe" (or "Old Tippecanoe"). As a general in the subsequent War of 1812, his most notable contribution was a victory at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, which brought an end to hostilities in his region.

 

 

Herbert Hoover (1874 - 1964) The 31st President of the United States; born in West Branch."Food will win the war," proclaimed engineer-turned-bureaucrat Herbert Hoover, with a tinge of self-promotion, as head of the U.S. Food Administration, the WWI agency responsible for feeding America's troops overseas. While cloaking his efforts in the comforting language of voluntarism, the nervous, high-strung food czar, incessantly smoking Havana cigars, used a mix of price controls, exhortations, constraints and propaganda to seduce the general populace into eating less and reducing waste so our fighting forces could get adequate food supplies. As chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, Hoover orchestrated a massive emergency operation that provided desperately needed food to millions of Belgian and French citizens trapped between the German army of occupation and the British naval blockade. Hoover became a hero to legions of American housewives, middle-class professionals and businessmen, though farmers, livestock producers and middlemen saw him as a meddling, insensitive outsider, an image that dogged the future president all the way to the White House. In this absorbing third installment of a multivolume biography, Nash, a historian of conservatism, reconstructs an important chapter in American history. Photos. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
  Andrew Jackson (1767 - 1845) Seventh President of the United States, was born in the Waxsaws area on the border of North and South Carolina. Newsweek editor and bestselling author Meacham (Franklin and Winston) offers a lively take on the seventh president's White House years. We get the Indian fighter and hero of New Orleans facing down South Carolina radicals' efforts to nullify federal laws they found unacceptable, speaking the words of democracy even if his banking and other policies strengthened local oligarchies, and doing nothing to protect southern Indians from their land-hungry white neighbors. For the first time, with Jackson, demagoguery became presidential, and his Democratic Party deepened its identification with Southern slavery. Relying on the huge mound of previous Jackson studies, Meacham can add little to this well-known story, save for the few tidbits he's unearthed in private collections rarely consulted before. What he does bring is a writer's flair and the ability to relate his story without the incrustations of ideology and position taking that often disfigure more scholarly studies of Jackson. Nevertheless, a gifted writer like Meacham might better turn his attention to tales less often told and subjects a bit tougher to enliven. 32 pages of b&w photos. (Nov. 11)  Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
  Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) - Thomas Jefferson Virginia (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).

As a political philosopher, Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. He idealized the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favored states' rights and a strictly limited federal government. Jefferson supported the separation of church and state[3] and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). He was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the cofounder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for 25 years. Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), first United States Secretary of State (1789–1793), and second Vice President (1797–1801).

  Andrew Johnson (1808 - 1875) Started his career as a tailor's apprentice in Raleigh, North Carolina and rose to lead in the reuniting of the nation as the seventeenth President of the United States. Known for his Carl Schurz: A Biography (LJ 2/15/82), Trefousse delivers the first Johnson study in years, a definitive assessment of his career and presidency. Johnson's papers and other sources reveal his fatal idealization of the agrarian utopia, his fierce advocacy of strict Constitutional constructionism, and his imprudent insistence upon the Republican party's adoption of his views on race. Trefousse demonstrates that Johnson, because of his upbringing, was out of step with the great changes emerging at the end of the Civil War. His stubborn attachment to his increasingly archaic views was responsible for his political and military success, but also for his impeachment. A brilliant, compassionate portrait of a dynamic era of social change and national healing, and of the tragic failure of an American leader. Not to be missed. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
  Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969) Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 - 1973) The 36th U.S. President (1963-1969); born in Stonewall. Texas(August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, served as the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969 after his service as the Vice President of the United States from 1961 to 1963. He served in all four federal elected offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President.

Johnson, a Democrat, succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, completed Kennedy's term and was elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 Presidential election. Johnson was greatly supported by the Democratic Party and, as President, was responsible for designing the "Great Society" legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights, Public Broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and his attempt to help the poor in his "War on Poverty." Simultaneously, he greatly escalated direct American involvement in the Vietnam War.

  John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) The 35th President of the United States; born in Brookline. Publicity for this book claims that until now there has been "no first-class modern biography that takes advantage of the huge volume of new material released from government archives and the JFK Library": somewhere there is a copywriter who missed Robert Dallek's magisterial and bestselling An Unfinished Life (2003), Dallek having been the first Kennedy biographer since Doris Kearns Goodwin to enjoy full, unrestricted access to all materials in the Kennedy Library. That being said, retired University of Wisconsin–Fox Valley history professor O'Brien (Vince: A Personal Biography of Vince Lombardi) offers a serviceable consideration of JFK that's as much a survey of the literature as it is a biography. The majority of O'Brien's footnotes refer to published sources, and this is reflected in O'Brien's prose. For example, his chapter on PT-109 is full of quotations from and allusions to the writings and conclusions of such authors as Robert Donovan, Joan and Clay Blair, and Nigel Hamilton.John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
  Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) The 16th President of the United States; moved from Kentucky to New Salem at the age of 21. This title presents an intimate portrait of an American icon. Long considered a classic, Benjamin P. Thomas' "Abraham Lincoln: A Biography" takes an incisive look at one of American history's greatest figures. Originally published in 1952 to wide acclaim, this eloquent account rises above previously romanticized depictions of the sixteenth president to reveal the real Lincoln: a complex, shrewd, and dynamic individual whose exceptional life has long intrigued the public.Thomas traces the president from his hardscrabble beginnings and early political career, through his years as an Illinois lawyer and his presidency during the Civil War. Although Lincoln is appropriately placed against the backdrop of the dramatic times in which he lived, the author's true focus is on Lincoln the man and his intricate personality. While Thomas pays tribute to Lincoln's many virtues and accomplishments, he is careful not to dramatize a persona already larger than life in the American imagination. Instead he presents a candid and balanced representation that provides compelling insight into Lincoln's true character and the elements that forged him into an extraordinary leader. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
  James Madison (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) Fourth president of the U.S.; born in Orange County.  was an American politician and political philosopher who served as the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817), and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Considered to be the "Father of the Constitution," he was the principal author of the document. In 1788, he wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, still the most influential commentary on the Constitution. The first President to have served in the United States Congress, he was a leader in the 1st United States Congress, drafted many basic laws and was responsible for the first ten amendments to the Constitution (said to be based on the Virginia Declaration of Rights), and thus is also known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights". As a political theorist, Madison's most distinctive belief was that the new republic needed checks and balances to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the majority.

As leader in the House of Representatives, Madison worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. Breaking with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in 1791, Madison and Thomas Jefferson organized what they called the Republican Party (later called the Democratic-Republican Party) in opposition to key policies of the Federalists, especially the national bank and the Jay Treaty. He secretly co-authored, along with Thomas Jefferson, the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798 to protest the Alien and Sedition Acts. James Madison (1809-1817)

  William McKinley (1897-1901) William McKinley (1843 - 1901) The 25th President of the United States; born in Niles Ohio.(January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States, and the last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected to the office.

By the 1880s, McKinley was a national Republican leader; his signature issue was high tariffs on imports as a formula for prosperity, as typified by his McKinley Tariff of 1890. As the Republican candidate in the 1896 presidential election, he upheld the gold standard, and promoted pluralism among ethnic groups. His campaign, designed by Mark Hanna, introduced new advertising-style campaign techniques that revolutionized campaign practices and beat back the crusading of his arch-rival, William Jennings Bryan. The 1896 election is often considered a realigning election that marked the beginning of the Progressive Era.

  James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831)  Fifth president of the U.S.; born in Westmoreland County. was the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825). His administration was marked by the acquisition of Florida (1819); the Missouri Compromise (1820), in which Missouri was declared a slave state; the admission of Maine in 1820 as a free state; and the profession of the Monroe Doctrine (1823), declaring U.S. opposition to European interference in the Americas, as well as breaking all ties with France remaining from the War of 1812.

Monroe was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1782 and served in the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1786. He ran for a seat on the 1st Congress but was defeated by future President James Madison. As a youthful politician, he joined the anti-Federalists in the Virginia Convention which ratified the Constitution, and in 1790, was elected United States Senator. James Monroe (1817-1825)

  Richard M. Nixon (1913 - 1994) 37th President of the U.S.; born in Yorba Linda. In the thousand and fifty pages of this biography by a fallen media baron of a fallen President, few events are neglected and many are well told. But Black, attempting a reconsideration of his subject, merely provides an exculpatory gloss for seemingly every grimy facet of Nixon’s career. He presents the 1968 "Southern strategy" as a principled stand against Northern hypocrisy. On Vietnam, his invocations of "insolent" Communists, their "witless dupes," and "child grenade carriers" (as he refers to those murdered at My Lai) take on a deranged air; he unwittingly provides an object lesson in the kind of thinking that mired America there. Interestingly, given what Black refers to in the acknowledgments as his own "serious judicial problems," he argues that Nixon’s best move in Watergate would have been to surreptitiously delete damaging parts of the tapes and then make up a cover story—"whatever he wanted." Hoping to be Nixon’s redeemer, Black comes off as his apologist. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
  Barack Obama (2009-present) Illinois - Barack Hussein Obama II (/bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/ ( listen); born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office, as well as the first president born in Hawaii. Obama previously served as the junior United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.

Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

  Franklin Pierce (1804 - 1869) The 14th President of the United States (1853-1857); born in Hillsborough. For years Franklin Pierce has been ill-served by the nation's historians, nearly all of whom repeat the same things about him--that he was an alcoholic, a coward in the Mexican-American war, pro-slavery and one of the reasons why this country had a Civil War.

Unfortunetely such judgements are basedly largely on biased accounts written decades ago, such as Allen Nevin's "Ordeal of the Union," an enormously slanted work on the events leading up to the Civil War; thus repeating for succeeding generations the same tired old myths Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)

  James K. Polk (1845-1849) - James K. Polk  (November 2, 1795 – June 15, 1849)Eleventh President of the United States; born in Mecklenburg County (pronounced /ˈpoʊk/ POKE) was the 11th President of the United States (1845–1849). Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, but mostly lived in and represented the state of Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as Speaker of the House (1835–1839) and Governor of Tennessee (1839–1841) before becoming president.

A firm supporter of Andrew Jackson, Polk was the last strong pre-Civil War president. Polk is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain then backed away and split the ownership of the Northwest with Britain. He is even more famous for leading the successful Mexican–American War. He lowered the tariff and established a treasury system that lasted until 1913. A little-known candidate in 1844, he was the first president to retire after a single term without seeking reelection. He died of cholera three months after his term ended.

  Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911 - ) The 40th President of the United States; born in Tampico. "Not since Lincoln, or Winston Churchill in Britain, has there been a president who has so understood the power of words to uplift and inspire," Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of Great Britain at the time, said of Reagan. Appropriately, this book highlights dozens of quotes for which Reagan is fondly remembered, including the humorous and self-deprecating quips such as "I consider all proposals for government action with an open mind before voting 'no'" and "It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure why take the chance." In addition, over 200 quotes from a range of world leaders, cabinet members, journalists, family, and friends speak to the man's character and vision and bear testimony to why he was one of the most beloved American presidents of the 20th century. --Shawn Carkonen Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
  Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 - 1945) 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945); born in Hyde Park. Massive and moving, barbed yet balanced, it is scrupulously objective and coldly unsparing of agenda-ridden earlier biographers and historians. It leaps to the head of the class of Rooseveltian lives and will be difficult to supersede. To Black, the Canadian-born media mogul (he owns the London Daily Telegraph and the Chicago Sun-Times, among other papers worldwide), the second Roosevelt was, apart from Lincoln perhaps as savior of the Union, the greatest American president, and with no exceptions the greatest of its politicians. No FDR-haters have exposed, credibly, more of Roosevelt's "less admirable tendencies," from "naked opportunism," "deformed idealism" and "pious trumpery" to "insatiable vindictiveness." Yet the four-term president emerges in Black's compelling life as personifying vividly the civilization he, more than any other contemporary, rescued from demoralizing economic depression and devastating world war. His larger-than-life Roosevelt possesses consummate sensitivity and tactical skill, radiating power and panache despite a physical vulnerability from the polio that left him without the use of his legs at 39. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
  Theodore Roosevelt ( (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919 - Theodore Roosevelt U.S. president, NYC; pronounced /ˈroʊzəvɛlt was the 26th President of the United States. He is well remembered for his energetic persona, his range of interests and achievements, his leadership of the Progressive Movement, his model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" image. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Bull Moose Party of 1912. Before becoming the 26th President (1901–1909) he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.
  William Howard Taft (1909-1913) - William Howard Taft (1857 - 1930) The 27th President of the United States; born in Cincinnati (September 15, 1857 – March 8, 1930) was the 27th President of the United States and later the 10th Chief Justice of the United States.

Born in 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio, into the powerful Taft family, Taft graduated from Yale College Phi Beta Kappa in 1878, and from Cincinnati Law School in 1880. Then he worked in a number of local legal positions until being appointed an Ohio Superior Court judge in 1887. In 1890 Taft was appointed Solicitor General of the United States and in 1891 a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 1900, President William McKinley appointed Taft Governor-General of the Philippines. In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt, then a political ally of Taft, appointed Taft Secretary of War to groom Taft as his successor to the presidency.

  Zachary Taylor (1784 - 1850) 12th president of the U.S.; born in Orange County.(November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was an American military leader and the 12th President of the United States.

Known as "Old Rough and Ready," Taylor had a 40-year military career in the U.S. Army, serving in the War of 1812, Black Hawk War, and Second Seminole War before achieving fame leading U.S. troops to victory at several critical battles of the Mexican–American War. A Southern slaveholder who opposed the spread of slavery to the territories, he was uninterested in politics but was recruited by the Whig Party as their nominee in the 1848 presidential election.

In the election, Taylor defeated the Democratic nominee, Lewis Cass, and became the first U.S. president never to have held any previous elected office. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)

  Harry S. Truman (1884 - 1972) The 33rd President of the United States; born in Lamar. An estimable biography that portrays Truman, the patron saint of beleaguered pols, as an ordinary American but an extraordinary president. As narrative, this biography cannot begin to compete with David McCullough's Truman (1992). However, historian Ferrell (Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Ill-Advised, 1992, etc.) partly makes up for this with his mastery of Truman sources (he has written or edited eight previous books on the president) and his shrewd analysis of the workings of executive power. He shows how Truman, with his Missouri twang and his background as the product of Kansas City's Pendergast machine, seemed smaller than life, even grubby, compared to the patrician FDR. But he believes that Truman surpassed his predecessor in decisiveness, veracity, and stamina. Unpretentious and optimistic, Truman was temperamentally well equipped to lead the nation as it was being challenged by communism abroad. Yet Truman, now one of our most beloved presidents, saw his approval rating dip to only 23% a year before he left office--one point lower than Richard Nixon's when he resigned.
  John Tyler  (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) born in Charles City County. was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845) and the first to succeed to the office following the death of a predecessor.

A longtime Democratic-Republican, Tyler was nonetheless elected Vice President on the Whig ticket. Upon the death of President William Henry Harrison on April 4, 1841, only a month after his inauguration, the nation was briefly in a state of confusion regarding the process of succession. Ultimately the situation was settled with Tyler becoming President both in name and in fact. Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841, setting a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually be codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment. At 51 years old, he was the youngest U.S. president to take office to that point (whereas Harrison had been the oldest man to take office as president). John Tyler (1841-1845)

  Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) (pronounced /vŠn ˈbjʊərɨn/ or /vŠn ˈbjɜrɨn/; was the eighth President of the United States from 1837 to 1841. Before his presidency, he served as the eighth Vice President (1833–1837) and the 10th Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson. He was a key organizer of the Democratic Party, a dominant figure in the Second Party System, and the first president who was not of British (i.e. English, Welsh, Scottish, or Irish) descent—his ancestry was Dutch. He was the first president to be born an American citizen (his predecessors were born British subjects before the American Revolution), and is also the only president not to have spoken English as a first language, having grown up speaking Dutch. Moreover, he was the first president from New York.
  George Washington (February 22, 1732  – December 14, 1799) First president of the U.S.; born in Westmoreland county. was the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) and served as the first President of the United States of America (1789–1797). For his central role in the formation of the United States, he is often referred to as the father of his country.

The Continental Congress appointed Washington commander-in-chief of the American revolutionary forces in 1775. The following year, he forced the British out of Boston, lost New York City, and crossed the Delaware River in New Jersey, defeating the surprised enemy units later that year. As a result of his strategy, Revolutionary forces captured the two main British combat armies at Saratoga and Yorktown. Negotiating with Congress, the colonial states, and French allies, he held together a tenuous army and a fragile nation amid the threats of disintegration and failure. Following the end of the war in 1783, King George III asked what Washington would do next and was told of rumors that he'd return to his farm; this prompted the king to state, "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world." Washington did return to private life and retired to his plantation at Mount Vernon. George Washington (1789-1797)

  Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924) 28th president of the U.S.; born in Stauton. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856–February 3, 1924) was the 28th President of the United States. A leading intellectual of the Progressive Era, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. With Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft dividing the Republican Party vote, Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912. To date he is the only President to hold a doctorate of philosophy (PhD) degree and the only President to serve in a political office in New Jersey before election to the Presidency.

In his first term, Wilson persuaded a Democratic Congress to pass the Federal Reserve Act, Federal Trade Commission, the Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act and America's first-ever federal progressive income tax in the Revenue Act of 1913. In a move that garnered a backlash from civil rights groups, and is still criticized today, Wilson allowed segregation in many federal agencies, which involved firing black workers from numerous posts. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

Facebook Comments