Warren G. Harding by John W. Dean—This brief but compelling biography exposes the truths and myths about the man who was arguably America’s worst president. There’s a mighty long list and I’ve only just started seriously working through it (but I’ve got some early opinions! James Earl Carter, Jr. Gerald Rudolph Ford. All I know is that if I had to pick one series to re-read it would be an easy pick – Robert Caro’s series on LBJ. I’m sad to say I do not have my broad list of biographies in chronological order, although a significant subset of that list IS in rough chronological order (see here). I was always frustrated by the lack of a really good Grant biography but I really liked Whyte’s treatment and have to believe Chernow’s will be terrific as always when I get to it. There isn’t always a new treasure trove of documents for the “next” biographer to work off, so if someone feels compelled to write a biography in 2018 on a president from the 1800s, I want there to be a *reason* for the biography beyond the author wanting to stay busy. John Tyler by Gary May—At little more than two hundred pages, this book offers a concise introduction to this controversial (dare I say treasonous?) The reason I’m asking is that you have rated books published in the 1960’s higher than those published within the last few years (Washington is an example.) I plan to continue to make my way through the more recent PUSAs, although not in a rush as I believe proper historical perspective needs to germinate with time. My Dad had me read his books and we would discuss them at dinner. But it also works the other way around for me (to the extent I can accurately assess things) – a new biography needs to do more than re-tell the same story in a slightly different way. The second volume is President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. It made the work I have to do way less Because it is a daunting task to read them all, I was wondering if you had any sort of checklist or sort of game that could be played throughout the biographies that can keep someone motivated during the slower times to keep reading the books. Happy New Year. Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest by K. Jack Bauer—This biography explores the contradictory nature of America’s twelfth president. – Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton Have you discovered the Miller Center at the University of Virginia? I’ve tried to keep this list focused on biography only, so there is little in the way of memoir or autobiography. Steve, will you be reviewing the latest Carter bio that is being released this coming April 24th? President McKinley: Architect of the American Century by Robert W. Merry—This book contends that McKinley’s considerable achievements were overshadowed by his successor, Theodore Roosevelt, and seeks to restore his place in the presidential pantheon. Thanks! So much left to do! Ray, that has to be the most thought-provoking series of thoughts I’ve ever tried to read and respond to at 6am . – Andrew Jackson: is a fascinating character and although I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Jon Meacham, his biography of Jackson (for which he won a Pulitzer Prize) was definitely not my favorite of that bunch. Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter by Randall Balmer—This fascinating book places Carter’s politics in the context of his faith and documents how he challenged the conventional marriage of Evangelical Christianity with conservative politics. [p.s. Other changes include biographies of Jefferson, modern ones addressing his relationship with Sally Hemmings and role as a slave holder saying “all men are created equal” etc. I know that it’s on your follow-up list, but I would highly recommend William Cooper’s the Lost Founding Father. If you have any suggestions on what I should add to my LBJ follow-up list please do let me know! Forgot to include the link to the book (or the authors to help locate it). Below I’ve listed 50 of the best biographies out there. I don’t think you can go wrong either way. Awesome work! Gerald R. Ford by Douglas Brinkley—This fascinating book argues that Ford, though clumsy at times, was the antidote to Nixon’s toxic reign, never bowing to party politics and challenging the extreme right I would include Jefferson and Truman in my top ten. If not…it goes onto the follow-up list…. Sorry if my question is not clearly laid out. – Teddy Roosevelt: I, too, have wondered why there aren’t several wonderful single volume, comprehensive bios of TR – especially given the fact that Lincoln’s life was also incredibly eventful and, yet, there are several excellent biographies of him that come in the form of a single book. Hi, Steve. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard—This book chronicles James Garfield’s rise from poverty to the presidency and details the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy. I really appreciate the comprehensive list you’ve put together and look forward to working my way through it. I’m definitely going to continue to wait until I finish Obama before reading anything on Trump, and to be honest I may wait awhile to read anything about POTUS #45 in order to allow his legacy to marinate adequately. What are yours? I wouldn’t have cut much and, yes, I bet I read at least some of it again. Looking forward to your reviews of more recent releases that weren’t out when you moved through a President (like Chernow’s Grant). Now…fingers crossed that Eizenstat’s bio is objective and interesting. I read “Flawed Giant” to get through the second term. Thank you so much for providing such an invaluable resource! The comments on Caro’s multi-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson is interesting. I tweeted the following today: Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter R. Borneman—This book offers a fascinating overview of Polk’s role in the westward expansion of America: wresting control of California and much of the southwest from Mexico, bringing Texas into the Union, and liberating most of Oregon from Britain’s grasp. Kerns-Goodwin is also a fairly frequent and respected guest on Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC and her historical perspective on the current political crisis is quite insightful. I separated them into groups depending on historical events or same party successors, etc. I was wondering if you had a list of the best biographies on each President. Perhaps his life is too eventful for it all to fit into one book. I am just reading Chernow’s Grant, which I am sure you will get to eventually. president(! Abraham Lincoln: With Malice Toward None, by Stephen B. Oates. The recipient of an email that purportedly detailed a business arrangement between a Chinese company and the Biden family confirmed on Thursday that the email is “genuine" and said the family "aggressively leveraged the Biden family name to make millions" from foreign entities. I am really looking forward to getting into the passage of the civil rights acts. Leaving “Dutch” off the list isn’t significant either way. My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies, Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation, George Washington: The Forge of Experience 1732-1775, George Washington in the American Revolution 1775-1783, George Washington and the New Nation 1783-1793, George Washington: Anguish and Farewell 1793-1799, The Best Biographies of George Washington, Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams, Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Twilight at Monticello: The Final Years of Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty (Vol 3), Jefferson the President: 1st Term (Vol 4), Jefferson the President: 2nd Term (Vol 5), Jefferson and His Time; The Sage of Monticello (Vol 6), Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father, The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partian, President, James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity, John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life, John Quincy Adams: A Personal History of an Independent Man, The Best Biographies of John Quincy Adams, Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams, The Life and Times of Congressman John Quincy Adams, The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire (Vol I), Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Freedom (Vol II), Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Democracy (Vol III), Martin Van Buren and the American Political System, Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics, Mr. Jefferson’s Hammer: William Henry Harrison, Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time, The Best Biographies of William Henry Harrison, President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler, And Tyler Too: A Biography of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler, Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America, James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse, Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest, Zachary Taylor: Soldier of the Republic (Vol 1), Zachary Taylor: Soldier in the White House (Vol 2), Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President, The Presidencies of Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son, Franklin Pierce: Young Hickory of the Granite Hills, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years (2 Vols), The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, Father Lincoln: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and His Boys, A Self-Made Man, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1808-1849, Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1849-1856, All the Powers of the Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1856-1860, Impeached: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy, The Avenger Take His Place: Andrew Johnson and the 45 Days that Changed the Nation, The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation, The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses S. Grant In War and Peace, American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant, Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over Adversity 1822-1865, Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President, The Best Biographies of Rutherford B. Hayes, Dark Horse: the Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, Gentleman Boss: The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur, The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur, An Honest President: The Life & Presidencies of Grover Cleveland, Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party, The Best Biographies of Benjamin Harrison, The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror and Empire, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century, The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, Power and Responsibility: The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition, When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House, The Best Biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, I Rose Like a Rocket: The Political Education of Theodore Roosevelt, The Life and Times of William Howard Taft, The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made, Warren G. Harding: The American Presidents Series, The Harding Era: Warren G. Harding and His Administration, The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G Harding in His Times, The Available Man: The Life Behind the Masks of Warren Gamaliel Harding, Incredible Era: The Life and Times of Warren Gamaliel Harding, A Puritan in Babylon: The Story of Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency, An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times, The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Engineer 1874-1914, The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Humanitarian, 1914-1917, The Life of Herbert Hoover: Master of Emergencies, 1917-1918, The Life of Herbert Hoover: Imperfect Visionary,1918-1928, The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933, The Life of Herbert Hoover: Keeper of the Torch, 1933-1964, Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of FDR, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs.
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