Of the hundreds of millions of people who have lived in America, less than 50 men have been elected as President of the United States. Some such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Grant and Ike were military heroes (a once common way of achieving the White House). Others with seasoned politicians at the local or national level (governors, senators, congressmen), many of which were attorneys before entering politics. A handful were brilliant global statesmen with impressive resumes of international experience. Some of these men have remained famous and readily come to mind. Others have drifted into obscurity and are rarely discussed today.
What they all had in common was the enormity of the task of leading the United States in an ever changing world, once which over the past three centuries has become more complex and challenging on the international level. Yet, all of these presidents faced challenges unique to their own times, as well as the more mundane tasks of fighting Congress and political opponents, stimulating and growing the economy, protecting the borders and dealing with immigration, and how to properly maintain a military. Some had to face these challenges while dealing with overwhelming personal challenges, either health-wise or family-wise.
Some succeeded. Some failed. All deserve recognition.
Author Kathryn Moore has assembled a comprehensive single-volume book which explores the men who held the position. The new book is entitled The American President: Detailed Biographies, Historical Timelines, from George Washington to Barack Obama (Fall River imprint of Sterling Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-4351-4602-0, MSRP $19.95). At a whopping 678 pages, this book makes a useful reference work, replete with enough details on each man to give the reader a solid overview of the presidents’ views, challenges, family, political leanings, and key issues. She supports the book with a worthwhile website with even more information and background details.
Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th American President, once stated, “The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.”
How right LBJ was!
According to the publisher of this new book, “This comprehensive single-volume reference offers a fascinating glimpse into an American presidency and its continued evolution. It’s organized chronologically and contains detailed, personal, and political profiles of each president. Also included are official portraits, timelines for every term, intriguing facts and statistics, and much more. Rigorously researched, and completed revised and updated to include the 2012 campaign and election, The American President paints a vibrant portrait of the highest office in the land.”
The book is a valuable reference work, whether for the adult seeking to better understand how the modern presidents might compare in their challenges and responses to common problems to previous generations or just wanting to learn some more historical facts to those students who would find the information appropriate as an overview of a president’s life. All will find enough basic information to gain an appreciation for the challenges each president faced. From this book, one can then go to a myriad of other, more detailed works to gain a deeper understanding.
Kathryn Moore was the co-author, with D. M. Giangreco, on Dear Harry… Truman’s Mailroom, 1945-1953: The Truman Administration Through Correspondence with “Everyday Americans”; and Eyewitness D-Day. She has also written articles for American Heritage, American History, and numerous daily newspapers, including the Washington Times, Kansas City Star, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Moore teaches history in Lee’s Summit, MI.