The book and series title, "Presidents Who Dared," is somewhat of a misnomer. What is presented are three brief biographies, with only passing emphasis on specific policy decisions by these presidents. The biographies are, however, fairly interesting. Kennedy comes alive in the description of his PT-109 experiences during World War II. Similarly, the background on Lyndon B. Johnson's little-known school experience and his years as a rambunctious congressional secretary in the 1930's is fascinating. Overall, this is a useful introduction to all three men.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8In each of these general and fairly comprehensive overviews, Lindop begins with a biographical sketch that details the man's childhood, education, and pre-presidential career. He then covers each administration in a general way, concentrating on major events and the presidents' achievements and ideas for government. The treatment is objective, describing each leader's strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures. Background information is provided as needed, and chapter notes and bibliographies of both print and nonprint sources are included. Although the books are well organized, well written, and concise, their format does little to capture readers' interest. The only illustrations are reproductions of each presidents' official portrait. Carter Smith's Presidents in a Time of Change (Millbrook, 1993) does not include as much detail, but is much more attractive due its numerous photos and illustrations. Charles Beard and Detlev Vagts's The Presidents in American History (Messner, 1989) is similar in tone but less comprehensive. Overall, Lindop's titles are solid choices for reports.Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO