History Buff's Guide to the Presidents: Key People, Places, and Events

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Americans have named schools, counties, rivers, cities, and even their own children after U.S. presidents. Their work is in our laws, their words adorn our monuments, and their countenances appear in a trillion places (mostly on our currency). Can we truly say we understand the office and its phenomenal history? What do we really know about the men who helped transform a struggling republic into a superpower?

Using detailed top-ten lists, historian Thomas R. Flagel offers a ...

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Overview

Americans have named schools, counties, rivers, cities, and even their own children after U.S. presidents. Their work is in our laws, their words adorn our monuments, and their countenances appear in a trillion places (mostly on our currency). Can we truly say we understand the office and its phenomenal history? What do we really know about the men who helped transform a struggling republic into a superpower?

Using detailed top-ten lists, historian Thomas R. Flagel offers a provocative new look at an astonishingly resilient institution in The History Buff's Guide? to the Presidents. With diligent research, he explores the best, worst, largest, and most controversial facets of an office that some feared would become a monarchy, others hoped would represent all of the people, and John Adams wanted to call "High Highness, the President of the United States of America, and the Protector of their Liberties."

Chapters include:

  • Elections: the closest races, the most vicious campaigns, and the biggest landslides
  • Presidential Character: careers, hobbies, the most religious presidents, and the Machiavellians
  • The Domestic Sphere: the biggest deficit spenders, the most ambitious programs, vetoes, pardons, and the worst fights with the Supreme Court
  • Foreign Affairs: diplomats, doctrines, and ranking the commanders in chief
  • The Inner Circle: first ladies and vexing relatives, construction and destruction in the White House, scandals at the highest level, and the real West Wing
  • In Retrospect: the most underrated and overrated presidents, assassinations and attempted assassinations, and the greatest changes to the presidency itself
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581826135
  • Publisher: SourceBooks
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas R. Flagel teaches American History at Columbia State Community College in Columbia,Tennessee. He holds degrees from Loras College, Kansas State University,Creighton University, and has studied at the University of Vienna. He currently lives in Franklin, Tennessee.
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Table of Contents


Prologue     9
Presidential Character
Top Ten Prepresidential Careers     15
Top Ten Presidential Pastimes     27
Top Ten Overtly Religious Presidents     41
Top Ten Machiavellian Presidents     55
Elections
Top Ten Closest Races     71
Top Ten Landslides     85
Top Ten Most Controversial Elections     99
The Domestic Sphere
Top Ten Debt Presidencies     117
Top Ten Veto Presidents     131
Top Ten Conflicts with the Supreme Court     145
Top Ten Notable Pardons and Commutations     158
Top Ten Assassinations and Attempts     170
Foreign Affairs
Top Ten Doctrines     189
Top Ten Achievements in Diplomacy     203
Top Ten Most Successful Commanders in Chief     221
Top Ten Least Successful Commanders in Chief     240
The Inner Circle
Top Ten Most Influential First Ladies     257
Top Ten Vexing Family Members     272
Top Ten Alterations to the White House     285
Top Ten Most Powerful Offices in the West Wing     297
Top Ten Biggest Scandals     310
Epilogue     327
Lists of the Presidents     335
Notes     347
Bibliography     377
Index     393
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Top 10 Format list makes it easy to read for anyone and is a great look into our political system!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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