Library JournalIn November 2000 the Smithsonian National Museum of American History opened a permanent exhibit, "The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden." This companion volume is a worthy complement, with more than 300 color photos and an introduction by Richard Norton Smith, noted historian and director of the Gerald R. Ford Library. Smith sets the tone of the exhibit by criticizing the history profession for allowing the statisticians to crowd out the storytellers, and the subsequent compilation displays the presidency as a social and cultural institution more than a political one. Among the hundreds of fascinating artifacts are tickets to President Clinton's Senate impeachment; Lincoln Tea, which was said to be an effective laxative; inaugural gowns worn by First Ladies; and reminders of the dangers presidents face, a drum that played a somber cadence at President Kennedy's funeral procession and the top hat worn by President Lincoln the night he was assassinated. The compilers remind the reader of the important symbolic relationship that the American people share with their president. Strongly recommended for public libraries and academic collections of popular history.--Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
BooknewsIn conjunction with the opening of a new permanent exhibit at the National Museum of History, this amply illustrated volume by museum staff draws from NMH collections to illuminate the evolution, and media's memory-shaping, of the US Presidency through material culture: from assassination-related images to Clinton's saxophone. Includes a chronology. Lacks an index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
- Konecky, William S. Associates, Inc.
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