The American President: A Complete History: Detailed Biographies, Historical Timelines, Inaugural Speeches

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After four years in the White House, Martin Van Buren quipped, "As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrendeer of it." Even Thomas Jefferson—one of the country's Founding Fathers—struggled with the realities of the job, saying, "No man will ever bring out of the presidency the reputation which carried him into it. To myself, personally, it brings nothing but ...

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The American President: A Complete History (PagePerfect NOOK Book)

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Overview

After four years in the White House, Martin Van Buren quipped, "As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrendeer of it." Even Thomas Jefferson—one of the country's Founding Fathers—struggled with the realities of the job, saying, "No man will ever bring out of the presidency the reputation which carried him into it. To myself, personally, it brings nothing but increasing drudgery and daily loss of friends."
 
An American president must ultimately take responsibility for the direction of the country, an ideal succinctly expressed by Harry S. Truman, who told his fellow citizens that "the buck stops here." Embracing that sense of responsibility may have been easier for some presidents—Calvin Coolidge and William Jefferson Clinton, for instance, both held the office during economic booms—than for others, who served during more trying times. But even presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt, who occupied the White House at a time of war, nonetheless resolutely took up the gauntlet of protecting and improving the social and economic welfare of the American people.
 
Of course, hard times test the mettle of every president, however golden the age in which he serves, because the problems of the country—and the world—are often left at the president's feet. And though he can rely on the counsel of his Cabinet as well as the Congress and Senate, the burden of making each decision, not to mention accepting the consequences, rests squarely on his shoulders alone. As John F. Kennedy remarked, "No easy problem ever comes to the President of the United States. If they are easy to solve, somebody else has solved them."
 
And what is life like after a president's term ends? After the inaugural speeches, State of the Union addresses, summits and conferences, bills passed or vetoed, a president leaves office feeling an enormous sense of relief. But, of course, this isn't the only emotion these men deal with in retrospect. Frequently, with more time to contemplate the past, regret also becomes a companion for some ex-presidents. In his memoirs, Lyndon B. Johnson confided, "I regretted more than anyone could possibly know that I was leaving the White House without having achieved a just, an honorable, and a lasting peace in Vietnam."
 
Within the pages of The American President: A Complete History—perhaps the most authoritative and readable single-volume reference work of its kind—historian Kathryn Moore presents a riveting narrative of each president's personal and political experiences in and out of office, along with illuminating facts and statistics about each administration, fascinating timelines of national and world events, astonishing trivia, and much more besides. These details are here woven together to present a complex and nuanced portrait of the American presidency, from the nation's infancy to today.
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760780954
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Pages: 832
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.69 (d)

Meet the Author

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 American history in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    A useful resource

    This is an information-packed volume. The timeline running along the bottom of the pages allows you to better understand the time period in which the president was in office. The narrative is interesting and enjoyable, filled with fun anecdotes. Pertinent details are concisely listed at the beginning of each chapter and relevant facts are scattered throughout. I particularly liked the State of the Union during each presidency--it's a quick way to understand what was going on at that point in history. The photos are great. And they even include all the Inaugural Speeches at the back. It's a good read and a useful resource.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2008

    Book review

    After reading Kathryn' Moore's book, my impression was what great organization it has, so clear and to the point concerning the history of America's presidents. I think it would make a superb, permanent reference for all libraries--local, high school, and college--for a quick, but extremely well-researched, fix when students needed to know critical information about America's presidents. Of course, it's an excellent book for ordinary, serious, and informed readers, also. It has great pictures of all the presidents, which aren't easy to find in one source. And it gives significant, reliable information about the American presidents that's well-writen, interesting, and accurate. Furthermore, the book has a top-notch index, which is imperative for all reference books for high school through university. It affords an extremely useful, critically needed, reference for high school teachers and students or college teachers and students that gives them a quick grasp of needed data. This book reaches out to multiple constituencies beyond just the ordinary reader. It's just a wonderful book for anyone interested in the United States' presidents.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009

    Required reading for the amateur American historian.

    Facts of the American Presidents before, during, and after their respective presidencies. It gives the policies implemented, the states admitted to the union (earlier Presidents, obviously), who the Cabinets were made up of, etc. Very well researched by Ms. Moore, who surely has a passion for this subject.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2008

    Incorrect information provided on historical turth

    I recently received the book as a gift and after reading about our first president, I found many error's. George Washington was a Christian, not a Deist. He prayed to Christ each morning and evening. His own Dairy will confirm this. He had been seen at Valley Forge Praying! This led many to beleive they could not lose the war, becuase God was on our side. He attended church as often as he could, time permiting. Bishop William White often preached before Washington. Important words were also left out of the Oath of Office which Washington added 'So Help me God' at the end, which is where that phrase began and is said yet today. He was a protector of Religious Liberty. His own words 'Free Excercise of Religion' certainly influenced the First Amendment of the Constitution which reads 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excercise thereof.' Washingtons farewell speach included important message's about religion & morality in preserving our Christian Nation, that must not be destoyed for this nation to endure. Many other crucial facts relating to his faith and moral character were not included. I hope that you did a better job with the real facts about the other presidents, and their faith, but I doubt it.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    Kathryan Moore¿s The American President is more spin then History. For example we are told 'On May 1 [2003], the Pentagon announced major combat operations were over. The next day, Bush arrived on the USS Abraham Lincoln in a military jet. Under a huge banner made by the ship¿s crew.' Even though US Aircraft carriers do not have a massive four color printing press capable of producing a massive 50 foot full color banner. Moore allows Bush¿s un-true statements which blame the sailors for the sign to stand. Even though when Bush was called on the fact the crew did not have the capabilities of producing that sign while at sea the White House tried to backpedal and said. 'What 'the president' said was that it was put up by the Navy, by people on board the ship and that was correct,' his spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday. 'It was an idea that was suggested by those on the ship as a way to honor the sailors and crew on board the USS Lincoln for accomplishing their mission.' He acknowledged however: 'The Navy asked us to take care of the production of the banner.' Even though the New York Times reported 'Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights' By ELISABETH BUMILLER, NYT, May 15, 2003. ...The most elaborate - and criticized - White House event so far was Mr. Bush's speech aboard the Abraham Lincoln announcing the end of major combat in Iraq. White House officials say that a variety of people, including the president, came up with the idea, and that Mr. [Scott] Sforza embedded himself on the carrier to make preparations days before Mr. Bush's landing in a flight suit and his early evening speech. Media strategists noted afterward that Mr. Sforza and his aides had choreographed every aspect of the event, even down to the members of the Lincoln crew arrayed in coordinated shirt colors over Mr. Bush's right shoulder and the 'Mission Accomplished' banner placed to perfectly capture the president and the celebratory two words in a single shot. The speech was specifically timed for what image makers call 'magic hour light,' which cast a golden glow on Mr. Bush. 'If you looked at the TV picture, you saw there was flattering light on his left cheek and slight shadowing on his right,' Mr. King said. 'It looked great.' Even though Bush admitted the truth. The Crew just hung it up, it was dreamed up and produced by the white house. Bush remarked that the 'Mission Accomplished' sign 'of course, was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln, saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it was attributed some how to some ingenious advance man from my staff -- they weren't that ingenious, by the way.' There are a thousand points in Moore¿s book I could take apart thusly let is suffice to say if you want to believe the Presidents who supported the robber barons of old and new were wonderful humans and were falsely maligned you will like this book.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    Complete coverage of Presidential administrations

    This is the best Presidential book, covering factual details of each administration that I have come across. I used the section on Lincoln to evaluate before purchasing. Very readable data; cabinet information; a concise biography: and many extras like timeline and inaugural speeches. The Pub date is 2007, but the book has been updated for current President.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The American Presidents Buy if you want to know about the presidents

    Book covers all presidents thru Oboma. Good info and triva. The speaches (inaug) area nice touch in the apendix. I enjoy on the throne.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    Great for History Buffs!

    So interesting. Loved the inaugural speeches.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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