All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families

All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families

by Doug Wead
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Overview

All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families by Doug Wead

From Abigail "Nabby" Adams to Barbara and Jenna Bush, George Washington Adams to John F. Kennedy, Jr., the children of America's presidents have both suffered and triumphed under the watchful eyes of their powerful fathers and the glare of the ever-changing public. Many, like the children of William Henry Harrison and Andrew Johnson, writhed under the pressure and fought bitter battles with alcoholism and depression only to die young. Others, like Robert Todd Lincoln, Margaret Truman, and Helen Taft Manning, used the privileges granted them to achieve their own success in the worlds of politics, business, and academia. All, however, had to cope with the entirely unique experience of sharing their fathers with the country that called them to leadership and living a life worthy of their place in history. Combining twenty years of study with never-before-published letters and personal accounts from presidential children, Doug Wead has produced a remarkable and authoritative analysis of the extraordinary people born to American presidents throughout history.

Stories of outstanding presidential daughters; the eight weddings performed in the White House and what later happened in the marriages; tales of the real and rumored illegitimate children of the presidents; a list of presidential children who pursued politics and the five who were almost president themselves; examples of how the pressures of being a celebrity child interrupt the normal desire for intimacy and personal identity; biographies of living presidential children and where they are now -- these are just a few of the historical gems unearthed. Both an entertaining lesson on our nation's history, a study of the problems and solutions of high-achieving parents, and a fascinating look at the father-son dynamics of the current White House, All the Presidents' Children is a must-read for anyone interested in America's most high-profile pedigree.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743446310
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 02/18/2003
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.52(w) x 9.64(h) x 1.47(d)

About the Author

Doug Wead is a former special assistant to President George H. W. Bush and is now a prominent corporate and university campus speaker. A cofounder of the relief organization Mercy Corps and author of twenty-seven books, including the New York Times bestseller All the Presidents' Children, he lives near Washington, D.C., with his family. Visit his websites at www.dougwead.com and www.mercycorps.com.

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All the Presidents' Children 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been following Wead's books & speaches for over 25 years. This is classic Wead. He reaches back into history and makes it relevant to us today. He captures the 'moral of the story' and serves it to us, 'Wead style.' He's done it again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truly a captivating read. I plan to purchase additional copies and send them as gifts. Congratulations Mr. Wead, you offered an honest and educational experience!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Doug Wead's book, ALL THE PRESIDENTS' CHILDREN, will be an excellent resource to educate future generations about the personal lifes of our presidents and their families. Doug illustrates, in a profound way, the humanism of these families through their vulnerabilities, weaknesses and above all their strengths. Thank you Doug! Pam, Troy MI
Guest More than 1 year ago
This must be the one book that has been written that covers the entire history of the leaders of our country in such a unique and comprehensive way. It is not unusual to read the history of one President, but to see the human side of so many great leaders in one document is astounding. It is hard to imagine what it took to accumulate all the research necessary to compile the information for this book. It is such an insightful look at the enormous demands of leading a nation and a family at one time, and in some cases, the toll that it took on the latter. You will find in this book, details of history that perhaps have never been written about in this way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must read and a keeper. I would have loved to have had this book in school. What an amazing trip thru our history. The presidential families came alive with the pressures and challenges that they have had to deal with. It holds your interest all the way to the end. You feel like you are actually there experiencing everything right along with them. This book is not just for history buffs. It has something for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had been privileged to hear Mr. Wead speak before. I did not know what an insightful and meticulous writer he was, however. This book, carefully researched and well written, gave me hours of enjoyment and information in the dynamics of father/mother/child relations in the families of the highest political achievers in our nations history. This is a must read for both serious and casual followers of the history of our nation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was designed to be fun to read and to indulge the reader. No other book has been too specific in delineate the abstract of this hiding topic. It is part of our structured history!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed learning more of the history and mysteries surrounding the presidents and their children especially being an immigrant here where I never knew much of this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wead has done an outstanding job following the lives of the the president's children. I found the book an excellent and informative read. I would definately recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is informative and very interesting. Once you start reading, you will not want to stop. I find the conclusions well thought out and the whole book will give you a fresh perspective on our first families.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The value of this book is that it covers new territory. No matter what you have read and studied about American History or the American Presidents, there will be many surprises here. The perspective alone brings out many things and there is new information here from various presidential letters; but the greatest contribution comes from connecting the dots, putting all of these stories back to back, clearly demonstrating trends. I was riveted by Lincoln. I had thought we had pretty well exhausted him but seeing his children in light of other presidential children made him fully dimensional in a way I had never seen before. This book is fasincating!
Guest More than 1 year ago
How reassuring to know, as this thoroughly unpretentious, candid account of the lives of the presidents' children lets us see, that the great and powerful are not immune to the temptations and the family griefs that the rest of us face. The best thing about this delicious volume is that unlike so much pompous history, this book is written extremely well without any self-indulgent intellectualese. For anyone who wishes that more insightful American history were available without so much rhetorical posturing, this book is a cool breeze in a domain filled with far too much hot air. I gave a copy of this book to my father in-law and would recommend it as a gift for anyone who plays a parent's or mentor's role in the giver's life. It is a marvelous way to show appreciation to anyone who has avoided the mistakes that many of our presidents and first ladies made while raising their families in that pressure cooker, the White House.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having an interest in US history, but by no means an authority, I casually bought Wead's book. After starting to read it, I couldn't put it down. I read it from cover to cover in two sittings. Previously, I had never thought about the children of presidents and don't know of another author who has written on the subject. Wead writes so clearly -- as great storytellers always do -- that I felt like I was there with the children. I celebrated with some, felt sorry for others and laughed throughout the book. A facinating look into the famous families whose names we all know, but whose members we have never heard of. Enjoyable, fascinating reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the definitive book on the subject and full of extraordinary stories. I will never see the presidents the same way again. I was impressd by the source notes, well over a thousand and found myself spending days buried in them even after reading the book. Robert Todd Lincoln was a favorite and Wead's treatment of Alice Roosevelt is unforgetable and haunting. This really gets you thinking about George W. Bush who is, after all, a president's kid himself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Doug Wead has always been a favorite storyteller of mine, but in his new book, he has outdone himself. His sketches of the presidential children brought them alive for me, and it was gratifying to learn new information about some presidential kids who had gotten a pretty bad rap in the past (see Margaret Wilson). Wead focuses on lessons learned (see Amy Carter, Michael Reagan, and Patti Davis.) There were stories of strength and invaluable service to our country (see Charlie Taft and John Eisenhower)and iron will (see Margaret Truman). I also liked the way he wrote about the White House weddings, focusing not on sappy gowns and cakes, but on the fascinating mysteries that surrounded many of them. This book is a must read for history buffs and anyone in search of a new perspective on life in the White House.