J. Stephen Lang, who earned a master's degree in print communications from Wheaton College, is a former book editor. He has written several trivia books, including The Complete Book of Bible Trivia , The Complete Book of Confederate Trivia , and The Big Book of American Trivia.
The Complete Book of Presidential Triviaby J. Lang
The former presidents of the United States were characters in their own right. Whatever their politics may have been, their personalities are often what make them memorable. These American leaders were the sons of politicians, farmers, and gas station attendants. Some were educated at the most prestigious schools in the country while others were mostly self-taught. A fun question-and-answer format provides you with a glimpse of their types and temperaments. Their famous firsts, hidden vices, family relationships, bad habits, strange pets, last words, and quotes both memorable and forgettable have been recorded for posterity.
Far from a dull history lesson, these quick quizzes reveal which commander in chief was drunk during his inauguration and which one claimed that any form of music made him ill. Other oddities include a president who was once part of a vigilante group and one who almost went to prison for tax fraud. One furtive leader managed to dodge the draft and undergo a secret surgery on a yacht. Another got stuck in the White House bathtub and habitually fell asleep in public places. One fun-loving president played practical jokes on his staff while another lost the White House china in a poker game.
This second edition has been updated to include information on Barack Obama and the later years of George W. Bush. Did either of these men have a previous DUI conviction or serve as director of the CIA? There's only one way to find out.
- Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
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My husband and I are both big quiz show fans, and this book fits us to a T, which is why we take it along on car trips. The questions cover every category imaginable, from the historic to the trivial (even scandals). I gather from the copyright date that this must've been published just after W was elected, so there aren't many questions about him, but otherwise no complaints about this book that is hard to put down.
We have had some real rogues as presidents and some real heroes as well, and this quiz book covers all of them, 'warts and all.' We bought this book to take along on road trips with our kids, and we have truly enjoyed this as a painless and even fun way to browse through history. One of the neat things about this book is that it has plenty of questions about the lesser known presidents (Fillmore, Pierce, Taylor) as well as the 'biggies' like FDR and Jefferson. Just as a warning to parents, there is a section of the book dealing with presidential adultery, but it is pretty G-rated, and I doubt anything in the book would shock contemporary kids.
OK, I admit there are a lot of our presidents I didn't particularly like, but they are great fun to read about anyway. I think this book captures some of that interest, with the author delving into the presidents' personal lives, including their childhoods, college years, military backgrounds, etc. It is well organized by topics, and it sheds a lot of light on some of the lesser known guys like Fillmore. This is a good book to carry along on a road trip as we did, asking questions along the way.
We bought this before a long road trip, took it along in the van, thoroughly enjoyed it. We've been home-schooling two of our kids, and apparently they knew more about the US presidents than we ever suspected. There are great questions and answers here about the presidents, including their personal lives, but nothing that would embarrass parents of young kids. We are all movie buffs, so the section about movies concerning the presidents was a lot of fun.
I teach US history, and I like quiz books like this as ways to kick off class discussions. I find the students enjoy questions about the presidents' personal lives. Probably the neatest thing about this book is the last section, where there are 20 questions about each president, in order.
Really enjoyed the mix of topics--scandals, family life, political campaigns, weird hobbies, the whole nine yards. I picked up lots of odd tidbits I never knew before. I think this would be good for people who are hard to shop for because most people are interested in the presidents.