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Don't Know Much about the American Presidents
     

Don't Know Much about the American Presidents

4.1 6
by Kenneth C. Davis, Arthur Morey (Read by), Kirby Heyborne (Read by), Mark Bramhall (Read by)
 

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For more than twenty years since his New York Times bestseller Don’t Know Much About® History first appeared, Davis has shown that Americans don’t hate history, just the dull version dished out in school.

Now Davis turns his attention to what is arguably the most important and most fascinating subject in American history: our

Overview

For more than twenty years since his New York Times bestseller Don’t Know Much About® History first appeared, Davis has shown that Americans don’t hate history, just the dull version dished out in school.

Now Davis turns his attention to what is arguably the most important and most fascinating subject in American history: our presidents. From the heated debates over executive powers through the curious election of George Washington in 1789 and, for more than 200 years, up through the meteoric rise of Barack Obama, the presidency has been at the heart of American history. From the low lights to the bright lights, from the intellectuals to the disasters, from the memorable to the forgettable and forgotten, Davis tells all the stories. He uses his entertaining question-and-answer style to chart the history of the presidency itself as well as debunk the myths of America’s leaders and recount the real stories of these very real people.

For history buffs and history-phobes alike, this entertaining audiobook is packed with memorable facts that will change your understanding of the highest office in the land and the men who have occupied it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
Davis’s latest historical reference explores the presidency as an institution and the individual lives of the men who have served as America’s commander in chief. The book’s shifts between narrative and encyclopedic elements would likely have presented a solo reader with a serious challenge in maintaining fluid narration. Luckily, the collaboration between Arthur Morey, Kirby Heyborne, and Mark Bramhall does just that. In performing the book’s main narrative, Morey adopts the tone of a kindly professor, balancing the seriousness of the subject with the need to engage with his audience. When pronouncing the historical judgments of Davis, Morey lets his voice rise and fall to convey the heights of successes and the depths of failures. Heyborne and Bramhall also turn in solid performances—among the highlights are the “Fast Facts” and “Presidential Voices” segments. A Hyperion hardcover. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly
In this presidential election year, bestselling author Davis (Don't Know Much About History) returns with an absorbing take on the American presidency. Like his previous works, this hefty but breezy compendium offers brief assessments of America's chief executives, accompanied here by quotes (often clipped from inauguration speeches), a timeline featuring key moments of their life and term(s) as president, and miscellaneous trivia about each commander-in-chief, concluding with a "final judgment" of their legacy complete with a letter grade. Of course some presidents (e.g., Washington, Lincoln, and FDR) get more in-depth coverage than others. (e.g., William Henry Harrison, Grover Cleveland) and Davis, not one to mince words writes in his assessment of Franklin Pierce: "Good looks, breeding, brains and piety do not a good president make." Davis's bipartisan analysis offers a refreshingly agnostic look at the fumbles, foibles and victories large and small that make up a presidential term. Loaded with dishy trivia (Gerald Ford was a male model, FDR tried to have "In God We Trust" removed from currency) and succinct analysis of pivotal events like Watergate, the election of Lincoln ("he most momentous in American history") and America's involvement in WWI, Davis remains a highly informed, observant student of history eager to share his discoveries and knowledge. (Sept.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307877284
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.14(w) x 5.78(h) x 2.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Kenneth C. Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of A Nation Rising; America’s Hidden History; and Don’t Know Much About® History, which sold more than 1.6 million copies, and gave rise to his phenomenal Don’t Know Much About® series for adults and children. He blogs regularly at www.dontknowmuch.com.

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Don't Know Much About the American Presidents 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always wanted to know more about our past presidents without having to be "scholarly". Davis provides an easy to read summary of each president. It"s like a one-volume encyclopedia. Seems to be unbiased.
Sandragon More than 1 year ago
Everyone knows a little bit about the more famous presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc., but what about those we don't hear about very often? This book gives an excellent account of each president's tenure in the highest office in the country, AND gives them a grade for the way they ran the country while in office! I totally enjoyed this book and recommend it highly!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author glosses over events. Rather like reading an encyclopedia. Not the good , interesting read I was expecting. Author's political agenda comes into play far more than one would expect. Disappointing!