Humor in the White House: The Wit of Five American Presidents

Humor in the White House: The Wit of Five American Presidents

by Arthur A. Sloane




“I heard one [presidential] candidate say that what this country needed was a president for the ‘90s,” Ronald Reagan once said. “I was set to run again. I thought he said a president in his 90s.” Abraham Lincoln, in one instance, was able to put a serious injury in a humorous light; in response to a young woman’s question about where a soldier was wounded, Lincoln replied, “Ma’am, the bullet that wounded him would not have wounded you.” Presidents often bring a sense of humor to the White House with them, allowing the American public to catch a glimpse of their not-so-serious sides. This book examines how five of the nation's funniest chief executives—Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—used wit and humor to their advantage during their terms as president, and how their management of the Executive Branch was thereby enhanced. As a bonus, the effective use of humor by several unsuccessful presidential candidates is surveyed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786409495
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 03/23/2001
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Arthur A. Sloane is a professor of management at the University of Delaware. He lives in Wilmington.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Abraham Lincoln9
Chapter 2Calvin Coolidge49
Chapter 3Franklin D. Roosevelt74
Chapter 4John F. Kennedy96
Chapter 5Ronald Reagan133
Chapter 6Presidential Candidates171
Chapter 7The Last Laugh: Concluding Thoughts on Humor178

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