Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History

Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History

by Mike Purdy
Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History

Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History

by Mike Purdy


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, December 14
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


"Presidential Friendships: How They Changed History" tells the story of two pairs of presidential friendships, each involving a Roosevelt who powerfully shaped and expanded the presidency in the 20th century.

Many of our presidents knew each other personally and were friends with one another. These friendships opened new political opportunities that wouldn't have otherwise existed, significantly shaping their mutual careers. They provided important continuity between administrations, helping practices and ideas transcend generations. In short, friendships between U.S. presidents have changed the course of history.

The warm and convivial friendship between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft bolstered their careers and ultimately led each to the White House. Tragically, a bruised ego and political cat-fight fractured this once close friendship as they battled one another with shocking vitriol during the 1912 presidential campaign. In a three-way race both Taft and Roosevelt lost to Woodrow Wilson. Theirs was a warm friendship and sad rivalry that shaped the landscape of the nation and the world. Through it all, Taft had the bigger heart and Roosevelt the bigger ego. In their post-presidency years, they experienced a limited reconciliation, although their relationship was never the same as it had been in the early years of the friendship. Taft openly wept at TR's funeral.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and newly-minted Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson formed a friendship of political expediency. They were both master politicians and thrived in the presence of one another. FDR might not have won a third term without the friendship and campaign fundraising of Johnson, and LBJ's budding political career could have been cut short without FDR's intervention to stop an IRS investigation.

There have been other significant friendships between presidents that have shaped our history including but not limited to the following that will hopefully be the subject of a future book:

- Soldier and Bookworm: George Washington and James Madison
- Confronter and Harmonizer: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
- Friends and Political Partners: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
- Father and Son: John Adams and John Quincy Adams
- Great Engineer and the Man from Missouri: Herbert Hoover and Harry S Truman
- Loveless Political Marriage: Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon
- Tricky Dick and Boy Scout: Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford
- Rivalry and Reconciliation: Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter
- Poppy and Bozo: George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton

May the stories of presidential friendships in this book inspire us and our leaders to intentionally cultivate relationships that transcend politics. Friendships change our lives and the course of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781667847894
Publisher: BookBaby
Publication date: 08/03/2022
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Mike Purdy is a presidential historian and the founder of He writes and speaks on presidential history and politics. He is the author of "101 Presidential Insults: What They Really Thought About Each Other – and What It Means to Us." This well-received 2019 book is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local bookstores. includes an award-winning blog (PR Newswire for Journalists, Beyond Bylines selected it as their top "Presidential Blogs We Love" in February 2018). In addition to resources about presidential sites, books, and various links, his website includes a popular Presidential History News video series. These short and fun videos recreate and imagine what it would look like if a modern television news anchor reported on key events in presidential history.

Mike has been interviewed by and quoted in a variety of national and international media outlets including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Reader's Digest, Associated Press,, Bloomberg BNA, HuffPost, and BBC. He is an opinion contributor to and History News Network.

He is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association. He participated in the Siena College Research Institute's 2018 and 2022 Survey of U.S. Presidents, ranking presidential performance.

Mike has undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration (University of Puget Sound), and a Master of Divinity degree (Fuller Theological Seminary).

Table of Contents

Preface 1

Acknowledgments 2

Introduction 3

Politician and Judge

Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft 9

Master and Pup

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson 53

Notes 100

About the Author 111

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews