973.4-973.93: Presidential History

This collection contains titles that chronicle the lives of the American presidents. It consists mostly of biographies and memoirs but will also contain historical texts about important events where a president's actions and decision-making skills were significant.

Updated June 24, 2023
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Accidental presidents : eight men who changed America
Cohen, Jared
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The strength and prestige of the American presidency has waxed and waned since George Washington. Accidental Presidents looks at eight men who came to the office without being elected to it. It demonstrates how the character of the man...


Air Force One : a history of the presidents and their planes
Walsh, Kenneth T.
From the award-winning chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report comes the definitive history of Air Force One. From FDR's prop-driven Pan Am to the glimmering blue and white jumbo 747 on which George W. Bush travels, the president's plane has captured...


The American vice presidency : from irrelevance to power
Witcover, Jules.
The American Vice Presidency is an all-inclusive examination of the vice presidency throughout American history. Acclaimed political journalist and author Jules Witcover chronicles each of the 47 vice presidents, including their personal biographies and their achievements--or lack thereof-...


And there was light : Abraham Lincoln and the American struggle
Meacham, Jon
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Jon Meacham chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln, charting how--and why--he confronted secession, threats to democracy, and the tragedy of slavery to expand the possibilities of America. "Meacham has...


The approaching storm : Roosevelt, Wilson, Addams, and their clash over America's future
Lanctot, Neil
The fascinating story of how the three most influential American progressives of the early twentieth centurysplit over America's response to World War I. In the early years of the twentieth century, the most famous Americans on the national stage were Theodore Roosevelt,...


Bill O'Reilly's Legends & lies : the patriots
Fisher, David
The must-have companion to Bill O'Reilly's historical docudrama Legends and Lies: The Patriots, an exciting and eye-opening look at the Revolutionary War through the lives of its leaders The American Revolution was neither inevitable nor a unanimous cause. It pitted...


The black man's president : Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, & the pursuit of racial equality
Burlingame, Michael
Frederick Douglass called the martyred president "emphatically the black man's president" as well as "the first who rose above the prejudice of his times and country." This narrative history of Lincoln's personal interchange with Black people over the course his career reveals a side of...


The broken constitution : Lincoln, slavery, and the refounding of America
Feldman, Noah
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice An innovative account of Abraham Lincoln, constitutional thinker and doer Abraham Lincoln is justly revered for his brilliance, compassion, humor, and rededication of the United States to achieving liberty...


The bully pulpit : Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the golden age of journalism
Goodwin, Doris Kearns
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's dynamic history of Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft and the first decade of the Progressive era, that tumultuous time when the nation was coming unseamed and reform was in the air. Winner of the...


The complete book of US presidents
Yenne, Bill
Inform your vote with the history and personal stories of 45 US Presidents in this beautifully illustrated volume. From the first president, George Washington, to the most recent president, Donald Trump, the United States has seen a host of...


A country of vast designs : James K. Polk, the Mexican War, and the conquest of the American continent
Merry, Robert W.
When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, the United States was locked in a bitter diplomatic struggle with Britain over the rich lands of the Oregon Territory, which included what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Texas, not yet part of the Union, was threatened by a more powerful...


Days of fire : Bush and Cheney in the White House
Baker, Peter
In Days of Fire, Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, takes us on a gripping and intimate journey through the eight years of the Bush and Cheney administration in a tour-de-force narrative of a dramatic and controversial presidency.


Destiny of the Republic : a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president
Millard, Candice.
James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the...


Dinner with the president : food, politics, and a history of breaking bread at the White House
Prud'homme, Alex
A wonderfully entertaining, often surprising history of presidential taste, from the grim meals eaten by Washington and his starving troops at Valley Forge to Trump's fast-food burgers and Biden's ice cream--what they ate, why they ate it, and what it tells us about the state of the nation--from...


Don't know much about the American presidents : everything you need to know about the most powerful office on Earth and the men who have occupied it
Davis, Kenneth C.
Which president broke the law to prevent enslaved people from being freed? Who said, "When the president does it,that means it's not illegal"? Why does America have a president? From the heated debates among the framers of the Constitution in 1787 over an "elected king," to the...


Fears of a setting sun : the disillusionment of America's Founders
Rasmussen, Dennis C.
The surprising story of how George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson came to despair for the future of the nation they had created Americans seldom deify their Founding Fathers any longer, but they do still tend to venerate the Constitution and...


The first conspiracy : the secret plot to kill George Washington
Meltzer, Brad
Taking place during the most critical period of our nation's birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington's character, but also illuminates the origins of America's counterintelligence movement...


First dads : parenting and politics from George Washington to Barack Obama
Kendall, Joshua C.
Every president has had some experience as a parent. Of the 43 men who have served in the nation's highest office, 38 have fathered biological children and the other five adopted children. Each president's parenting style reveals much about his beliefs as well as his psychological make-up....


First family : Abigail and John
Ellis, Joseph J.
The Pulitzer Prize–winning, best-selling author of Founding Brothers and His Excellency brings America’s preeminent first couple to life in a moving and illuminating narrative that sweeps through the American Revolution and the republic’s tenuous early years. ...


Franklin & Washington : the founding partnership
Larson, Edward J.
"Larson's elegantly written dual biography reveals that the partnership of Franklin and Washington was indispensable to the success of the Revolution." --Gordon S. Wood  From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian comes a masterful, first-of-its-kind dual biography of Benjamin Franklin...


Friends divided : John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Wood, Gordon S.
Arguably no relationship in this country's history carries as much freight as that of John Adams of Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Gordon Wood has more than done justice to these entwined lives and their meaning; he has written a magnificent new addition to America's collective...


The general vs. the president : MacArthur and Truman at the brink of nuclear war
Brands, H. W.
From master storyteller and historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur squared off to decide America's future in the aftermath of World War II. At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a...


George Washington on leadership
Brookhiser, Richard.
FIRST IN WAR, FIRST IN PEACE, FIRST IN LEADERSHIP. Richard Brookhiser’s revolutionary biography, Founding Father , took George Washington off the dollar bill and made him live. Now, with his trademark wit and precision, Brookhiser expertly examines the details of Washington’s...


George Washington's America : a biography through his maps
Schecter, Barnet.
From his teens until his death, the maps George Washington drew and purchased were always central to his work. After his death, many of the most important maps he had acquired were bound into an atlas. The atlas remained in his family for almost a century before it was sold and eventually ended...


The impeachers : the trial of Andrew Johnson and the dream of a just nation
Wineapple, Brenda
"This absorbing and important book recounts the titanic struggle over the implications of the Civil War amid the impeachment of a defiant and temperamentally erratic American president."-Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Soul of America When Abraham Lincoln...


In pursuit of Jefferson : traveling through Europe with the most perplexing Founding Father
Baxter, Derek
A debut that combines historical nonfiction with travel books, for fans of Bill Bryson and Rinker Buck, In Pursuit of Jefferson is the story of an American on a journey through Europe, following the epic trail of Thomas Jefferson. A controversial founding father. A man ready for a...


Incomparable grace : JFK in the presidency
Updegrove, Mark K.
An illuminating account of John F. Kennedy's brief but transformative tenure in the White House, from acclaimed author and historian Mark K. Updegrove, head of the LBJ Foundation and presidential historian for ABC News "Tremendously absorbing and inviting... An important book....


Jackson's way : Andrew Jackson and the people of the western waters
Buchanan, John
Praise for Jackson's Way ""A compelling account of Jackson's Indian-fighting days . . . as well a grand sweep of the conquest of the trans-Appalachian West, a more complex, bloody, and intrigue-filled episode than is generally appreciated. . . . Mr. Buchanan writes with style and...


Jacksonland : President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a great American land grab
Inskeep, Steve
Jacksonland is the thrilling narrative history of two men-President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross-who led their respective nations at a crossroads of American history.Five decades after the Revolutionary War, the United States approached a constitutional crisis. At its center...


The Jeffersonians : the visionary presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe
Gutzman, Kevin R. C.
"A long, insightful look at three Founder presidents. ... Political histories are rarely page-turners, but Gutzman, clearly a scholar who has read everything on his subjects, writes lively prose and displays a refreshingly opinionated eye for a huge cast of characters and their often...


Leadership in turbulent times
Goodwin, Doris Kearns
From Pulitzer Prize-winning author and esteemed presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, an invaluable guide to the development and exercise of leadership from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The inspiration for the...


Liberty's first crisis : Adams, Jefferson, and the misfits who saved free speech
Slack, Charles
When the United States government passed the Bill of Rights in 1791, its uncompromising protection of speech and of the press were unlike anything the world had ever seen before. But by 1798, the once-dazzling young republic of the United States was on the verge of collapse: partisanship...


The Lincoln conspiracy : the secret plot to kill America's 16th president--and why it failed
Meltzer, Brad
Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch, the bestselling authors of The First Conspiracy, which covers the secret plot against George Washington, now turn their attention to a little-known, but true story about a failed assassination attempt on the sixteenth president in The Lincoln Conspiracy<...


Lincoln's greatest speech : the second inaugural
White, Ronald C.


Looking for Lincoln : the making of an American icon
Kunhardt, Philip B.
In honor of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, an extensively researched, lavishly illustrated consideration of the myths, memories, and questions that gathered around our most beloved—and our most enigmatic—president in the years between his assassination and the...


No ordinary time : Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt : the home front in World War II
Goodwin, Doris Kearns.
In a portrayal of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in the war years, this work illuminates the partnership that raised America from the Depression, forged military victory, and transformed the nation into a superpower.


Polk : the man who transformed the presidency and America
Borneman, Walter R.
InPolk, Walter R. Borneman gives us the first complete and authoritative biography of a president often overshadowed in image but seldom outdone in accomplishment. James K. Polk occupied the White House for only four years, from 1845 to 1849, but he plotted and attained a formidable agenda: He...


The President and the assassin : McKinley, terror, and empire at the dawn of the American century
Miller, Scott
A SWEEPING TALE OF TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY AMERICA AND THE IRRESISTIBLE FORCES THAT BROUGHT TWO MEN TOGETHER ONE FATEFUL DAY   In 1901, as America tallied its gains from a period of unprecedented imperial expansion, an assassin's bullet shattered the nation's confidence. The shocking murder...


The president and the freedom fighter : Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and their battle to save America's soul
Kilmeade, Brian
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The New York Times bestselling author of George Washington's Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates turns to two other heroes of the nation- Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In The...


Presidential courage : brave leaders and how they changed America, 1789-1989
Beschloss, Michael R.
From the author Newsweek called the nations leading presidential historian comes an inspiring narrative chronicling the crucial moments when a courageous president has dramatically changed the future of the United States. of full-color photos.


Presidential misconduct : from George Washington to today
Banner, James M.
Named a best book of the year by The Economist and Foreign Affairs "A whole book devoted exclusively to the misconduct of American presidents and their responses to charges of misconduct is without precedent." --from the introduction to the 1974 edition by C. Vann Woodward, Pulitzer Prize...


The presidents club : inside the world's most exclusive fraternity
Gibbs, Nancy
The bestselling authors of The Preacher and the Presidents return with a riveting new history of the private relationships among the last thirteen presidents, uncovering and exploring the partnerships, private deals, rescue missions, and rivalries of those few men who served as commander...


The problem of democracy : the Presidents Adams confront the cult of personality
Isenberg, Nancy
"Told with authority and style. . . Crisply summarizing the Adamses' legacy, the authors stress principle over partisanship."--The Wall Street Journal How the father and son presidents foresaw the rise of the cult of personality and fought those who sought to abuse the...


Revolutionary : George Washington at war
O'Connell, Robert L.
How did George Washington become an American icon? Robert O'Connell, bestselling author of Fierce Patriot- The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman, introduces us to Washington before he was Washington- a young soldier, champing at the bit for a commission in the British army, frustrated...


Revolutionary brothers : Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the friendship that helped forge two nations
Chaffin, Tom
In a narrative both panoramic and intimate, Tom Chaffin captures the four-decade friendship of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette shared a singularly extraordinary friendship, one involved in the making of two...


The road to Camelot : inside JFK's five-year campaign
Oliphant, Thomas
"A must-read for fans of presidential history." --USA TODAY "Splendid...a gripping, authoritative campaign history." --The Boston Globe "Terrific...a tougher and more balanced account of the long campaign than anybody's written yet." --The...


The Roosevelts : an intimate history
Ward, Geoffrey C.
An extraordinarily vivid and personal portrait of America's greatest political family and its enormous impact the United States. It is the companion to to the PBS documentary to air in the US in the fall of 2014. This handsome, engaging, revelatory book is an intimate...


Travels with George : in search of Washington and his legacy
Philbrick, Nathaniel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Travels with George . . . is quintessential Philbrick--a lively, courageous, and masterful achievement." --The Boston Globe   Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for...


Tried by war : Abraham Lincoln as commander in chief
McPherson, James M.
James McPherson, a bestselling historian of the Civil War, illuminates how Lincoln worked with—and often against— his senior commanders to defeat the Confederacy and create the role of commander in chief as we know it. Though Abraham Lincoln arrived at the White House with no previous military...


The Virginia dynasty : four presidents and the creation of the American nation
Cheney, Lynne V.
From a small expanse of land on the North American continent came four of the nation's first five presidents - a geographic dynasty whose members led a revolution, created a nation, and ultimately changed the world. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe were born, grew...


The wars of the Roosevelts : the ruthless rise of America's greatest political family
Mann, William J.
The award-winning author presents a provocative, thoroughly modern revisionist biographical history of one of America's greatest and most influential families--the Roosevelts--exposing heretofore unknown family secrets and detailing complex family rivalries with his signature cinematic flair. ...


Washington at the plow : the founding farmer and the question of slavery
Ragsdale, Bruce A.
A fresh, original look at George Washington as an innovative land manager whose singular passion for farming would unexpectedly lead him to reject slavery. George Washington spent more of his working life farming than he did at war or in political office. For over forty years,...

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