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Biographies of Presidents
Here is a selection of biographies on U.S. Presidents. Be sure to check the catalog for more.
The Annotated Lincoln by
Call Number: Erie South Library E457.92 2015b
No American president before or since has faced the problems that confronted Abraham Lincoln when he took office in 1861. Nor has any president expressed himself with such eloquence on issues of great moment. Lincoln's writings reveal the depth of his thought and feeling and the sincerity of his convictions as he weighed the cost of freedom and preserving the Union. Now for the first time an annotated edition of Lincoln's essential writings examines the extraordinary man who produced them and explains the context in which they were composed. The Annotated Lincoln spans three decades of Lincoln's career, from his initial political campaign for state assemblyman in 1832 to his final public address on Reconstruction, delivered three days before his assassination on April 15, 1865. Included here are selections from his personal and political letters, poetry, speeches, and presidential messages and proclamations.
The Best Writings of Ulysses S. Grant by
Call Number: Erie South Library E660 .G7562 2015
Famous for his military acumen and for his part in saving the Union during the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant also remains known for his two-volume memoirs, considered among the greatest military memoirs ever written. Grant's other writings, however, have not received the same acclaim, even though they show the same literary skill. Originally published in the thirty-two volumes of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, the letters and speeches are the major source of information about Grant's life and era and have played a key role in elevating his reputation to that of the leading general of the Civil War and the first of the modern presidents. In this collection, editor John F. Marszalek presents excerpts from Grant's most insightful and skillfully composed writings and provides perspective through introductory comments tying each piece to the next. The result is a fascinating overview of Grant's life and career. In sixteen chronological chapters, selections from Grant's letters and other writings reveal his personal thoughts on the major events of his momentous life, including the start of the Civil War, the capture of Vicksburg, Lincoln's reelection, Lee's surrender, his terms as president, the Panic of 1873, and his bouts of mouth and throat cancer. Throughout, Grant's prose reveals clearly the power of his words and his ability to present them well. Although some historians have maligned his presidency as one of the most corrupt periods in American history, these writings reinforce Grant's greatness as a general, demonstrate the importance of his presidency, and show him to be one of the driving forces of the nineteenth century. With this compendium, Marszalek not only celebrates the literary talent of one of America's greatest military figures but also vindicates an individual who, for so long, has been unfairly denigrated.
JFK and LBJ by
Call Number: Erie South Library E842 .H58 2015
As a young White House correspondent during the Kennedy and Johnson years in Washington, D.C., Godfrey Hodgson had a ringside seat covering the last two great presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, two men who could not have been more different. Kennedy's wit and dashing style, his renown as a national war hero, and his Ivy League Boston Brahmin background stood in sharp contrast to Lyndon Johnson's rural, humble origins in Texas, his blunt, forceful (but effective) political style, his lackluster career in the navy, and his grassroots populist instincts. Hodgson, a sharp-eyed witness throughout the tenure of these two great men, now offers us a new perspective enriched by his reflections since that time a half-century ago. He offers us a fresh, dispassionate contrast of these two great men by stripping away the myths to assess their achievements, ultimately asking whether Johnson has been misjudged. He suggests that LBJ be given his due by history, arguing that he was as great a president as, perhaps even greater than, JFK. The seed that grew into this book was the author's early perception that JFK's performance in office was largely overrated while LBJ's was consistently underrated. Hodgson asks key questions: If Kennedy had lived, would he have matched Johnson's ambitious Great Society achievements? Would he have avoided Johnson's disastrous commitment in Vietnam? Would Nixon have been elected his successor, and if not, how would American politics and parties look today? Hodgson combines lively anecdotes with sober analyses to arrive at new conclusions about the U.S. presidency and two of the most charismatic figures ever to govern from the Oval Office.
Barack Obama by
Call Number: Erie City Library E908 .M368 2012
From the author of First In His Class, the definitive biography of Bill Clinton, and When Pride Still Mattered, the bestselling biography of Vince Lombardi, and They Marched Into Sunlight, the classic saga of the Vietnam era—a stunning new multigenerational biography of Barack Obama. From one of our preeminent journalists and modern historians comes the epic story of Barack Obama and the world that created him. In Barack Obama: The Story, David Maraniss has written a deeply reported generational biography teeming with fresh insights and revealing information, a masterly narrative drawn from hundreds of interviews, including with President Obama in the Oval Office, and a trove of letters, journals, diaries, and other documents. The book unfolds in the small towns of Kansas and the remote villages of western Kenya, following the personal struggles of Obama’s white and black ancestors through the swirl of the twentieth century. It is a roots story on a global scale, a saga of constant movement, frustration and accomplishment, strong women and weak men, hopes lost and deferred, people leaving and being left. Disparate family threads converge in the climactic chapters as Obama reaches adulthood and travels from Honolulu to Los Angeles to New York to Chicago, trying to make sense of his past, establish his own identity, and prepare for his political future. Barack Obama: The Story chronicles as never before the forces that shaped the first black president of the United States and explains why he thinks and acts as he does.
Obama's America by
Call Number: Erie City Library E908.3 .R45 2012 Regular Loan
Publication Date: 2012-07-01
Our national identity is defined by what it means to be an American and whom we include and why when we talk about "the American people.” A country’s national identity is fluid, and Ian Reifowitz argues that President Barack Obama, by emphasizing the ideals Americans hold dear, hopes to redefine ours in a fundamental way. Obama’s conception of America emphasizes two principles of national unity: First, all Americans, regardless of their heritage and cultural traditions, should identify with America as their country, based upon shared democratic values, a shared history, and a shared fate. Second, America should embrace all its citizens as active participants in one "family.” Reifowitz explores Obama’s belief that strengthening our common bonds will encourage Americans to rectify the injustices and heal the racial divisions that still plague our country. We have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that a society of many races and cultures can truly become one people. In facing terrorism, violent fundamentalism, and other security issues, Obama’s response centers on a powerful, inspiring, and truly inclusive American narrative. By bolstering America’s identity as diverse yet unified, he aims both to counter the anxieties and fears that radicalism stokes and give proponents of religious and political freedom a model they can defend. The stakes couldn’t be any higher in determining America’s future.
The Kennedy Years by
Call Number: Erie City Library Ref. E841 .K4658 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-22
The year 2013 is the 50th anniversary year of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, who still ranks as one of the top five presidents in every major annual survey. To commemorate the man and his time in office, the New York Times has authorized a book, edited by Richard Reeves, based on its unsurpassed coverage of the tumultuous Kennedy era. The Civil Rights Movement, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the space program, the Berlin Wall--all are covered in articles by the era’s top reporters, among them David Halberstam, Russell Baker, and James Reston. Also included are new essays by leading historians such as Robert Dallek and Terry Golway, and by Times journalists, including Sam Tanenhaus, Scott Shane, Alessandra Stanley, and Roger Cohen. With more than 125 color and black-and-white photos, this is the ultimate volume on one of history’s most fascinating figures. "This book is both fascinating and poignant. It brings us back into the Kennedy years while also allowing us to reflect on what made them so emotional. I found myself totally immersed." --Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life "A deeply illuminating, journalistic romp through Camelot from the eyes and minds of the great New York Times reporters of that era and beyond. It’s an important contribution to our nation’s ever growing U.S. presidential history library. Richard Reeves has corralled the best and the brightest Kennedy scholars to offer fact-checked wisdom. Highly recommended.” --Douglas Brinkley, author of Cronkite, The Wilderness Warrior, and The Great Deluge. "The New York Times’ rendering of the Kennedy years provides much more than a riveting first draft of history. Here we also witness the birth of modern America. The daily presence of thepresident and his family through modern media all started with Kennedy. As we follow his presidency in real time, aided by context from Richard Reeves and others, we come to understand better much of what is happening in the country today.” --Cokie Roberts, political commentator for ABC and NPR and author of Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation "A terrific introduction to the Kennedy presidency for those who did not live through it, and a startling reminder for those who did of how much happened in those 1,000 days, this compilation from The New York Times reveals the essential truth of the old adage that journalism is the rough draft of history. Commentaries by historians and current Times reporters fill in the gaps between what the journalists reported then and what we know now.” --David Nasaw, author of The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
Understanding Trump by
Publication Date: 2017-06-13
The presidency of Donald Trump marks a profound change in the trajectory of American government, politics, and culture. Like his administration, the movement that put him in office represents a phenomenon that is worth studying. Donald Trump is unlike any president we've ever had. He is the only person ever elected to be commander in chief who has not first held public office or served as a general in the military. His principles grow out of five decades of business and celebrity success-not politics-so he behaves differently than do traditional politicians. In UNDERSTANDING TRUMP, Newt Gingrich shares what he learned from more than two years helping Trump and his team throughout the campaign, the election, and during the first months of the presidency. Mr. Gingrich provides unique insight into how the new president's past experiences have shaped his life and style of governing. This book also includes Mr. Gingrich's thorough analysis of how President Trump thinks and makes decisions, as well as the president's philosophy, doctrine, and political agenda going forward. Further, these pages hold a detailed discussion of Trump-style solutions for national security, education, health care, economic growth, government reform, and other important topics. Mr. Gingrich also identifies the forces in the Washington establishment, media, and bureaucracy that will oppose the president at every turn. Finally, UNDERSTANDING TRUMP explains the president's actions so far and lays out a vision for what Americans can do to help make President Trump's agenda a success. The president owes his position to the people who believed in him as a candidate, not to the elites in government and media who have expressed contempt for him since he began his campaign to become president. The very essence of Trump's mission is a willingness to enact policies and set goals that send our country in a bold new direction - one that may be "unreasonable" to Washington but is sensible to millions of Americans outside the Beltway. Only with the country's help will President Trump be able to overcome the entrenched interests in Washington and fulfill his promise to make America great again for all Americans.
Presidential families and spouses
Michelle Obama by
Call Number: Erie City Library E909.O24 S58 2015
Publication Date: 2015-04-07
An inspiring story of a modern American icon, here is the first comprehensive account of the life and times of Michelle Obama. With disciplined reporting and a storyteller's eye for revealing detail, Peter Slevin follows Michelle to the White House from her working-class childhood on Chicago's largely segregated South Side. He illuminates her tribulations at Princeton University and Harvard Law School during the racially charged 1980s and the dilemmas she faced in Chicago while building a high-powered career, raising a family and helping a young community organizer named Barack Obama become president of the United States. From the lessons she learned in Chicago to the messages she shares as one of the most recognizable women in the world, the story of this First Lady is the story of America. Michelle Obama: A Life is a fresh and compelling view of a woman of unique achievement and purpose.
Mrs. Kennedy by
Call Number: Erie South Library E843.K4 L43 2001
In this work, biographer Barbara Leaming has written the first full account of Jacqueline Kennedy during the dramatic thousand days of John F. Kennedy's presidency. Drawing on new eyewitness testimony, letters written by Jackie, minute-by-minute Secret Service records, and recently declassified top-secret documents, the author has crafted a portrait of Jackie Kennedy the world has not previously known. Leaming's meticulous reportage illuminates the tumultuous day-to-day life of a young woman fighting for her survival, her marriage, and her husband's presidency.
Abigail Adams by
Call Number: Erie South Library E757 .A3 2015
Wife of one president and mother of another, Abigail Adams was an extraordinary woman living at an extraordinary time in American history. A tireless letter writer and diarist, her penetrating and often caustic impressions of most of the major persons of her day--including Ben Franklin, George and Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and King George III, among others--provide one of the best first-hand accounts of the American Revolution. This biography, researched and written over a fourteen-year period, is a fascinating portrait of a brilliant woman at the center of the founding of the American republic.
Eleanor Roosevelt by
Call Number: Erie North Library E807.1 .B43 2010
Presiding in the White House longer than any other first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt championed the downtrodden as she traveled the globe, yet she was a maze of contradictions an idealist who carried on a moneymaking career that depended on her position and a conventional-appearing wife and mother who found emotional succor from intense relationships outside her family. This book cuts through those contradictions to reveal how Eleanor operated, both in and out of public view, to advance the causes in which she believed by participating in the political process. Although previous books have dealt with Eleanor Roosevelt, this is the first to focus on her White House years. Maurine Beasley, a scholar with extensive knowledge of Eleanor's life and times, provides a detailed examination of the innovative first lady that will enlighten those who think they already know her.
Hard Choices by
Call Number: Erie City Library E907 .C55 2014
Publication Date: 2014-06-10
Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. "All of us face hard choices in our lives," Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. "Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become." In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed, and the hard choices that she and her colleagues confronted. Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars, and address a global financial crisis. They faced a rising competitor in China, growing threats from Iran and North Korea, and revolutions across the Middle East. Along the way, they grappled with some of the toughest dilemmas of US foreign policy, especially the decision to send Americans into harm's way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden. By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had visited 112 countries, traveled nearly one million miles, and gained a truly global perspective on many of the major trends reshaping the landscape of the twenty-first century, from economic inequality to climate change to revolutions in energy, communications, and health. Drawing on conversations with numerous leaders and experts, Secretary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive in an interdependent world. She makes a passionate case for human rights and the full participation in society of women, youth, and LGBT people. An astute eyewitness to decades of social change, she distinguishes the trendlines from the headlines and describes the progress occurring throughout the world, day after day. Secretary Clinton's descriptions of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels offer readers a master class in international relations, as does her analysis of how we can best use "smart power" to deliver security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world-one in which America remains the indispensable nation.
Call Number: E909.O24 A3 2018
Publication Date: 2018
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her - from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it - in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.
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