The Presidential List

A couple of years ago, I decided to read at least one book about every US president. It’s slow going, but I’m enjoying it. I started off trying to do it in chronological order, but I have a poor attention span, sooooo. That didn’t happen. But if anyone wants to join in, please do so! Here’s the list so far, please feel free to send in recommendations. I’ll be including a link to the reviews as I do them as well as to where you can purchase the book (but when possible, support your local library!).

Please note: I’ll be discussing my opinions on the book rather than my opinions on the president in question. I’d end up giving entire essays instead of blog posts if that were the case.



President Book Author Review
George Washington Washington’s Spies Alexander Rose Link
John Adams John Adams David McCullough
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates Brian Kilmeade Link
James Madison James Madison Lynne Cheney
James Monroe James Monroe Gary Hart
John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams; American Visionary Fred Kaplin
Andrew Jackson American Lion Jon Meacham
Martin Van Buren Martin Van Buren Ted Widmer
William Henry Harrison William Henry Harrison Gail Collins
John Tyler John Tyler Gary May
James K. Polk A Wicked War Amy S. Greenberg
Zachary Taylor Zachary Taylor John S. D. Eisenhower
Millard Fillmore Millard Fillmore Paul Finkelman
Franklin Pierce Franklin Pierce Michael F. Holt
James Buchanan The Worst President: The Story of James Buchanan Garry Boulard
Abraham Lincoln Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer James L. Swanson Link
Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson Annette Gordon-Reed
Ulysses S. Grant Grant Geoffrey Perret
Rutherford B. Hayes Rutherford B. Hayes Hans Trefousse
James A. Garfield Destiny of the Republic Candice Millard
Chester A. Arthur Chester Alan Arthur Zachary Karabell
Grover Cleveland Grover Cleveland Henry F. Graff
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison Charles W. Calhoun
William McKinley The Triumph of William McKinley Karl Rove
Theodore Roosevelt The Bully Pulpit Doris Kearns Goodwin
William Howard Taft The Imperial Cruise James Bradley
Woodrow Willson Wilson A. Scott Berg
Warren G. Harding Warren G. Harding John W. Dean
Calvin Coolidge Coolidge Amity Shlaes
Herbert Hoover Herbert Hoover: A Life Glen Jeansonne
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life Robert Dallek
Harry S. Truman Where the Buck Stops Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower in War and Peace Jean Edward Smith
John F. Kennedy End of Days James Swanson Link
Lydon B. Johnson Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream Doris Kearns Goodwin
Richard Nixon Being Nixon: A Man Divided Evan Thomas
Gerald Ford Gerald R. Ford Douglas Brinkley
Jimmy Carter An Hour Before Daylight Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan The Witness and the President K. Snyder
George H. W. Bush The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, from George W. Bush to Barack Obama Michael R Gordon, Bernard E Trainor
Bill Clinton The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House John F. Harris
George W. Bush Bush Jean Edward Smith
Barack Obama Barack Obama: The Story David Maraniss
Donald Trump What Happened Hillary Rodham Clinton

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