A man, a plan, and a big long list of books

A man needs a goal in life.  Even better, a man needs a relatively easily achievable goal. And my goal is to read all the biographies of the U.S. Presidents in the American Presidents Series, published by Times Books.

All the presidents from Washington to Bush the Second are supposed to get biographies (42 in all!) and I’m going to read each one and give a brief review and some interesting stuff I learned from reading the book.

The series lists its editors as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (whose lack of being alive has limited his day-to-day editing) and Sean Wilentz. The authors are an interesting mix from professional historians (such as Douglas Brinkley and William Leuchtenberg) to political figures (such as Gary Hart and George McGovern) and even a Watergate conspirator (John Dean) tossed in to the mix.

I’ve read two books in the series and have started a third. They are all around 150-170 pages. I was trying to figure out what the best order to read them would be and I figured that a random order would be the best.  So stay tuned!

When I was a kid, my mom bought my brothers and me a copy of a book called the Look-It-Up Book of U.S. Presidents. I think I read it all the way through a dozen times or more.  Presumably the titles I’m going to read are a little bit more advanced than Mr. Blassingame’s classic.