What’s Up Next?

So the plan now will be to review a book about each Presidential election back to 1789. However, some years may not have a book written about them. I already have alternate plans for 1789 and 1792. The election of 1820, which was uncontested, may be tough also. There is a series of books written about elections, although they all haven’t issued yet. Some elections have a lot of books written about them, especially from 1960 to the present.

The books I pick won’t be done in random order, but more in the order that I can find them. The first one should be going up on Presidents Day.

#15 marries #35


I have a couple of other writing tasks to catch up on, so it may be a couple more weeks before another post. There are 10 Presidents to go: 2 Harrisons, 2 Bushes, a guy on the $50 bill, the “other” Roosevelt, the non-Bush guy who won a highly disputed election, the guy who wasn’t a crook, the star of “Bedtime for Bonzo”, and the guy who wasn’t afraid to go nuclear. The current President won’t be part of the series. And it’s hard enough finding a book about Bush 43 that doesn’t look as if it were written by either Keith Olbermann or Sean Hannity.

I was hoping to finish before 2009 was up, but that proved to be a bit too ambitious. But, I can see the finish line!

Brief Interlude

I should have a new review up this week. And then there will be a longer wait as the next president has a much longer biography to go through.

To keep you occupied I have a slideshow of Presidential-themed images taken from my recent trip to Washington. I tossed in a few other older images to fill out the set. Some of the pictures aren’t all that good. These are not political statements. Instead, it’s a statement that I couldn’t figure out how to set the exposure on my camera correctly.

Note: this post had some technical issues so it may have appeared twice.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Presidential slide show", posted with vodpod

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.