Thursday, November 20, 2008

Failures of the Presidents: Book Review

Failures of the Presidents: From the Whiskey Rebellion and War of 1812 to the Bay of Pigs and War in Iraq

The book's interesting cover is enough to grab your attention. But the interest doesn't stop there. Failures of the Presidents is a quick witted, sarcastic, informative and entertaining look at some of the greatest Presidents' not so great moments.

Though many of the vignettes within the book are familiar only to those that study the subject, the authors do a great job of bringing the reader up to speed quickly so that the context of the chapter is not lost. The book is meant to be read by everyone.

The writing style is well suited for a quick, fun read. Filled with clever comparisons and sarcastic wit, Failures of the Presidents brings a sense of humor to what is usually a more serious subject. But don't let the cover or the clever writing fool you... there are some serious issues addressed.

In all, 20 presidents are highlighted... each a story of its own, making this a great book of short reads. But it is much, much more than one of those quick facts, "Did you know?" type of books many of us get suckered into browsing at the book store. This has some meat.
The images in the book make it great for the coffee table, not to mention the conversation piece the cover can become. It's not often that history books give you pictures to ponder while reading... but the coffee table style of this book is a very welcome deviation to the common history book.

If you've read this book, or anything like it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.... I'm currently reading Secret Lives of the US Presidents, which is another good read along the same lines, but with many more textbook like sidebars.

Both books are in my recommended section in the USHistorySite Online Store... click here to see all my recommended items.

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