44 Presidents and Their Definitive Biographies
Remember when I said that you should read good writers in order to become a better writer? In honor of President’s Day, a friend of mine on Facebook offered a Presidential Challenge – read the definitive biography of every United States president in order.
He said it took him years. He also said it was a great way to understand America’s history, shifts, progress, and evolution.
I’m a big fan of biographies for the glimpses of a different era and insights into varying industries and cultures they give you. So, while I’m sure it will take me several years to finish this quest, I am going to take this challenge and read a biography of every American president in sequential order.
Here’s the List:
To the Loss of the Presidency (Grover Cleveland A Study in Courage, Vol. 1)
To the End of a Career (Grover Cleveland A Study in Courage, Vol. 2)
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft: The Life and Times (Vol. 1)
William Howard Taft: The Life and Times (Vol. 2)
The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Book One)
Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Book Two)
Master of the Senate (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Book Three)
The Passage of Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Book Four)
The graphic has Volumes 1 & 2 switched, here is the correct order:
Nixon: The Education of a Politician (1913-1962)
Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician (1962-1972)
Nixon: Ruin and Recovery (1973-1990)
It may be too soon to name any one George W. Bush biography THE definitive biography. The same can obviously be said for President Obama. Wikipedia has a great list of books about George W. Bush as well as a list of books about Barack Obama. Once I get that far there may be a widely accepted “definitive” bio for each, but until then I plan on choosing one of each from these lists. If you have any recommendations leave them in the comments.
Happy President’s Day and happy reading!