HISTORY

Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote

Avid Reader. Feb. 2020. 448p. ISBN 9781476786391. $30. HIST
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Journalist Fehrman offers a spritely, quote-filled selective survey of significant writings by those who have held the office of the presidency. Fehrman asserts that while texts by soon-to-be presidents were impactful in their time, the voting public later largely, but wrongly, forgot these revealing writings. The author considers the writings of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, and others in order to determine the leaders’ inspirations, aspirations, and motivations. Important aspects here include an annotated appendix of particular publications attributed to presidents, and the author’s essays at the beginning of the endnotes for each chapter citing relevant interviews and secondary works.
VERDICT This narrative presents an engaging and enlightening perspective on the history of the presidency; also suggest Seth Cotlar and Richard J. Ellis’s Historian in Chief.
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