Presidential Biographies

I want to read a biography on every president. For some, that will be multiple. Here’s the list of what I’ve compiled so far. If you have read any of these, or if you have a suggestion, weigh in. Thanks.

Also I’m just listing the author names on the bio of that particular president. I’m not putting 40+ links here.

Italics = I’ve already read one.

Note: I’m only looking on Audible.

Washington: I have a bio of him written by Washington Irving, which I will read first. After that I’ll read Chernow’s biography.

Adams: I’ve read McCullough’s.

Jefferson: Jon Meacham’s ART OF POWER

Madison: Ralph Ketchum has one that’s 34 hours long on audio and apparently the narrator is bad, so I’m putting Noah Feldman’s here, which is also 34 hours.

Monroe: Tim McGrath

(Quincy) Adams: Harlow Giles Unger wrote one.

Jackson: Jon Meacham’s AMERICAN LION.

Van Buren: I can’t find anything substantial on this guy, the longest Audible bio on him is only 2 hours. Make a recommendation, please.

(Henry) Harrison: Same problem as Van Buren.

Tyler: Edward Crapol has a book called “The Accidental President” but the tone sounds rather aggressive, so it might be more a challenge and less a biography. Make a recommendation.

Polk: Walter Borneman’s POLK

Taylor: Same problem as the ones above.

Fillmore: Same problem. Jeez, none of these guys were very interesting. I suppose that might have been good for the country.


Buchanan: Apparently a lot of people hated this dude so I’m not finding biographies, just books about how terrible he was. Help a guy out.

Lincoln: Oof, no shortage here. Michael Burlingame has a huge book on him, which is fine, I’m just also open to suggestions. You can read big tomes that just cover a few years of Lincoln’s life.

Johnson: Not a lot of books about the man’s life, just his impeachment. Why does he look like Tommy Lee Jones time traveled?

Grant: I’ve read the Chernow biography and it was superb.

Hayes: Oooh, Hans Trefousse has one, and it looks like there’s a whole series…this might be a safe fallback if I can’t find anything good on someone.

Garfield: Like Andrew Johnson, there are only books about his assassination. Ugh.

Arthur: Another “accidental/unexpected” president. I’ll pencil in Greenberger’s book for now.

Cleveland: Jeffers’ AN HONEST PRESIDENT.

Harrison: Make a rec.

McKinley: Richard Rohan has one.

T. Roosevelt: I’ve read McCullough’s book that covers TR’s life up to the point he entered politics. Turns out he has an autobiography though so I will read that before anything else.

Taft: Goodwin’s THE BULLY PULPIT focuses more on his fight with TR, so make a rec here.

Wilson: This absolute bastard. Do I even dare? Yeah, I should read an entire bio. I’ve read enough about his president. John Milton Cooper has one.

Harding: Ryan Walters’ THE JAZZ AGE PRESIDENT.

Coolidge: I’ve read Amity Shlaes’ book.

Hoover: Glen Jeansonne has one.

F. Roosevelt: This MFer…Jean Edward Smith has one on him, I guess I’ll put that in for now.

Truman: I’ve read McCullough’s, and I recommend it.

Eisenhower: Hitchcock and Smith both have length books one him. Whichever I read, I’ll supplement it with Stephen Ambrose’s THE SUPREME COMMANDER.

Kennedy: Frederik Logevall has one, I’ll try that. Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthews each have one too, but I don’t know how willing I am to listen to partisan blowhard j*urnolists weigh in on someone. Might also listen to/read a lot of his speeches.

Johnson: Another total bastard. Robert Caro wrote 62 hours’ worth of audio on this guy and I don’t want to listen to any of it. Make a rec.

Nixon: Another huge POS. Make a rec.

Ford: You want to talk about accidental presidents? Hit me. This dude went from 13-term Congressman, to Speaker, to VP, to President, to unemployed in like, five years.

Carter: Jonathan Alter’s book.

Reagan: H.W. Brands has one. Lots of books on this dude.

H.W. Bush: Too many of these books focus on one particular element of his life, so make a rec.

Clinton: UGGH

W. Bush: Damn dude I really don’t want to. I read his DECISION POINTS book and it was interesting, but it was also him talking about himself, sooooooooooooooo

I don’t think I trust anything current about Obama, it’ll be too polarizing. People either love him or hate him and that messes with honest assessments.

Debating whether to read one on Trump. Maybe if there was one that came out before he ran, when Democrats still liked him. Everything since then will just be horse manure.

I’m not reading a biography of Biden, hell with that guy. He’s not a real president because he wasn’t installed by real voters. Even before he ran he was scum. I’ll read a book on Jefferson Davis first, who at least had the balls to install himself as president at gunpoint after making his own country with blackjack and hookers.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. Open to many suggestions.

Author: grahambradley

Writer, illustrator, reader, truck driver.

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