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The American Heritage Illustrated History of the Presidents Hardcover – October 10, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; Rev Upd edition (October 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812932498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812932492
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 6.8 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,957,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Every day our lives are affected by what the American president does. But there are some things we cannot know about presidents until many years after they leave office -- what really went on behind the scenes and how great their leadership was. That is the mission of this book.

American Heritage is known and trusted for its standard-bearing single-volume histories. Its various editions on the American Civil War and World War II, edited by such distinguished scholars as James McPherson and Stephen Ambrose, are recognized as classics and have together sold more than a million copies.

The American Heritage® Illustrated History of the Presidents is newly available in a richly illustrated and completely revised edition, with the preeminent presidential historian Michael Beschloss as general editor. This new book offers fresh and penetrating portraits of all forty-two presidencies, as rendered by some of America's most distinguished scholars.

From George Washington's reluctant oath-taking through Bill Clinton's turbulent leadership, we view forty-one ambitious and fallible men through the new lens of the twenty-first century. Where did they succeed? Where did they fail? What do we know now that we could not have known at the time?

The American Heritage® Illustrated History of the Presidents offers a biographical profile of each man and a full account of the issues and events that shaped each presidency, with pathbreaking new verdicts on the modern presidents -- Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. In the tradition of other American Heritage volumes, the book will serve as an indispensable reference guide for many years to come, for both seasoned observers and students just learning about the presidency.

American Heritage is a trademark of American Heritage Inc. Its use is pursuant to a license agreement.

About the Author

Michael Beschloss has been described by Newsweek as "the nation's leading presidential historian." He is the author of six critically acclaimed books on American presidents, including the national best-sellers Taking Charge: The Johnson White House Tapes, which was lauded by a New York Times editorial as "an important event," and The Crisis Years, which the New York Times Book Review called the "definitive" history of John F. Kennedy and the Cold War. A frequent lecturer and regular commentator on PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Beschloss is currently working on a history of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Nick Marschel on December 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good reference book on all U.S. presidents up through the year 2000. There is even a section covering the year 2000 election. Each chapter which covers each president includes 10-20 pages covering the key accomplishments and/or failures of each administration. The book includes lots of pictures and other illustrations. Each chapter also includes nice tables listing key information about each president including date of birth, date of death, members of cabinet, etc. Good start for those readers interested in the presidency and those men who have served as president.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By econdude on May 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"History buffs" will like this book. I used it as a sort of supplement for my dismal education in U.S. History. Beschloss did a decent job of gathering forty-odd synopses of the different Presidents, including very appropriate and interesting photos, and included a short biographical summary of each President (pertinent facts about immediate family and career). The book is also nice to help the reader assess the "big picture" of American History, from a renegade colony led by George Washington, scrapping for soldiers and supplies, to the world's most prosperous nation and only superpower.
Depending on your interest, you'll read the book differently. The economic perspective is what I looked for in the book, and I was not disappointed. You will definitely be made aware of the development of Industry, Jefferson's (and others') bad economic policies, and how different Presidents were affected by the ebb and flow of the economy over the last two centuries. Those who are interested in the wars will probably turn to Lincoln and FDR first, those who want to know more about the Founding Fathers will focus on the first several Presidents, and so on.
The book is more of a reference than something you would sit down and read from cover to cover, but is an excellent resource for most of us. By the way, the articles by and large are by no means tendentious. Beschloss and the writers undoubtedly went out of their way to be objective. If you have some extra time on your hands, give it a read. You probably won't be disappointed.
econ
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Todd Carlsen on March 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am a reader of American presidential history, and this is the best overview of the presidents I have read so far. It is loaded with details. The author clearly is a scholar of presidential history. This book meets the highest standard of scholarship while being very readable.

Too many other books on the presidents are too vague (even inaccurate) or targeted for junior high readers. Others have a political bias.

This book does not subject you to watered down propaganda, recycled speeches, or overly-extended biographies covering the lives of the presidents before they were presidents. This book profiles the presidents in an unbiased way, with an emphasis on their acts as president, in scholarly detail. You will truly get to know the truth of every president in this book.

Highly recommended.
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