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Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1442231214
ISBN-10: 1442231211
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Historian Feinman sets out to show just how dangerous the job of U.S. president can be, detailing 19 different assassination attempts on sitting presidents as well as aspirants to the office. Readers are likely familiar with the political climates and events surrounding the notorious murders of Presidents Lincoln, McKinley (whose assassination resulted in the decision to provide the President with constant protection by the Secret Service), and Kennedy as well as the attempted assassinations of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. They may be more surprised to learn that Hamas planted roadside bombs along a route that former President Jimmy Carter was traveling on in the Middle East in June 2009, and that a similar plan had been concocted by Saddam Hussein to assassinate George H.W. Bush in June 1993. It’s a sobering read, made even more poignant by Feinman’s rich assessment of each president’s contributions and accomplishments, as well as speculation on what could have been had victims survived or vice versa. Regardless of the reader’s political affiliation or leanings, they’re sure to come away with a deeper respect for U.S. presidents and those sworn to protect them. (Publishers Weekly)

The Presidents of the United States and their families have constituted something close to American royalty. We avidly follow their personal, as well political, successes and failures, their brushes with greatness and tragedy. As national leaders and symbols, presidents walk on contested ground, arousing the best and worst of passions. Ronald L. Feinman examines the darkest of those passions. His look at successful and failed assassination attempts reminds us of the dangers of the office and provides us with a walk through presidential history. (Randy Roberts, Distinguished Professor of History, Purdue University)

Feinman’s excellent work reminds us that assassination has been part of our political culture throughout American history. With a deft pen, he draws us into the world of our nation’s highest office and chronicles the evolution of the sordid business of plotting and killing the Chief Executive, as well as the methods to counter such acts. (Stephen D. Engle, Professor of History, Florida Atlantic University; Director of the Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency)

About the Author

Ronald L. Feinman, PhD, specializes in twentieth-century American history, with emphasis on political and diplomatic history. He has taught courses at Florida Atlantic University on America 1900–1945; FDR and the New Deal Era; U.S. 1945 to the present; and America in the 1960s. Feinman is also the author of Twilight of Progressivism: The Western Republican Senators and the New Deal. He currently writes for the blog www.theprogressiveprofessor.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (August 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442231211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442231214
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Throughout American history, American Presidents and Presidential candidates have faced many threats, extending not only to sitting presidents and candidates but also to Presidents-elect and former Presidents. In his book “Assassinations, Threats and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama”, Dr. Ronald Feinman details the facts, some little known, behind these attempts to alter history and provides fascinating “what-if” scenarios if those failed assassination attempts had actually succeeded. The book also delves into the assassinations of Lincoln, McKinley and Kennedy with a news reporter’s attention to accuracy. Highly recommended. I spoke with Ronald Feinman about his book and that conversation can be heard here: http://dougmilesmedia.com/?p=1786.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ronald L. Feinman takes us through the strange history of threats thwarted and threats successful against our American presidents. It's a very well researched book offering new insights on subjects you thought you knew everything about----and many intriguing tales that you may not have heard of before. It covers everything from the first botched attempt against President Andrew Jackson in 1835 to the many exposed conspiracies against Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. Even the most educated of presidential scholars will discover new material here. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
After seeing Mr. Feinman on CSPAN discussing the book I felt compelled to buy it and I am glad I did. As an amateur historian this work has added a lot to my knowledge of American history. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in American presidential history or history in general. What I enjoyed most is how he puts the numerous assassination attempts (of which I had no idea there were so many) in their historical context. Chapter 17 was a personal highlight for me and truly showcased the author's immense knowledge of our history. I feel like that that could be a whole new book in itself. A very enjoyable read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A good introduction and smooth read for anyone interested in "what-ifs" regarding Presidential assassination attempts. Many sources are provided if you want to do further research; Dr. Feinman certainly did his research on this project. Information is provided chronologically, with many details.
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Format: Hardcover
An engaging read on the threats facing American Presidents since the early days of the United States. Thoroughly researched and well-written, the author's work is interesting for history buff and casual reader alike. Feinman goes beyond merely re-telling the events of the assassination; but also provides background on the president and his assassin, while also assessing the ramifications had the assassination plots turned out differently than they occurred. It is also an alarming reminder of how threats to the President have grown exponentially in recent decades. This is a great read for anyone interested in American history.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so impressed, I bought his book. Best $34 ever spent. Heard Dr. Feinman on NPR News in an hour long discussion with its hosts. Literally off the top of his conscience: every name, every incidence, the dates and consequences of the attempts. You don't have to be a history connoisseur to enjoy this, yet it truly is a must have for any history major/professor (Me). I've read half of it in two sittings. His research certainly pays off: Stories, scenarios, and what-ifs that could've changed America's history for better or for worse. I'm hooked. Great work.
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