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Complete Book of U.S. Presidents Hardcover – April 6, 1997


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Hardcover, April 6, 1997
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy; 5 Sub edition (April 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517183536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517183533
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This is the consummate guide to the political and personal lives of every U. S. president through Bill Clinton. Arranged chronologically, The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents elaborates not only on the major accomplishments and events of their terms, but also on less well-known details such as personalities, careers before the presidency, Supreme Court appointments, hobbies, ethnic backgrounds, and even extramarital affairs. Well-organized and packed with details, the book also includes a bibliography on each executive, including books written by and about them, along with useful and entertaining appendixes on the political composition of every Congress, presidential curiosities (such as the uncanny similarities between the lives and deaths of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy), and a ranking of presidents. Whether you want to know the opponent of James Monroe in the election of 1816 or read some of Harry S. Truman's more memorable quotes, this is a most complete and thorough reference to each commander in chief.

From Library Journal

This work has been updated to include President Reagan's second term and a new entry for George Bush. When the first edition appeared, LJ' s reviewer called it a "ready-reference tool that fleshes out the bare bones of the standard Facts About the Presidents" (LJ 3/1/84). It provides summaries of the subjects' political careers, descriptions of key events and people associated with them, and personality sketches and anecdotes. Academic and public libraries should consider.
- Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I've read each edition of this book through out the years.
William Olmstead
This book is very thorough and has an easy format to follow and gives great details into the lives of the Presidents.
Lori Graddy
Each entry includes the basic information including a picture and a series of categories of details.
James Gallen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Todd Adams on November 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book goes beyond complete and into the obscure and bizarre. Details include everything from the presidents' family tree, health maladies, cabinet and supreme court nominations, and positve and negative quotes from notable persons of the era.
This excellent reference has a very easy to read and consistent format. Even the most ardent presidential scholar is likely to learn a thing or two. There is no better reference available in my opinion.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Edward W. Trieste on April 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am writing based on the 2001 hardcover edition.

This is an fascinating, very readable book. The research is excellent. The biographical facts about each president are fleshed out with narratives about their early lives, marriages, children, religious beliefs, careers, retirements, and more.

The political matters likewise get excellent treatment, with narratives about each president's nomination, campaign, election, and achivements. Each Cabinet member and most Supreme Court nominees get at least a short paragraph. There are also quotes by and about each president, including both praise and criticism. Far more than a dry series of lists and facts, the human touch makes this book very worthwhile for anyone fascinated by American history in general and the presidents in particular.

The book, first published in 1983, is revised at least every four years. Like earlier editions, this one was released just after a new president took office, so it covers events up to early 2001. Thus the 2000 election, Clinton's 11th-hour pardons, and Bush Jr's initial appointments are covered; September 11 will appear in the next edition. The Clinton chapter from the 1997 edition has been completely rewritten and discusses his tumultuous presidency at length.

Unfortunately, DeGregorio did not revise the pre-Clinton chapters, so they are embarrassingly dated. Bush Sr's chapter mentions nothing about his son becoming President, not even referring us to the brand new Bush Jr. chapter. Richard Nixon and Jackie Kennedy both died in 1994, yet these basic facts go unmentioned despite two subsequent revisions.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a solid reference book. If you are looking for thumbnail sketches of U.S. Presidents and their administrations, this book will satisfy. The personal history of the president is here, family information, political career highlights, administration personnel, major issues faced, election results, quotes and opinions for and against. It is the kind of book I remember as a youngster that gives you enough information to fire one's thirst for historic knowledge -- great for browsing. Only complaint, the paper on which the work is printed is of a very inferior quality that is not the best one could ask for for reading -- also not particularly durable. These are production criticisms, the work is very good for its purpose.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William Hare on January 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In addition to being a thorough research guide, this work combines the thoroughness of subject matter of an encyclopedia along with a purposeful series of biographies. There is much about the presidents individually from Washington to the present while presenting historians and research enthusiasts alike with an opportunity to zero in on a particular president and his era and learn much more. There are thorough listings of cabinet members, detailed informations on vice-presidents, and lists of books available on the leaders and the periods of which they were a part for those who wish to do additional research on presidents and their eras.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the section dealing with presidential campaigns. One can easily get a feel for an era and its leaders by reading about the campaigns, learning about the major issues involved, and analyzing the critical problems facing the nation at those points, whether it be slavery and the Civil War or the Depression of the thirties. Comprehensive election results are also available, whereby interested readers can discern just where the country stood at a given point in time in terms of the voting power strengths of the parties regionally. Trends become clearly discernible through careful analysis.
I also like the way that comments regarding presidents, both pro and con, appear, done in an objective way. Patterns become discernible as to which major political forces backed and opposed certain presidents as well as why.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By mwreview on March 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was a history major in college and did some student teaching at the high school level. Whether I was working on an essay or preparing a lecture, this book was one of my favorite references. Not only does it offer well organized information on the Presidents (birth, childhood, family, education, etc.), it offers tons of information on the people, legislation, and events of their administrations. It describes cabinet members, laws that were passed, foreign relations, domestic issues, you name it. It saved me a lot of time in my research. The sections on the physical descriptions, personality traits and, in some cases, pre and extramarital affairs on each of the presidents was very interesting and offered info you normally do not find in other books. I highly recommend it.
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