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Fishing with the Presidents Paperback – January 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

"All men," Herbert Hoover noted, "are equal before fish." Even presidents. Mares, former member of the Vermont House of Representatives and author of eight previous books, has written an informative and often witty book on the fishing exploits of America's presidents. We learn that George Washington was, for a time, a commercial fisherman, that FDR had a special chair built into his boats to allow him to fish, and that Ike tried in vain to teach his vice-presidential running mate Richard Nixon to fly fish. "It was a disaster," Nixon admitted. "After hooking a limb the first three times, I caught my shirt on the fourth try. The lessons ended abruptly." Jimmy Carter loved fishing but admitted to being "piscatorially retarded." This lighthearted and entertaining book offers insights into the personalities and leisure habits of the presidents. Mares, it should be noted, rates Grover Cleveland as his favorite presidential fisherman. Recommended for larger public libraries.?Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Bill Mares graduated cum laude in history from Harvard and holds an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He served from 1985-1991 in the Vermont House of Representatives, is a former journalist and has written eight previous books. He teaches history at Champlain Valley Union High School in Vermont.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811727688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811727686
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
First, and most obviously and most crassly, it shows how other United States Presidents have enjoyed (and could enjoy) their leisure-time in less controversial ways. Secondly, it's a lot of fun. Along with the fish-tales and other anecdotes, the book is filled with wonderful political cartoons from long-ago. The issues keep changing, but the presidents keep on fishing! Lastly, it introduces the reader to the tip of the iceberg that is fly-fishing literature. Three presidents have enjoyed the art of fly-fishing so much, they have been moved to write books on the subject. Hundreds of other authors have rhapsodized, philosophized and just plain instructed on fly-fishing, that this book will serve as a good primer for the person just wading into this pool of literature.
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By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a timely and refreshing read! Here's your chance to truly see presidents as human beings (even liars!) without a single reference to Bill Clinton! Perhaps Mr. Clinton would be well served to read the chapter on 'Streamside Situation Ethics' where we learn that LIES CAN BE TOLD AT ANY PLACE OR TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. We do learn that Calvin Coolidge swears and that FDR once lied to his son and the pictures of 'Nixon the Inept' are priceless! Fishing with the Presidents is a delightful book that will be enjoyed by all ages. It is a visual feast, brimming with political cartoons and rare photographs. I suppose you could read this book cover-to-cover, but I think it should be savored. Just open the book and take a nibble now and again. Washington spin doctors would be well advised to grab a copy of this book.. They might want to take a close look at the 1936 column of commentator Dorothy Thompson suggesting that promoting a fishing image is a good campaign strategy because '...all fishermen are safe, sane fellows. Not only are they incapable of harm to anything except a fly or a fish, but they are sounder, mellower, and more profoundly learned than any other breed of humans.' Mares has written a splendidly entertaining and educational book. Don't be fooled by its breezy, anecdotal style... there is plenty of serious scholarship. The annotated bibliography is not to be missed!. Fishing with the Presidents will make a great gift for anglers and political junkies alike. Even we piscatorially-challenged readers will be hooked by this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mares obviously loves his sport, and, loves presidential history. Readers will learn a side of America's leaders they were probably unaware of. And, they'll learn a thing or two about fishing.
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Format: Paperback
Bill Mares brings to hand a truly enjoyable collection about big men doing small things. Mares has captured an important facet of fishing: it is the only sport that both reduces the Greats to Mere Mortals and gives us mere mortals a chance to be Great. To wit: Eisenhower was skunked on the Furnace Brook in Vermont, yet, after his security entourage pulled out, the locals used worms to clean out the stocked fish that denied Ike his day on the river.
This book glides along, like hearing a story. Mare's subject is so interesting his book has been read by my Hong Kong-born wife, who does not fish. After she put down the book my fly-fishing 6 year old daughter grabbed it. Go figure.
The photographs alone are worth the cover price. Especially the one of Nixon swaddled in wet rags.
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By A Customer on February 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mr. Mares now teaches at my high school, in fact he is my Western Civilization teacher (and U.S. Foreign Policy next year). I must say that I am quite impressed with Bill Mares, both as an author and as a man. His resume is longer than one would expect. The result is an excellent book and, more importantly, an excellent educator. He is a graduate of Harvard, part of the United States Marine Corps, photojournalist, adventurer, marathon-runner, and statesman.
As for the book; it is intelligent and enjoyable. I often found myself belly laughing at what I, as a typical American teenager, would find disinteresting
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Format: Paperback
Mr Mares has managed to combine two of my personal passions, history, and fishing in this book. An engaging account of Presidential fishing habits, starting with George Washington. He has collected quite a bit of anedcotal information, and interspersed it with political cartoons appropriate to the period. My personal favorite is a photo of a very sour-looking Richard Nixon being taught the rudiments of fly-fishing by Eisenhower. A very worthy follow-up to his other book, "Out: The Vermont Secession Book"
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Format: Paperback
Mr Mares has managed to combine two of my personal passions, fishing and history in this book. It is an engaging account of Presidential fishing, beginning with George Washington. He has collected quite a bit of anecdotal information, and interspersed it with political cartoons appropriate to the period. My personal favorite is a photo of a very sour-looking Richard Nixon being taught the rudiments of fly-fishing by Eisenhower. A very worthy follow-up to "Out: The Vermont Secession Book".
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