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Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles, and Scrawls from the Oval Office squiggles & scrawls from the Oval Office Hardcover – September 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1ST edition (September 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465032664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465032662
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 7.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Presidential Doodles sets a new standard not just for scholarly treatment of presidential doodles, but for Doodle Studies in general. If you read only one book on presidential doodles this year, make it this one." -- Michael Kinsley

About the Author

Sasha Archibald is the former Associate Editor and Sina Najafi the current Editor-in-Chief of Cabinet magazine. Described by the New York Times as “voracious, omnivorous, and playful,” Cabinet is a nonprofit quarterly dedicated to creating a new culture of curiosity about the world.

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Customer Reviews

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COntents are fun and interesting to read.
Kindle Customer
Pausing occasionally to part her red lips and sigh, she went through the whole book from start to finish.
Ontor Pertawst
I read about this book online, but when I actually saw a copy and picked it up, I was hooked!
William Meisel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on December 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the Epilogue to "Presidential Doodles," Sasha Archibald and Sina Najafi of "Cabinet" magazine, chief researchers for this book, describe the technique they developed for examining microfilmed presidential documents for the occasional (and usually uncatalogued) doodle. Fast-forwarding through the documents at very high speed, words would blur but doodles would be easier to pick out. For all its effectiveness, though, the method had at least one drawback: "Suffice to say, despite having spent several years in presidential archives, we have learned little of substance about any of the presidents."

That sort of summarizes this book, too. While the introduction by presidential historian David Greenberg makes a number of interesting points and his text is generally well-informed and helpful, I don't think most readers are going to come away from "Presidential Doodles" with a dramatically-improved understanding of America's chief executives. Unless, that is, you accept the idea that Greenberg himself considers long-ago discredited, that doodles provide a Freudian glimpse inside the artist's deepest psyche.

But then, I don't imagine most readers will come to this book seeking psychoanalytical profiles of the presidents. Instead, this seems like one of a number of books in recent years offering "People" magazine-like "surprising facts" from "behind the scenes at the White House." Taken as part of that genre, "Presidential Doodles" is better than most, often interesting, and certainly entertaining.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. King on January 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is very interesting and allows the reader to see a side of our country's presidents that we normally wouldn't see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ontor Pertawst on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
I admit, I noticed this book on the shelves a few times and smirked at the novelty value. Presidential doodles. Bah, what have they ever done for me? I didn't buy the book. A few months later, a friend invited me into her bedroom late one night. The book was perched on the air conditioner. We nervously slid into bed and began making whimsical jokes about Presidents. After running fingers through her rich black hair, she picked up the book and began reading... in a voice. Pausing occasionally to part her red lips and sigh, she went through the whole book from start to finish. A parade of Presidents and their artwork. It was the most erotic lecture I had ever heard that involved Martin Van Buren and led to approximately 12 hours of what could only be described as bananas foreplay. No fruit were involved, only this book. It would work well under similar conditions, so I advise you to pick up a copy and use it to woo that special someone.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Voight on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Great holiday or anytime gift for people hard to buy for. people interested in history or politics will especially enjoy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on January 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This delightful little book take us into the offices and to some degree into the minds of that most exclusive of sets -- the American Presidents, from George Washington to George W. Bush. The book does this via the most innocuous of means: by examining the doodles and random notations that presidents have made while in presumably weighty meetings. The book's introduction describes the interest in presidential doodling and its meaning, if any. Starting in to the early 20th century of course, doodling became a major fascination of a nation wrapped up in pseudo-Freudian analysis. A doodle, like a dream or a slip of the tongue, was supposed to provide a glimpse of the soul. No wonder that some presidents chose not to provide samples for the book. Would a tossed-off scribble be seen as an indicator of fitness for office? How about the lack of doodles?

Through tedious searching through archives and presidential libraries, sometimes with the assistance of archivists, the authors have managed to obtain doodles -- or some other form of non-alphabetic expression -- from about half of the US presidents. Some, like Washington, either did not doodle, or found little time for it. His samples were taken from the inked boxes in his schoolboy exercise books that may have been a way to while away a dull lesson. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the relative cheapness of writing materials available to them, the most prolific doodlers were in the 20th century. FDR's doodles included ideas for stamps and government liquor labels, while JFK liked repeating words ad drawing his sloop Victura. Hoover (like his admirer Richard Nixon) preferred harsh geometric patterns. Johnson's doodles switched from disturbed and childish to hyper-controlled.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cara E. Duryea on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A perfect gift for someone who is interested in either doodling or U.S. Presidents (or both)! This book chronicles various US Presidents' doodles during their White House reign, giving insight into the politics surrounding the doodles (when possible), the situation and the President's personality. Something new for the coffee table.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter West on December 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A doodle is an "unconscious" drawing or etching made anywhere on anything while the "conscious" mind is concentrating on things elsewhere.
This book lists and illustrates an amazing collection of doodles made by USA Presidents before, during and after holding office often just prior or almost at decision time in their role in history.
For the layman they open up a completely new perspective on the man while for a practising graphologist like myself they reveal the real, inner man and their aims at that historic moment of time.
If you want to learn more about how a president's mind may have been working at various stages along the way get a copy of this book and you will cerainly learn more about the man.
Recommended.
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