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Presimetrics: What the Facts Tell Us About How the Presidents Measure Up On the Issues We Care About Hardcover – August 18, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael E. Kanell is an economics writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  He has appeared on television and radio, including CNBC, NPR, and various local stations across the country.  He has a bachelor's degree in history from Princeton University and a law degree from Boston University, where he was also adjunct professor of the College of Communications.  He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Michael E. Kanell is an economics writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  He has appeared on television and radio, including CNBC, NPR, and various local stations across the country.  He has a bachelor's degree in history from Princeton University and a law degree from Boston University, where he was also adjunct professor of the College of Communications.  He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Nigel Holmes is an award-winning information graphics specialist.  His work has appeared in countless publications, including Time (where he worked as graphics director), Adweek, GQ, Details, Discover, Money, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and more.  He lives in Westport, Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal (August 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579128351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579128357
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #915,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who wants to rely solely on their OWN internal belief system is NOT going to like this book. Drawing from a vast array of sources, the authors explain how presidents fared on a multitude of topics. They try to let the data tell the story. It's as simple as looking at the pictures, which are plentiful in this beautifully illustrated, multicolor work, which almost looks like a cook book! While numbers can be manipulated, you should get the impression that the statistics chosen were made deliberately simple, so hopefully underlying bias is reduced. The authors are not typical talking head ideologues: one is an economist at a Fortune 500 firm with no previous experience in the political realm, the other is a veteran journalist.

You can look at the pictures and come to your own conclusions about how most post WW II presidents stacked up and by extension, their parties' policies. The authors back up their analysis through pictures with a lively and amusing text, which spans 50 years of history in trying to explain what the analyses show. While the work is occasionally a bit too sophisticated for a lay audience, the authors explain as they go, providing a great education on how things work.

A warning: Republicans often do worse when compared against Democrats, but it's not as easy as that. On many topics the presidential results are mixed, and the reader is encouraged to question the data and the results. After having read this book, you will come away more educated and challenged, regardless of your belief system.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As much as politicians throw "facts" around, this book dispels the skewed "truths" that are used for the discussions and arguments for political issues. How has "trickle down" really helped--NOT--the US economy? Democrats increase big government? Not as much as the Republicans have (check out Reagan and "W" Bush). Who is best for the majority of Americans, the middle class? This should be used in classrooms from high school to college and beyond.
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Format: Hardcover
Mike Kimel and Michael E. Kanell present the most surprising and interesting political book of the year by parsing the numbers and letting the chips fall where they may. It's quite astounding how many long-standing beliefs and cherished political myths are challenged and often upended when the data is measured and analyzed objectively. The mathematics is sound and the charts often speak for themselves. As a political/historical enthusiast and statistical wonk, I'm very glad I came across this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Then read this book and start thinking for yourself. The book is laid out well and has some surprises for both Pubs and Dems. There are much more in-depth reviews on here and this is just a short one to say that as someone fiscally very conservative with liberal to libertarian social views I thought this book was as unbiased as possible.

This book would be good for anyone to read. If you have the intelligence level to read from beginning to end then no matter your particular political leanings you will learn something.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you can't scream louder than the other guy, you might have to have an few actual facts in hand. This book tells you the facts. You probably won't like most of them. But if you don't read, analyze and pay attention to this book you will lose the respect of anyone who HAS read these facts. Get it, Read it, ACT on your new information.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The publisher's description is what led me to read this book: "Politicians and the media spend a lot of time telling Americans how the presidents and their administrations are performing, but this analysis always skews along party lines. In Presimetrics, Kimel and Kanell take a fresh look at modern politics by gathering data from numerous government sources in order to compare and rank presidential performance on critical issues, from employment and health care to taxes and family values. The results frequently defy expectations." I'm delighted to say the book fulfills its billing.

Published in 2010, the analysis covers the administrations of Eisenhower to George W. Bush, with brief inclusions of earlier presidents where there is sufficient data. It takes into account all sorts of possible arguments about what the results show and recalculates the results to take those points into account. For instance, tables might show what occurred during a President's tenure, and then what occurred during it without counting the first year. And yes, the results do defy expectations and party propaganda. It appears things aren't quite as bad when the other guys are in control as might be advertised (and not quite as good when one's own party is in power).

Topics include: Real GDP (gross domestic product) per Capita; Fiscal Responsibility; Debt (What the Real GDP Leave Out); Employment; Income and Wealth; Republican Issues; Taxes; Democratic Issues; Health Care; Crime; The Public Mood; Family Values; Investing in the Future (infrastructure). A conclusion brings it all together and gives an overall ranking of the presidents of the last 60 years based on how they scored in each of the topics mentioned above.
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