- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents Paperback – Bargain Price, December 1, 2003
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
About the Author
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
In Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents, O'Brien doles out the juicy Presidential dope in a witty, concise and hilariously irreverent style that is informative, yet exceptionally entertaining. From G.W. to G.W. Bush - with illuminating factoids and amusing anecdotes - Secret Lives paints a colorful picture of our nation's great (and not-so-great) leaders as being abundantly human and all too fallible. It's enough to make Mount Rushmore blush.
Well written, and beautifully (if not comically) illustrated, this book is a must for even a casual fan of American history. I highly recommend it to all!
Yeesh. It must be hard to read a book when one's knee is jerking involuntarily.
One of the most critical (and currently highlighted) reader reviews takes issue with author O'Brien's research, citing the controversy of Thomas Jefferson siring children with his slave, Sally Hemmings. There is no controversy about this any longer; in 1998, geneticists proved a DNA link between Jefferson's and Hemmings' descendants.
While other male members of the Jefferson family might have accounted for this, an impressively extensive report done by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation found that "it is VERY UNLIKELY that Randolph Jefferson or any Jefferson other than Thomas Jefferson was the father of [Hemmings'] children." (Capitalization mine.)
Sorry to be so specific; in a more general vein, I found this book to be a perfect nighttime read, very funny, and a great refresher course on our presidents. Equal space is given to all, and as that allows obscure leaders like Franklin Pierce the spotlight, I was all for it.
I picked this book out on a whim to entertain myself on a long bus ride, and was so enthralled that I had it halfway finished the night before I left! I found it extremely enjoyable to read a political book about all 43 US Presidents without seeming biased for or against any of them. I tend to avoid political books for just that reason; I want to be able to form my own opinions based on non-judgemental facts.
The only opinion Cormac O'Brien forces on the reader is this: all of the men who have held the presidency are simply human.
We don't know, and we can't know, and that's one of the most interesting lessons of this book. Every President, from Washington to Dubya, was elected by the people in the hopes that he was the right man to lead the country. Every President was praised and damned. Every President was, before the election, sold as the one man who could save the nation from ruin and despair. If not all of those Presidents lived up to their hype, well, therein lies the lesson....
For people who like their history to be amusing and bite-sized, this is the book for you. It's a "gateway book" for Presidential history - you read this and then go on to read more serious treatments of the Presidents, hopefully becoming more appreciative of the vast spectrum of personalities that have guided our nation. And what an interesting group it's been.
There are, of course, the heavy-hitters that everyone knows.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not realize just how screwed up all our past presidents have been. This was a real eye opener. Read morePublished 6 days ago by F. J. Turner
Its an entertaining book but wasn't exactly what I was expecting.Published 7 days ago by Midwest Gal
Highly recommended. Fascinating facts that are sometimes humorous, surprising & humanizing of our Presidents.Published 10 days ago by Cathy B.
Anecdotal images of the private side of each President... stories range from humorous to sad to totally surprising... definitely an interesting read...Published 1 month ago by Jillek
This putrid read lost its way at about the war of 1812. What kind of "author" writes about the office of the presidency as if he was an MSNBC talking head? Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Gitt
There is a lot of interesting of trivia in this book however, the proofreading process (misspelled president names, word omissions, etc. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chris