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The Warm Bucket Brigade: The Story of the American Vice Presidency Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 11, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The title derives from the famous characterization of the office by John Nance Gardner, one of Franklin Roosevelt's Vice Presidents, who had left a powerful position in the House of Representatives. Consulted by Lyndon Baines Johnson about the wisdom of taking the VP nomination offered by John F. Kennedy, Garner advised the then powerful Senator Johnson that the post wasn't worth a bucket of warm (bodily liquid excretion that is most certainly not spit).
Lott enlivens what would otherwise be a deadly dull excursion into the expired lives of some very dead and largely forgotten men (all VPs have been men to date) by bringing what can be described as a snarky sense of humor to the job. It is, frankly, a welcome attribute and enlivens the book although sometimes Lott does stretch things.
Lott moves straight into the enigma of the Constitutionally created elective office of Vice President of the United States. It is the only elective office that renders its occupant a member of the executive and legislative branches. However, the Constitution fails to enumerate much in the way of power or responsibility to the VP.Read more ›
Growing up in perhaps the most vice presidential town in America (the "highway of vice presidents" rolls right through town) helped spark my interest in politics through two large political rallies I was able to attend. The first, referred to in Lott's book as the "famous Battle of Huntington", was considered a turning point in the Bush-Quayle 1988 presidential campaign. The second was the kickoff to Quayle's doomed presidential campaign, which took place at my high school a few months before my graduation. Our band provided the music; I was fascinated by the entire political process, as I looked forward to voting in my first presidential election.
So when I saw this book about the vice presidency -- which, judging by its cover, wouldn't take itself too seriously -- my interest was piqued. When I opened it and saw that the entire first chapter was about the V.P. museum in my hometown, I knew I needed to buy it!
I'm glad I did. Far from a dry history of an office few people care about (including those who have held it), the book is exactly what it says it is. It's a story, and Lott tells it well.Read more ›
In The Warm Bucket Brigade, we read some of the most exciting stories of some of the men to occupy the office. The careers are given out in detail about how some of these guys who were sometimes popular political figures essentially found themselves in a powerless office, which led to John Nance Garner's famous quote that gave the title of the book.
Lott's writing style is very good. He manages to find a perfect cross between good humor and at the same time being very informative.
But my main beef with the book is that it only covers some of the vice presidents. For example, out of the first ten Veeps covered in detail in the book, eight of them would go on to be president (the only exception being Aaron Burr and his famous duel with Alexander Hamilton and Garret Hobart). This begs the question, if I wanted to read about President Van Buren or President Coolidge, why not just buy a book about the presidents as opposed to the vice presidents? It becomes more unfortunate when these men are profiled and their sections mainly cover their presidencies anyway. Too many good stories are left out. What about William King, the only vice president to be sworn-in on foreign soil and then died a short time later?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Book on the changing job and role and respect for the Vice presidency
thanks to Johnson Humphrey Mondale Gore
I am a retired Social Studies teacher, who has the opportunity to teach extension courses at a leading university. Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Mega Mom
An excellent review of the many vice presidents who have become president, or played a significant role in our history. Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by John E. Mercurio
Sometimes history can become ponderous. This book allows an entry into history with some humor, but with facts to be learned.Published on January 11, 2013 by Mayo Quin
Mr. Lott wrote this book in a very accesible vernacular style that I found to be a pleasant break from the very scholarly presidential biographes that I have been reading. Read morePublished on November 23, 2012 by D. Mabry
I never really thought too much about the office of the vice president until this past election. Both vice-president candidates were so colorful, it was hard to ignore them. Read morePublished on April 4, 2010 by Jeanne Hoffman