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How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country Paperback – March 18, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 208 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DANIEL O’BRIEN is the head writer and creative director of video for Cracked.com, the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News, and senior writer on The De-Textbook.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038534757X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385347570
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joseph J. Truncale TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I do not like or trust most politicians ( I think at least 99.9 % of them are corrupt and/or dishonest, and most are actually dictators in disguise), but the title of this book really sparked my curiosity. Finally, a book about politicians (How to Fight Presidents: Defending yourself against the bad##### who ran this country by Daniel O'Brien). (If you wonder why I did not spell out the word in the title- it is because the Amazon censors would not publish my review with colorful earthy words, believe me I know). In any case, this book pulls no punches as it provides an unusual brief historical evaluation of 38 of our former presidents. This book is fantastic on many levels. First off, the writer has an incredible sense of humor and wit as he describes each president's ability to kick their enemy's butts both physically and intellectually.

The introduction: "You'd have to be crazy to want this job" emphasizes the type of person who would be nuts enough to want to be President of the United States. He moves on to one of the toughest presidents both physically and intellectually. Out first president, George Washington was tough on the battle field and as president. Some of the many other American Presidents he covers include: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan. The author has really researched these presidents and provides a lot of information which many people may not know about some of these politicians. This book is informative, irreverent, unique and even hilarious at times.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thought, when I saw this book's description, that it sounded a lot like Cracked.com, a website my son turned me on to. There's a good reason for that: the author is one of the website's editors.

Cracked.com specializes in fact-based (albeit the facts heavily stretched) articles about things retold as one teenage kid might tell it to another. And that's what this book is. If you're a teenage kid, and you're talking about the presidents, it's not at all unlikely that you are concerned with this question: Who, among them, was the biggest bad-ass?

The author, and my son, think Teddy Roosevelt was, and his chapter in this book makes a decent case why. This is a guy who punched out a cowboy pointing two guns at him; a guy who proceeded to give a 90 minute speech after an assassin put a bullet in his chest but failed to kill him.

The book is a fun read in the way a Ripley's Believe It or Not book is, or was. Things are joyously hyped, tons of stuff is left out, it's not authoritative or balanced or serious nor does it pretend to be, but there is enough of a core of truth to make it a not horrible way to get the teenager in your life to read some history.

It's fairly risque. The author is fascinated by LBJ's unique habits of showing people the body part he called "Jumbo"; going to the toilet in front of them to emphasize their subordination to him; and once urinating on the leg of a Secret Service agent who got in his way.

Kennedy's sex life gets a good workout, of course - as does his PT-109 exploit, in which he towed an injured shipmate miles through the sea by a strap held in his teeth.

Washington leaves the author in awe: he plunged into battle often, getting bullet holes in his clothing while convinced nothing could kill him.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Neither have I, which makes this biography of the men who have occupied the U.S. Executive Branch so interesting. With this history book you are not going to hear "Hail To The Chief" played as the majesty of the office is enumerated unless of course you are hearing it after Zachary Taylor or John Quincy Adams have beaten you so hard the little birds are tweeting it.

Of course there are the Iron Men like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, George Washington, Ronald Reagan and Andrew Jackson, but there are also some lesser known beasts like Herbert Hoover, Lyndon Johnson and James Madison. Just so you don't think every president is going to veto your skull, there are even a few who you might be able to take in a fair fight (not that you will get one with some of these villainous pantywaists).

Every president is covered in a short 4-5 page essay with one full page WWE style illustration and a smaller one later in the essay. Only dead presidents are covered in the book. You will have to draw your own conclusions about the last five if you ever have to get in the ring with one of them. For all the silliness involved, there is actually quite a bit of good information and quality research that went into each of the essays. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never pursued any study of some of the lesser known presidents so the sum total of my knowledge of guys like Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and John Tyler come from this book. I actually found the bios of these guys (amazingly 30% to 50% of the book) to be the most interesting and fun to read.

The only drawback with the book is some of the language, largely mild, and the generous descriptions of bodily functions makes the book somewhat young reader unfriendly.
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