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on January 8, 2016
great book
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on December 27, 2012
Good Book. Information gets a little crowded near the end. Hurried. But all in all, a great gift for a father that likes presdient anything.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 3, 2012
`Presidential Retreats' has good and bad points. It is an interesting book, but also a disappointing one. It has a map of the US with the retreats marked, most of them being in the eastern half of the country. It covers the presidents from Washington to Obama and has a chapter on Camp David.
The huge disappointment is not in having photographs of most of the buildings. There are 8 pages of black and white photos included; but even then - one shows the bed Washington died in, one has a picture of the statue of Lincoln and his horse that stands in front of his cottage at the Old Soldiers' Home - it doesn't even show the cottage in the background , but the Soldiers' Home, another has Truman getting off of a ship he used to travel on, and another has Reagan signing a bill - not exactly illuminating when one would like to see what these retreats looked like.

The write up on each president really has more on their administration and politics than their retreat. Information on the retreats and address, phone numbers are given of those open to the public and an explanation of those that do not exist anymore. The latest presidents usually have information on their presidential libraries, rather than the retreats.

The text is interesting, but there should have been a focus on the retreats and what happened there, rather than the president's politics. Some retreats were even left out, for example Rapidan, the retreat used by Franklin Roosevelt and Hoover, located in Shenandoah National Park and is one that is open to the public. The subject of the book had great promise, but the result leaves much to be desired.
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on August 28, 2013
This is a book which is begging to be written but, regrettably, the author did not do so. I kept looking at the cover, wondering if I was missing something, as the title and cover of the book seem to have very little to do with the contents. The cover has small color pictures of fractions of 5 of the former Presidents' private homes but there are no interior pictures or captions to accompany these. In fact, the 8 pages of black and white pictures are, for the most part, not pictures of presidential retreats at all but include a picture of George Washington's bed, a statue of Lincoln, Truman disembarking from his yacht and Reagan signing a tax-cut bill. No pictures of Bush's house in Kennebunkport, the Kennedy's Hammersmith Farm or Hyannis Port or the LBJ Ranch in Texas. In fact, the book reads like a young adult-type summary of each presidency, each chapter being about 10 pages long. Only a page (and in many cases less) is devoted to any retreating. Big disappointment. I don't understand how this book got published.
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on December 5, 2012
If you want to waste your money this is the book to buy, there is little to nothing about Presidential Retreats, this book is nothing more than a rehash of other (better written) books giving you a 2 to 4 page summary of each President. The book might have been just boring and misleading, but when it gets to modern day Presidents it becomes a bad attempt to re-write history. It's clear the author is not able to keep his political views out of the summary's.
In Summary if you really want to read about Presidential Retreats, go find a book that actually covers that topic, this one doesn't.
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on November 27, 2014
Not a bad book, better if you approach it looking for something light. They make an effort to say something nice about each president. For example, they only mention Taft's weight in a negative fashion once. They work hard to mention his other accomplishments, such as being the only person to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This is also a great book to discuss the Tafts leveraging their time as Japanese diplomats in bringing the cherry trees to their ubiquitous presence in DC. However, the attribution of the Seventh Inning Stretch to the President is unfortunately more likely fancy than fact.
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on November 9, 2012
I thought this book would be interesting based on its title.

But what is really is is a list of all our presidents, some biographic information, some information on their term as president and then a little information on any retreat they went to. But I have to say, the amount of information on these presidential retreats was minimal. In fact, it is probably less then you would find on wikipedia.
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on March 14, 2013
This was a nice recap of the accomplishments, travel and various retreats of each President.

The best part was at the end of each Presidential chapter was the How, Where and When to visit each retreat, former home, museum or library.
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on November 10, 2012
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

Call me a dork - but every once in a while I love to read a little non fiction about presidents and history. Maybe it is because I live right next door to Washington, D.C. Or maybe because I like to think that the President and his family are regular people and have a story beyond the White House. This book fulfilled all my nerdy needs and at just the right time - middle of a crazy election season!
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