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Dear Mr. President: Letters to the Oval Office from the Files of the National Archives

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  78 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
"The letters provide a nostalgic timeline of American history told through the words and feelings of Americans, from regular folks to kings." —Star Gazette, Elmira, NY, Dec. '05

"There are more than 80 letters, reflecting both our history and our very American sense that when we speak, our president should listen." —The Arizona Republic, Dec. '05

Drawn from the extensive h
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 16th 2007 by National Geographic (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 143)
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Philip
Jun 22, 2014 Philip rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The President's Address:

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Anybody can write the guy. (Or, if this is being read sometime after our current president, the girl.) Go ahead. Grab a pen and tell him how you think he's doing. It will only take a minute, and what... a $.49 stamp? Ask him a question. Give him a suggestion. Ask him if you could be a "Federal Agent at large" in the war against drugs:

Elvis Asked Nixon to be a Federal Agent

...Elvis did... His handwriting. Oh, man... his handwriting. And the fact it's written on Ame
...more
Jan
Aug 27, 2009 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
My standard operating procedure when perusing a book that I might possibly purchase or borrow from the library is to read the first few lines on the first page. If I'm hooked by those sentences, then the book goes home with me.

Of course, exceptions must be made, as in the case of this book, which is an anthology of letters written to U.S. Presidents over the years, from George Washington to Bill Clinton. As I flipped through the book to find something that captured me, I saw a letter from Annie
...more
Diana
Jan 10, 2010 Diana rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I confess: I really like reading other people's mail. In my defense, I only do it when it's been published. I love collections of letters, and I love epistolary novels. This was a wonderful mix of light and somber.
Laren
Nov 20, 2008 Laren rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book takes a sampling of letters written to US Presidents over the years and provides historical perspective of what was going on in the world at the time so you don't need to be a history expert to appreciate them. The letters are actually photocopied in their original form, although there are typed "translations" too in case you can't read the handwriting. The range of subjects covered is sweeping, and the letter writers are young and old, men and women, famous people and unknown citizens ...more
David Bales
Nov 27, 2009 David Bales rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and illuminating book of letters from people to various presidents, from George Washington to Bill Clinton, from the National Archives. It includes a letter from the King of Siam to Abraham Lincoln in 1861, where he graciously offers to set up an elephant habitat in the United States, (Lincoln politely demurs) as well as letters from children, celebrities and other foreign heads of state. Some are kind of silly, (a Texas dog association writes to President Johnson to complain about L ...more
Lucy
Wow. Talk about an interesting collection--strange sort of combination of self-deprecating patriotism and murky transparency. I mean, these letters really were sent to the presidents, but how representative are they? Look, the National Archives are showing you what they have in their collection!...except that transparency in our government is at an all-time low. Look, we're proclaiming to the world some of the awful trials and dirty scandals this country has gone through!...but we've also surmou ...more
Knitcookwrite
Feb 03, 2015 Knitcookwrite rated it it was amazing
A beautiful collection of letters throughout the course of the presidency. It includes hand written letters, some barely legible; typed notes; letters from famous people; and includes an email from outer space. Some are admiring, some critical, some hateful, but all passionate.
Cindy
Aug 10, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I admit I skimmed and skipped around but this is the kind of book I'd look for and buy at a used book sale. Some letters were amusing, some very historically significant, and some emotionally stirring. My favorites were: a letter from Herbert Hoover thanking Truman for letting him serve the gov't again, the stepbrother looking for his relative who went on a mercy mission for Jews in Hungary, the Sec of the Interior denouncing Japanese-American internment but the one that made me tear up was from ...more
N
Dec 07, 2014 N rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting look at a lot of important moments in history.
Marguerite
Oct 19, 2015 Marguerite rated it really liked it
Received as a gift and it was great. I have a bundle of letters where my grandmother wrote President Franklin Roosevelt to try to receive a Civil War Pension for her mother. She received that $8 pension until 1947.
Pete Iseppi
Aug 22, 2015 Pete Iseppi rated it liked it
This was a fun book to read. I contained several letters to the Presidents over the years from the famous to the common man. The topics ranged from serious to whimsical. Worth a look if you like this sort of thing.
Becky
Apr 11, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A collection of letters that have been sent over the years to the President of the United States. Some are hilarious, from children, others are heart breaking. Its covers the range of human emotion, of time, and place in society. I think such collections are important. This collection shows what real, normal (and by that I mean non-politicians) were thinking, and sometimes even when they disagreed with each other.
Juliette
Jul 17, 2008 Juliette rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who loves US history
This is a cool collection of letters sent to the White House over several decades. The letters are scanned and reproduced in their original glory. Some of the letters are funny, some are disturbing, and others are just interesting. The letter from Elvis is especially cool, as are letters in support of WPA programs. Visually stimulating and interesting.
Stephen
Jan 21, 2011 Stephen rated it really liked it
A truly great collection- representative of the issues of the times surrounding the correspondences. the author provides sufficient backstory and follow-up. Each page in intriguing and concise. Well done.
Julie
Sep 23, 2007 Julie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Very interesting letters to various presidents in history, with orginal copys and explinations behind who wrote the letter and why. A good conversational book.
Rachel
Oct 28, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This was special. The selection of letters was fascinating, and the author(s) did a wonderful job providing context. I learned quite a lot!
The Cat  In The Hat
Interesting perspective from a historical context. I love evaluating the changes in morales and social attitudes over the years....
Penny Klabunde
Aug 03, 2011 Penny Klabunde rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny. Thanks, Becky, for sharing this with me after we visited the Archives together!
Amber
Jan 21, 2012 Amber rated it it was ok
An interresting book. and a some what fast read. My faviote ones were from the kids.
Tommy
Apr 06, 2008 Tommy rated it really liked it
Very interesting series of letters gives a peek inside the Oval Office.....
Heather
Mar 26, 2012 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
A nice souvenir from the JFK Library.
Leanna Makortoff
Leanna Makortoff marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2015
Nick Wilson
Nick Wilson rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2015
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Chris Lazaroff
Chris Lazaroff marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2015
Brian
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Thorne Stendert
Thorne Stendert marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2015
Kimberly
Kimberly rated it liked it
Jun 19, 2015
Ben Snyder
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Jun 04, 2015
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