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Citizen-in-Chief: The Second Lives of the American Presidents

3.12  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
“[A] remarkably revealing history.…This well-researched, opinionated account does a fine job of filling a surprisingly empty historical niche.”
Publishers Weekly

Citizen-in-Chief, The Second Lives of the American Presidents, is a smartly researched, surprising, often witty, and always revealing look at former presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush. Authors Leon
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Let me just start by saying that nonfiction is literature. It's not just some method of combining all your sources of information into a book. I understand that compiling information is difficult, and the method for confirming that they are indeed factual makes them all the more challenging, but it's still literature. I get a lot of people telling me that it takes less effort to write a nonfiction work, because you require less imagination, but that's nonsense. Writing nonfiction is just as diff ...more
May 30, 2009 Judy rated it liked it
This book was right up my alley. It examines the lives of the U.S. presidents after leaving office from John Tyler who served in the Confederate Congress to Jimmy Carter who won the Nobel Prize in 2002. Presidents didn't receive a pension until a bill creating a pension was passed by the Congress in 1958--largely as a result of President Truman being forced to live in his mother-in-law's house because of a lack of funds. Many early presidents--Madison, Monroe, and Jefferson come to mind--died ...more
Tom Darrow
I got this book out of a discount bin (which can be very hit and miss) but it ended up being more on the hit side for me. Each chapter is broken down on a certain topic, like running for other political offices, building their presidential libraries or starting charitable foundations. Some of the stories are very well known, like John Quincy Adams going back to congress or Jimmy Carter starting an organization. Some of the information is new to me, like Rutherford B. Hayes fighting for education ...more
Andy Miller
Nov 25, 2012 Andy Miller rated it liked it
This book is about the lives of Presidents after they have finished their terms. The book is divided into sections that focus on one specific issue, one is on the finances of their post Presidency lives which shows interesting contrast between struggles of early Presidents(Jefferson, Madison, Monroe) with the huge amounts of money now made. Another section focuses on political action, another on involvement on post presidency foreign policy etc..

Suprisingly, Rutherford Hayes seemed to have the m
Sep 02, 2011 Connie rated it really liked it
I like history, so I enjoyed this book. I learned some things (always a bonus :)-- I did not realize how many of the significant "Presidential Perks" were a relatively modern (post Truman) development. Reading about the post-Presidential lives of these individuals provided some new insight into them and I appreciated the look at how their political positions evolved after having held the office of President. Interesting characters for sure. If you like U.S. History, I think you will find this an ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Rachel rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up, non-fiction
I started reading this book expecting some dirt on the past presidents lives after they left office. No such luck. I read the first chapter and a half. What did I get? Info on how past presidents have made money and way more information than I've ever wanted to know about presidental libraries. I think this book might have been more interesting if the authors had picked some of the most interesting presidents and spent a chapter talking about what they did out of office instead of topical ...more
Aug 09, 2009 Dawn rated it liked it
Interesting book...stories about presidents after they left office. Main categories like how they earned a living, their presidential libraries, etc. I think I needed (at the front of the book) a visual, listing all the presidents names with the years they were in office. I know, I know, I'm a LIBRARIAN, I should be able to look this up, but it would have been nice to have it right in the book.
Mar 25, 2014 Clint rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hyper-partisan treatment of the lives of U.S. presidents after their terms. Slathers praise on Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and pours invective on almost all Republicans but most especially George W. Bush. Some interesting material but many incorrect assumptions and some things just outright wrong.
Feb 05, 2011 Miriam rated it liked it
This was more about the political lives of the past presidents, than a real biographical account. Interesting, but much of the information I already knew, but nice to have it put together in one place.
Sep 18, 2014 Matt rated it it was ok
The most left slanted book I've read in a long time. You would think it wouldn't be, given the title, but it was.
Mar 12, 2013 Bob rated it it was amazing
Very good overview of what various presidents have done after the Whitehouse. Great info for any history buff who wants to go beyond the normal topics of discussion.
James rated it liked it
Jan 08, 2013
Karen rated it it was ok
Oct 30, 2009
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Feb 02, 2010
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Dec 27, 2011
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May 19, 2010
Tracy rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2016
Tom Theriault
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Renee Harrison
Renee Harrison rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2011
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Feb 04, 2016
Mar 18, 2009 Leah rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Parts of this were really interesting, parts I had to skim over.
Kara Evans
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Jun 24, 2014
Richard rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2012
Exapno Mapcase
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Jun 06, 2012
Art rated it it was amazing
Apr 18, 2016
Erin rated it it was ok
Feb 03, 2011
Domenick Micali
Domenick Micali rated it liked it
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Jul 28, 2009
Dave rated it liked it
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Liz rated it it was ok
Jul 29, 2011
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