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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > GETTING ACQUAINTED

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 08, 2010 09:02AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments The Presidential Series will be a folder which will be dedicated to the American Presidency. It will focus on all of the Presidents: the Presidents after the Constitution was ratified starting with George Washington as well as those forgotten Presidents who served loyally and who persevered in some very dubious times when the fledgling union was just taking shape and who served as President of the First and Second Continental Congresses (there were sixteen men who served and are largely forgotten). We can also discuss them, their works and any works about them as well.

We can set up sections about all of the Presidents and we can nominate books that we can read as an ancillary discussion in this group. We anticipate that most of the books in this section are lengthy but we should strive to read them in two months (bimonthly).

We would also hope that we might be able to elicit some input as to some of the books that you might want to place on the Presidential Series Reading List and I will set up a shelf for the Presidential Reads as you make these suggestions.

It would be nice to have someone who is a Presidential enthusiast volunteer to moderate this section or even a small group of folks to keep this segment bustling along. This section will be in addition to our spotlighted reads; but the spotlighted reads will still remain as they are with a more leisurely reading pace.

We look forward to your input. Since we are just kicking this off and in the spirit of getting this started; we will start with a book that the moderators have begun reading: American Lion Andrew Jackson in the White House.

American Lion  Andrew Jackson in the White House

Jon Meacham

The American Lion will be the read during the months of August and September until we receive suggestions from others as to what other Presidential selections the group is interested in. We are also by the way beginning an FDR book mid October but that is a spotlighted selection (voted for completely by the group membership) and this selection will have a very leisurely syllabus. The book here will move along at a much faster clip and will be either monthly (if they are brief) or bimonthly (if they are not): just two flavors (smile).

Let us know what you think about this new addition to the book club and let Bentley know how you might want to assist. Any assistance is of course appreciated and most welcome.

Bentley


TO SEE ALL THREADS IN THIS FOLDER MAKE SURE TO SELECT VIEW ALL


Joe (Blues) | 472 comments First off, Bentley, I want to say thank-you for setting up this section. I don't think I have the time to moderate this topic, but will find time to devote to lively discussion.

I do own a copy of American Lion, and do intend on reading it in the near future, but during my first attempt at it, I was a bit disappointed by it's style and had to move onto something else. Maybe it was my frame of mind at the time, but I will have to give it another try.

A few years back, I did finish Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands, first becoming acquainted with Jackson. He is a fascinating study, especially the examination of his destructive actions against the national bank during his Presidency. In that light, "American Lion" seems like a wonderful choice.

I would like to recommend that since this year is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and there is an enormous amount of material coming out about him because of that, we start one of his biography's next, or before the end of the year. How about possibly A. Lincoln A Biography by Ronald White, Jr or Lincoln by David Herbert Donald or Lincoln A Life of Purpose and Power by Richard Carwardine?


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 08, 2010 09:11AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments You are welcome Joe. If you do not have time to moderate the topic; do you think you would like to moderate the Lincoln book; it would just be a two month commitment.

I think I select Lincoln by David Herbert Donald. If you would like to take it on since I already have FDR and the Federalist Papers to start in October; then I say we could do it in October and November. This would only be a two month commitment. However, if you can't then I think the earliest that I could start this would be November (finishing it up at the end of the year) - a November and December read.

I just listened to a Pritzker Military Library video presentation with HW Brands; he was quite good discussing FDR and his book Traitor to his Class. He is quite an energetic speaker. Actually that book sounded interesting after listening to him. American Lion seemed to be on the talk shows and seemed to be current so it is a good choice I think to start the ball rolling. It is current, media saavy and about a fascinating study (Jackson).

Jackson did not like the national bank concept because of where the power base was; he would like the banking industry even less today and he would absolutely abhor Wall Street. I doubt he would care much for the Federal Reserve either.

This is what he wrote in 1832:

http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/wri...

LincolnDavid Herbert Donald


Sarah | 67 comments Some presidential books on my "to read" list are John Adams and Truman by David McCullough and The Path to Power by Robert Caro. Of course, that one is the first in a series on Lyndon Johnson but we would only have to commit to the first book.

Sarah


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments I have personally already read John Adams and can attest that it is a great book; also read Truman years ago (love McCullough). I have not read The Path to Power by Robert Caro.

All good suggestions which I will of course add to the list.

Lyndon Johnson would be an interesting study as well (taking over for Kennedy, Vietnam, his personality and the like).


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 08, 2010 09:17AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments In terms of adding a thread for each president, we will of course do that as we go along. However, I want to first be sure that we are doing the following:

a) Doing a good job with The American Lion
b) Setting up threads for Jackson (done), FDR (done), John Quincy Adams (because of his interactions with Jackson) - done, and set up the Lincoln thread (for the next Presidential read) - done.
c) Start to develop a reading list for all of the Presidents. (in progress)
e) Set up a syllabus and gain input from others about potential books about the presidents to read (in progress)
f) Also, this book club is devoted to history and non fiction bools about the entire world of events and people and from all eras and genres (not simply about the US); although we love to learn about the US too.

American Lion  Andrew Jackson in the White HouseJon Meacham


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 26, 2009 11:31AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Here is a wonderful site which has a nice visual tour of the White House.

http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha...

AND

Where History Lives - Videos regarding the White House

http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha...


Source: The White House Historical Society

WHITE HOUSE FACTS (TWHHS)

http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha...




message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 08, 2010 09:28AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments I was wondering about reading something on James Polk (a president that historians rank as great) who actually kept his promise about only serving one term and did and actually accomplished a lot. So often we focus on the well known presidents and ignore the rest. Any other suggestions of presidents we could get to know? And any other suggestions concerning books about them?

James K. Polk  1845 - 1849  The American Presidents SeriesJohn Seigenthaler

[image error]Robert W. Merry

The Presidency of James K. Polk (American Presidency Series)Paul H. Bergeron

James K. Polk and the Expansionist ImpulseSam W. Haynes

James K. Polk  A Political Biography (1922)Eugene Irving McCormac

James K. Polk  A Clear and Unquestionable Destiny (Biographies in American Foreign Policy)Thomas M. Leonard

Slavemaster President  The Double Career of James PolkWilliam Dusinberre

James K. PolkJohn Seigenthaler

James K. Polk  Eleventh President 1845-1849 (Getting to Know the Us Presidents)Mike Venezia

James K. Polk (Encyclopedia of Presidents)Dee Lillegard

James K. Polk (Presidential Leaders)Alison Davis Tibbitts

James K. Polk (Presidential Leaders)Carol H. Behrman

James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse (2nd Edition)Sam W. Haynes

Presidents Who Dared  James K. Polk, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore RooseveltEdmund Lindop

James K. Polk (Profiles of the Presidents (Compass Point Press))Barbara A. Somervill

James Knox Polk And A History Of His Administration  Embracing The Annexation Of Texas, The Difficulties With Mexico, The Settlement Of The Oregon Question And Other Important EventsJohn S. Jenkins

President James K. Polk  The Dark Horse President (First Men, America's Presidents)Louise A. Mayo

James K. Polk  America's 11th President (Encyclopedia of Presidents. Second Series)Sean McCollum

The Diary of James K. PolkJames K. Polk

Polk  The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and AmericaWalter R. Borneman


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Here is the list of the US Presidents after the ratification of the Constitution:

OUR PRESIDENTS

1. George Washington

2. John Adams

3. Thomas Jefferson

4. James Madison

5. James Monroe

6. John Quincy Adams

7. Andrew Jackson

8. Martin Van Buren

9. William Henry Harrison

10. John Tyler

11. James K. Polk

12. Zachary Taylor

13. Millard Fillmore

14. Franklin Pierce

15. James Buchanan

16. Abraham Lincoln

17. Andrew Johnson

18. Ulysses S. Grant

19. Rutherford B. Hayes

20. James Garfield

21. Chester A. Arthur

22. Grover Cleveland

23. Benjamin Harrison

24. Grover Cleveland

25. William McKinley

26. Theodore Roosevelt

27. William Howard Taft

28. Woodrow Wilson

29. Warren G. Harding

30. Calvin Coolidge

31. Herbert Hoover

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt

33. Harry S. Truman

34. Dwight D. Eisenhower

35. John F. Kennedy

36. Lyndon B. Johnson

37. Richard M. Nixon

38. Gerald R. Ford

39. James Carter

40. Ronald Reagan

41. George H. W. Bush

42. William J. Clinton

43. George W. Bush

44. Barack Obama




message 10: by Joe (last edited Sep 06, 2009 07:40AM) (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments Bentley wrote: "I was wondering about reading something on James Polk (a president that historians rank as great) who actually kept his promise about only serving one term and did and actually accomplished a lot. ..."

I read Polk The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter R. Borneman early last year and found it rewarding. It was very good.

Bentley wrote: "You are welcome Joe. If you do not have time to moderate the topic; do you think you would like to moderate the Lincoln book; it would just be a two month commitment...."

Bentley, you are indeed doing a suburb job with this discussion board, and I thank you for it. I can't imagine doing half as good a job, even with subjects that I am more intimate with. Maybe sometime in the near future I will take you up on your offer, but as of right now, I would like to concentrate on studying our history, and it's lively debate. And reading the Federalist Papers does sound appealing. I think I would like to join in that discussion, and go from there.


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 08, 2010 09:31AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Thank you for your recommendation related to the book about James Polk. He happened to interest me too; he was a great administrator (maybe a little too hands on for some); he stuck to his agenda and accomplished it and was not interested in perpetuating his power though another term. He seemed to keep his promises and expanded the country beyond its wildest expectations. What a successful ticket in many ways yet he is not as well known as many other presidents.

Thx for your kind words. Joe, you are always welcome to host and moderate one book or ten or something in between; happy to have the help and I think it is very good for the group to have everyone pitch in and try their hand at least for one book. So you will indeed be welcome at any future time.

Happy to have you for the Federalist Papers; it will be a leisurely read and discussion and all of the papers are available on line.

All best,

Bentley

The Federalist Papers (Signet Classics) Alexander Hamilton James Madison John Jay


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 11, 2009 04:51PM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments There is a web site called the following: American Presidents

http://www.american-presidents.org/

The above is a blog like web site - interesting.

Then there is C-Span:

You can find wonderful videos on all of the presidents:

http://www.americanpresidents.org/

I was watching a wonderful presentation set at Mount Vernon - George Washington's home. Very interesting.

http://www.americanpresidents.org/pre...

On the right nav, you can actually watch the archive video. I just finished the video below; it is the first one on the right nav. Worth watching.

Watch American Presidents Programs from
C-SPAN's Archives
• From George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Guests: Richard Norton Smith, Mt. Vernon Resident Director James Rees and others

I have tried to add the link:

http://strongmail.real.com:80/track?t...


Patriarch  George Washington and the New American Nation


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments The White House Historical Association Video Collection:

http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha...


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Some C-Span Oral Histories:

http://www.c-span.org/apa/preslib1.asp


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments THE INAUGURAL ADDRESSES OF THE PRESIDENTS:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_me...


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2009 02:30AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments GREAT INFORMATION RESOURCE FOR ALL DATA ABOUT THE PRESIDENTS AS WELL AS THEIR RANKINGS:

http://www.presidentsusa.net/


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 04, 2009 03:46AM) (new)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) Sarah wrote: "Some presidential books on my "to read" list are John Adams and Truman by David McCullough and The Path to Power by Robert Caro. Of course, that one is the first in a series on Lyndon Johnson but ..."

I've liked all of the McCullough presidential biographies I've read - John Adams, Truman, and the first McCullough I ever read, Mornings on Horseback The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life & the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt.


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Great recommendations Susanna.


Sera | 128 comments I'm also a fan of H.W. Brands. I've read T.R The Last Romantic and The First American The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, both of which were super long, but excellent. He has also written:

Andrew Jackson His Life and Times

Traitor to His Class The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt - this is his latest book

Woodrow Wilson

and many others.

Has anyone else read any HW Brands' books?



message 21: by Joe (last edited Oct 30, 2009 09:55AM) (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments Sera wrote: "...Has anyone else read any HW Brands' books? "

I have read his Andrew Jackson His Life and Times which was very good. The First American was excellent, and I have been meaning to read T.R The Last Romantic and Traitor to his Class.


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Thanks for the recommendations, Sera. Another good author to add to my list...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) I have Traitor to his Class, but haven't gotten to it yet.


Don (DonaldLee) | 36 comments Sera,

I've read bios on TR, Ben Franklin and Andrew Jackson but by different authors. Thanks for mentioning this author and his books.


message 25: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 08, 2010 09:00AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Folks, one of our requirements is that the book cover and the author's photo or link be posted. The reason for this is that goodreads helps populate these fields throughout the group web site making it easier for you and I to cross reference information about the book, the authors and be able to easily find where else within the History Book Club site, these books have been discussed or are being spotlighted right now.


message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments John Adams Truman

Both by:

David McCulloughDavid McCullough

Message 4


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 1)

Robert A. Caro

Message 4


message 29: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Added book and author mentioned by Joe in message 10 to list on Polk in message 8


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Mornings on Horseback  The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life & the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt David McCullough

Truman/Mornings on Horseback/Brave Companions/The Morning After David McCullough

Message 18 - also added a similar title but on Truman by McCullough


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments T.R  The Last Romantic The First American  The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin Andrew Jackson  His Life and Times Traitor to His Class  The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Woodrow Wilson H.W. Brands by author H.W. Brands

This is the way it should look.

Message 20


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Hello Everyone:

Announcement!

PRESIDENTIAL SERIES

We are happy to announce the addition of another new Assisting Moderator. Bryan Craig will be working with Joe to make The History Book Club's Presidential Series discussions among the best that you will find here on the web. Bryan has a deep background in presidential history so he will be a valued member of the team. Our next presidential read will be about Theodore Roosevelt (beginning June 1st and continuing through the end of August). We have not set up the poll on prospective book choices; but we will be doing that soon. Bryan will be the Assisting Moderator leading that discussion. Come October when the subsequent Presidential Series selection will kickoff, the group will find Joe back in the Assisting Moderator saddle. This will allow both Assisting Moderators to back each other up and still maintain active discussion offerings. I know that Bryan (just as Joe has done) will bring a lot of expertise and enthusiasm to the group. Welcome Bryan to the team!


message 33: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 9888 comments Thanks for those very kind words, Bentley. Glad to be part of the team!


message 34: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments We are glad to have you Bryan.


Stacie | 4 comments Hi there, I'm new to the group. If I have a recommendation should I post in the individual POTUS folder or on this thread?

Looking forward to following the discussions in this group!


message 36: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Hello Stacie,

We have set up a separate thread per president; so select view all and you will see all of the threads set up (one for each president). Find the president's thread which the book is about and place your selection on that president's thread.

Make sure to include the book cover always (very few times are these not available); the author's photo when available and always the author's link.

Let me give you an example of one citation that follows our rule.

American Sphinx  The Character of Thomas Jefferson Joseph J. EllisJoseph J. Ellis

We also look forward to hearing from you too.

Bentley


Stanley's Mom Can anyone recommend a biography of Lincoln that doesn't gloss over his negatives, especially his rationale for suspending habeas corpus (and the individuals who suffered as a result)?


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jul 17, 2010 09:49AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Stanley's Mom,

There is a link that gives a list of some books on Lincoln which others have read. Here is a link to the thread.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

We also read A. Lincoln awhile ago for a group discussion and that was an interesting presidential series discussion. Here is the link to that discussion:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show_b...

A. Lincoln  A BiographyRonald C. White Jr.


message 39: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 9888 comments I wanted to share a book resource to everyone.

American Political Biography Press buys up out of print biographies on the presidents and re-packages them to sell. For the most part they are very good selections, some still the standard biography on a president. Here is the link:

http://www.apbpress.com/


message 40: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Thank you Bryan


Alisa (MsTaz) | 5288 comments A couple of offerings about the children of US Presidents. Saw one of these mentioned today in light of Chelsea Clinton's wedding. Both look intriguing, and a topic I find curious at least.
All the Presidents' Children  Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First FamiliesbyDoug Wead
First Kids  The True Stories of All the Presidents' ChildrenbyNoah McCullough


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments What an interesting thought to read about the children of the presidents. In a way, that is getting to know the presidents on a more personal level.


message 43: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 9888 comments Interesting. We got a package for the newlyweds at our work, which we returned to sender. We always get some weird packages at work. Thankfully, nothing dangerous, some hate mail.


message 44: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Sep 10, 2010 11:43AM) (new)

Bryan Craig | 9888 comments Here is a wonderful website, a presidential timeline that uses primary documents. You could spend hours on here:

http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/i...
(It covers Hoover on.)


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Sep 10, 2010 11:50AM) (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments I LOVE this. Thanks.

What was message 43 about. Why would anybody send hate mail to your work. There are some real nutters out there for sure. Did you see the latest video of this fringe pastor I think in Florida who was captured on video at his desk with his pistol on his desk (right beside him)..Scarrrrrry. He is the one who thinks it is a good idea to burn the Koran. These are the people who should be rounded up and expelled from the country.


message 46: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 9888 comments Bentley wrote: "I LOVE this. Thanks.

What was message 43 about. Why would anybody send hate mail to your work. There are some real nutters out there for sure. Did you see the latest video of this fringe pasto..."


Because we do the oral histories of high profile people like Edward Kennedy, Clinton, and George W. Bush, we are a lighting rod for folks. Thankfully, we don't get a lot of it, but once and awhile, a letter or package comes our way...


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments I still have no idea why. Such a shame really. What do these letters say. Stop doing the oral histories or else.

You can certainly see why the Secret Service is so invaluable to our Presidents these days and former presidents still need their services as in the case of Clinton and George W.


message 48: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 9888 comments Bentley wrote: "I still have no idea why. Such a shame really. What do these letters say. Stop doing the oral histories or else.

You can certainly see why the Secret Service is so invaluable to our Presidents..."


Amen. I don't see the letters or packages myself. If they come my way, I take it to my boss. (Poor guy.)


message 49: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22974 comments Yes, poor guy. I think if you are suspicious of something..maybe these packages should not be handled. Who knows - there have been some strange packages sent to Brokaw and the media awhile back and some folks at the stations contracted anthrax. These mailings are not to be taken lightly for sure. Be careful. You know I wonder what actions are considered treasonous any more.


message 50: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 9888 comments Bentley wrote: "Yes, poor guy. I think if you are suspicious of something..maybe these packages should not be handled. Who knows - there have been some strange packages sent to Brokaw and the media awhile back a..."

So true, I refused to touch one package and we got security over here...


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