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Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote
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Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents and the Books They Wrote

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Based on a decade of research and reporting, Author in Chief tells the story of America’s presidents as authors—and offers a delightful new window into the public and private lives of our highest leaders.

Most Americans are familiar with Abraham Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet few can name the work that helped him win
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Hardcover, 448 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Avid Reader Press / Simon Schuster
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Craig Fehrman Great question! My book has thirteen chapters. Here are the presidents who star in those chapters:

1) Jefferson
2) Adams
3) Washington, plus Jefferson /…more
Great question! My book has thirteen chapters. Here are the presidents who star in those chapters:

1) Jefferson
2) Adams
3) Washington, plus Jefferson / Madison / Monroe
4) Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams
5) Lincoln
6) Grant
7) Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt
8) Coolidge
9) Theodore Roosevelt / Coolidge / FDR
10) Truman
11) JFK
12) Reagan
13) Obama

There is a paragraph or two on a number of other presidents (Carter as the first to write on a personal computer, say, or Trump doing book signings at Waldenbooks). But this list shows the presidents who get extended treatment. (less)

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Jeffrey Keeten
”’A good citizen is a good reader.’ The reverse is also true, with the most bookish Americans being 31 percent more likely to vote than their peers. In other words, a good reader is also a good citizen.”

When I saw the premise of this book, I knew that it was in my wheelhouse. I love biographies of presidents and have read several of their autobiographies as well. I usually prefer the biographies because in many cases the autobiographies are politically motivated and conceived as vehicles to
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Megan (readingretriever)
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-arcs, 2020-reads
Author in Chief Rating: 5/5
I'm going to be honest - I did not expect a book about presidents and their books to be so damn fascinating!

Author in Chief tells the story of the American presidents as readers and authors. It was fascinating to see how books shaped the presidents as children and how a love for the written word carried over into adulthood and ultimately into their presidency. From Washington to Trump, Author in Chief dives into what motivated each president to write a book and whether
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Bonnie
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I generally find reading history books dry or slow reading, but I found this book to be a fascinating read about the presidents and the books they have written. It really opened the window for this reader into the lives of our country's leaders. Excellent book for history lovers and book lovers, too.
Julie
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It was nice to get the flavor and explore the common themes of all the books without having to read them all. I did not realize there were so many. There will be several I WILL be reading thanks to this taste! Well researched this book looks at our presidents, their writings and the impact of those on both future presidents and society.
Andrew MacDonald
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and found it an insightful primer for understanding not only the literary works of past presidents, but also something about the American psyche. It would be tough to pick a favorite president chapter, since Fehrman was basically my introduction to all of them, ignorant Canadian that I am, but I will say that the book is anything but dry.

AUTHOR IN CHIEF has all the things I want in non-fiction: airtight, compelling research combined with beautiful writing and A++++ story
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Craig
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advance reader copy of this book.

As a fan of history, this title sounded interesting but I frankly expected it to be a little academic and dry. However, the author did an excellent job of not only illuminating a subject I had never thought much about before, he made it interesting and insightful, with lots of interesting details about how the personal and political lives of these men have been intertwined in the books they wrote. The only small quibble was that the stories relating
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Ann
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book. I like history, but wasn't sure that this title would hold my interest. I was wrong. The author did an excellent job of bringing the presidents to life through interesting facts and stories about each. It was a great introduction to their works, without having to read all of them! I learned a lot.
Robin
Jan 28, 2020 added it
Goodreads lost me at "to ones we know and love—Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, which was very nearly never published—." Keep the politics out of your reviews please, but too late: I'm unsubscribing to goodreads!
Jenn
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-won
I won a copy of this book.

I liked that this book was focused on the books our president's wrote. It saves me time from having to read the dull and boring ones and gets me excited to read the good ones. Easy to read and really interesting.
Csimplot Simplot
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book!!!
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Craig Fehrman is a journalist and historian who has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. He lives in Indiana with his wife and children. Author in Chief is his first book.