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Hail to the Chiefs: Presidential Mischief, Morals, and Malarkey from George W. to George W.

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A compendium of the highlights and lowlights from the careers of our 43 Chief Executives--from George Washington to George Bush Junior--told with wit and accuracy, clearly demonstrating that Presidents are people too. Under the mutton-chop whiskers, behind the bulging waistcoats, Presidents were actually human. Sometimes all too human. For those of us who confuse President ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 28th 2003 by Permanent Press (NY) (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  110 ratings  ·  15 reviews


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Start your review of Hail to the Chiefs: Presidential Mischief, Morals, and Malarkey from George W. to George W.
Chris
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, humor, politics
I'm not going to spend too much time on this review, since I just did another Presidential history book back in November - Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents . What was true for that book is just as true for this one: we've had 43 incredibly interesting and varied men in the White House in our 221 years as a nation. We've had men of passion and energy, men who were weak-willed and lazy, men who preferred golf to governance and men who worked themselves to death. Good men, bad men, tall men, ...more
Jason
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fun History Buffs
Recommended to Jason by: Used it for a class
Shelves: 2020, history, humor, screwl
4.5 stars rounded down to four.

This book was a load of fun. I first read it for a communications class I took the spring semester of college in 1999. (More on that in a minute). The version I read back then stopped with Ronald Reagan.


(Daddy was never impressed with my Garbage Pail Kids, but he was so upset with these two that I believe he told me to get rid of them, which simply means I probably hid them somewhere.)

Ms. Holland updated it in 2003 and added H.W. Bush, Clinton, and Dubya, and
...more
Jeremy Perron
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few years ago my sister bought me this book as a birthday present. This is a funny little book where Barbara Holland takes on the nations chief executives one by one bringing them all down a peg. Here are some of my favorite examples.

Holland comments on President Washington and praying. There are many myths on Washington. Some are widely believed (wooden teeth) and correctly disbelieved (the cherry tree). Here Holland takes on the famous kneeling scene.

Theres a pretty story about him kneeling
...more
Robert
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hilarious. Nonpartisan, artfully, especially in today's environment. Pokes fun at all the presidents with no holds barred, on every subject micro and macro and aspect of their personalities. Vanities, habits, spending, spouses, results, children, appearance, philandering, wastefulness - all covered here.

Holland's writing style is also very amusing, sardonic and sarcastic, extremely dry at times.

"Besides, there was trouble about a savings-and-loan scam, way back when in Arkansas, and his wife,
...more
Dan Henk
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Light and breezy account of our presidents through George W. This was obviously written by a comedian, and one looking more for the quick joke than anything nuanced. The author loves to point out all the personal foibles of the presidents, and has a pretty over the top and sometimes grating far left bias. I was hoping for more factual information and less milquetoast humor.
Overall the book wasn't bad, but it wasn't too fulfilling, and falls a few degrees short of anything I would recommend.
Dayla
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting topic, but nothing earth shattering here.
Ashley
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked up a paperback bargain-book copy of "Hail to the Chiefs" and admit that I did not expect to get much out of it. I ended up spending several evenings being kept very entertained by the book, and feeling rather sad when it was finished.

I will not bother to repeat too much what others have said -- Holland is a witty writer, shares a glimpse of each president's personality, gives little tidbits about the political climate of each administration and who the main figures were, and in general
...more
Adam
Jul 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one really.....
Recommended to Adam by: dollar store
Let me start by quoting the most retarded and the funniest thing in this book. a nasty hurricane called Katrina hit New Orleans. Bush and everyone had been warned about it for days, but, since it was an act of God, nothing much was done to prepare, and 160,000 homes and quite a lot of people were washed away. So for starters New Orleans is BELOW sea level on the Mississippi River, second they KNEW and were WARNED to LEAVE there DAYS in advance, but pretty much no one left. There were buses there ...more
Michael T.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fun. I was drawn to it for the very simple reason that I could only trace my presidents from the modern day back to Herbert Hoover. Who came before?, I wondered. (Turns out it was Warren G. Harding. And then "Silent Cal" Coolidge before that. And then Woodrow Wilson. I remembered him from History Class -- the Great War, League of Nations, all that.) But the unexpected treat in Hail to the Chiefs is the unbridled snark & sarcasm of Ms. Barbara Holland. A sample or two? OK, how ...more
Teresa
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Very well written humorous book. It was extremely unbiased (honestly it was! I looked for bias and found none). Full of interesting facts and little tidbits of information. Very good stuff here, highly recommended to any history buff or anyone who just wants a laugh. You'll certainly learn something. I read more than half of it in one sitting, the very laid back writing style made it easy to just keep going and i couldn't wait to find out more about the presidents. For me to say that is a big ...more
Rena Jane
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Picked this up for light reading, and it basically was. Not to be taken as solid truth, I would say. It perpetuates a lot of the rumor and gossip about all the presidents. Was really disappointed at how cavalier she was about Clinton. Downgrading the positive things he did and spending way too much effort on all the pseudo-scandals. She wasn't much kinder to the Bush's. She touched on their relationship with Cheney, and oil, but not as honest as she could have.
Bill
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the very funniest books I ever read ! It was so funny that I purchased an additional 8 copies for friends and family! Barbara Holland takes a brilliantly satirical and humorous slant on our presidents. As a friend noted in his review, the footnotes are just another excuse for more one liners. When that friend's house sadly burned to the ground, the very first book he replaced in his library was Hail To The Chiefs by Barbara Holland. It truly is a LOL book, often hysterically funny!
Ekoszalka
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Hilarious quick read and informative if (like me) you've never learned about all the presidents...
Sara
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't explain it, but I find this book endlessly entertaining.
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Barbara Murray Holland was an American author who wrote in defense of such modern-day vices as cursing, drinking, eating fatty food and smoking cigarettes, as well as a memoir of her time spent growing up in Chevy Chase, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.

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