President’s Day is upon us.
Where can you learn more about the Presidents?
I have four suggestions. Two of these resources are books and the other two can be found online.
Edited by Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer, American Presidency is a collection of essays about each President up until George W. Bush.
The book offers up a small measure of biography and a larger portion of analysis. With the essays running between 10 and 20 pages, this book is a good path to a reasonably complex understanding of the Presidents in a manageable amount of time.
I’m not sure that any book has more facts about our Presidents than Complete Book. Here you’ll learn not just about the Presidents and their terms of office, but also about their cabinets, spouses and children, and various love affairs. It is one of the most enjoyable books I know.
The best online resource I’m aware of about the Presidents can be found at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. There you’ll find biographical information, essays and a multimedia gallery. It is very well done.
Finally, C-Span offers the excellent American Presidents website. There are broadcasts you can watch showing where the Presidents lived, as well as programs where experts talk about the Presidents and take phone calls from viewers.
It is fine entertainment.
Make use of these top-notch resources, and you’ll know plenty about the Presidents and the impact they had on American history.
Even better, you can make use of these resources as a springboard to your additional studies of our Presidents and of our American political history.
The decision to learn more and understand more is up to you.
A great book on George Washington – His Excellency: George Washington
Another great read is American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson.
Both of these books are by Joseph Ellis. He is one of the best historians of our time.