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Worst. President. Ever. : James Buchanan, the POTUS Rating Game, and the Legacy of the Least of the Lesser Presidents
by Robert Strauss


Overview - Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Winner in Biography Worst. President. Ever. flips the great presidential biography on its head, offering an enlightening--and highly entertaining --account of poor James Buchanan's presidency to prove once and for all that, well, few leaders could have done worse.  Read more...

 
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More About Worst. President. Ever. by Robert Strauss
 
 
 
Overview
Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Winner in Biography Worst. President. Ever. flips the great presidential biography on its head, offering an enlightening--and highly entertaining --account of poor James Buchanan's presidency to prove once and for all that, well, few leaders could have done worse. But author Robert Strauss does much more, leading readers out of Buchanan's terrible term in office--meddling in the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, exacerbating the Panic of 1857, helping foment the John Brown uprisings and "Bloody Kansas," virtually inviting a half-dozen states to secede from the Union as a lame duck, and on and on--to explore with insight and humor his own obsession with presidents, and ultimately the entire notion of ranking our presidents. He guides us through the POTUS rating game of historians and others who have made their own Mount Rushmores--or Marianas Trenches --of presidential achievement, showing why Buchanan easily loses to any of the others, but also offering insights into presidential history buffs like himself, the forgotten "lesser" presidential sites, sex and the presidency, the presidency itself, and how and why it can often take the best measures out of even the most dedicated men.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781493024834
  • ISBN-10: 1493024833
  • Publisher: Lyons Pr
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 257
  • Dimensions: 1 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.22 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - 19th Century
Books > History > United States - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-08-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

Journalist Strauss (Daddy’s Little Goalie) turns his lifelong interest in U.S. presidents into a biography of the 15th, mining the premise that Buchanan (1791–1868) is the worst of them all. Along the way, Strauss takes the opportunity to exercise his wit and knowledge to rate the candidates for the title. Before getting to Buchanan’s presidency and the case for him as the worst, Strauss follows a career that included time as a congressman and senator from Pennsylvania, the U.S. minister to Russia in the Andrew Jackson administration (whom Strauss describes as the “Don Corleone of his day”), and as a perennially unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Strauss frequently detours into examining the evidence supporting the possibility that lifelong bachelor Buchanan was gay, and takes an inventory of other U.S. Presidents who might have been gay. The process of nominating and then rejecting other contenders for the eponymous title is an entertaining exercise in which Franklin Pierce, Herbert Hoover, Warren Harding, and several others are examined and discarded in favor of Buchanan. Strauss maintains a light tone, but doesn’t sacrifice substance in offering solid historic detail and insights into American politics as the country careened toward Civil War. (Oct.)

 
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