A book or two for every president
One interesting note about Burlingame's Lincoln bio: he actually wrote a much more detailed version that was just too much to commit to paper. Fortunately, it's available (for free!) in PDF at https://www.knox.edu/about-knox/lincoln-studies-center/burlingame-abraham-lincoln-a-life
Jeremy. . .this is the one that got me to subscribe! My son is doing his own version of an American History Project including reading a bio on all the Presidents so I was familiar with many of these and have read a good deal of them. I'm just finishing up The Path to Power and I will agree. . .there is Caro, and then there is everybody else. I'm doing the four Caro books this year, one a quarter (I've got The Power Broker, but that's next year). To show you how far Chernow has come as a biographer, you only need to read Grant first and Washington second. But it may be that, for me, Grant was the much more fascinating study. Thanks again, and I hope my $5 a month buys a taco or two.
Not sure if there is an update to this yet, but for my part, very happy to report that after 72 books, have done my 46 POTUS journey, starting and ending (for now) with FDR.
I have since read a handful of the better Trump Chronicles of Chaos books, in particular Leonig & Rucker's two volumes, which were excellent.
Have numerous other ones to get to (Monroe, Lincoln, Garfield, TR, Truman, JFK & Obama), but having a POTUS break for now and reading other historical figures.
Thank you again!
Thank you for your excellent newsletter - particulalry on the POTUS. I am an Australian who during COVID decided to start a few big name president biographies and decided to go all 46 in order after I completed Smith's FDR. I worked through to Biden (thought Jules Witcover bio was a very good story written in '10). Circling back to Washington and will finish (I guess) with Hoover (might sneal in another FDR as a better way to complete the journey).
Anyway, the majority of my selections match with your favourites; except I have yet to embark on any Morris/Caro style multi-volume works, only single biographies.
A few worth mentioning that you didnt include are: The Bridge (Barack Obama) by David Remnick was very good, but nothing much on his actual presidency has come out yet ... The Survivor (Bill Clinton) by John F Harris was a very solid presidency biography and a good follow-up to First In His Class ... Spitz's Reagan was excellent ... I read James Cannon's An Honourable Life - Gerald R Ford which seemed to be the only full bio available on Ford, and pretty good.
I am now on Jefferson, having read Meacham's last year and now reading American Sphinx.
Most of the ones coming are your recommendations, so I know I have hit the mark!