The reader's companion to the American presidency /

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Other Authors: Brinkley, Alan., Dyer, Davis.
Format: Book
Language:English
Published: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
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Review by Booklist Review

As a new millennium and, in months, a new presidential administration begin, a retrospective look to see how scholars evaluate the nation's 40-plus presidents seems timely. Columbia University professor Brinkley joins Winthrop Group founding director Dyer in gathering 10-to 20-page essays on each president. Among the authors are Joyce Appleby (Jefferson), James Henretta (Van Buren), Jean Baker (Lincoln), Eric Foner (A. Johnson), Walter LaFeber (McKinley), Michael Kazin (Kennedy), Robert Dallek (LBJ), and Roger Morris (Nixon). Each of the collection's essays includes a portrait of the president, a time line of notable events, a display of economic statistics, a few paragraphs on the First Family, and brief, annotated suggestions for further reading. These are not neutral commentaries; the authors express their considered judgment, as when Paula Fass begins her "First Family" remarks: "Warren G. Harding led a private life as disastrous as his presidency." Readers may disagree with some of the authors' judgments, but they'll certainly learn from the collection. --Mary Carroll

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Edited by Brinkley (history, Columbia Univ.) and Dyer (TRW: Pioneering Technology and Innovation Since 1900) and written by a collection of eminent historians--including Michael Holt, William McFeely, and David Oshinsky--this book is a solid, concise guide to American presidents. In essays that run between ten and 20 pages, contributors provocatively evaluate the record of each of our 51 executives, from Washington through Clinton. While each entry offers a brief bibliography, a time line, a few demographic and economic tables, and a sidebar entitled "The First Family," the book is less factually oriented and less suited for quick reference than either the two-volume Congressional Quarterly's Guide to the Presidency (1996) or Leonard W. Levy's four-volume Encyclopedia of the American Presidency (LJ 1/94). And while each includes at least one presidential photograph or portrait, The American President (Riverhead, 1999) by Philip W. Kunhardt and family is much better for illustrations. This book, instead, is the best place to find an authoritative, critical overview of each president. A very useful purchase and a bargain for all types of libraries.--Robert F. Nardini, North Chichester, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

YA-A comprehensive reference source. Essays written by professors and historians present an overview of each administration through factual details, anecdotes, and analysis. The amount of criticism in each article varies depending on the writer and the president. The text is academic but readable, and current through Clinton's impeachment trial. There are no subheadings to help find specific information, but the index is detailed. Charts give statistical comparisons among the presidents and their eras, listing data concerning elections, society, and commerce of the time. A detailed time line runs along the bottom of the pages and includes other important political and cultural events. Sidebars also discuss each First Family and the part its members played in the presidency.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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