Hail to the Chief: great presidential biographies

Presidents Day is coming soon, and if you’re like me, you like fun facts about U.S. presidents. For example, did you know that Franklin Pierce, our 14th president, is considered to be one of our most handsome presidents?  That “Hail to the Chief”,  the official presidential anthem, first became a tradition because James K. Polk (our 11th president) was such an unassuming figure that his wife, Sarah Childress Polk, wanted people to notice when her husband entered the room? That William Howard Taft, our heaviest (and 27th) president, lost over 100 pounds after his term in office? After a childhood spent nerdily poring over the World Book Encyclopedia presidential entries, it’s time to step up to the big leagues and crack open a few weighty presidential bios. The best ones let you get to know their subjects, with all the faults and redeeming qualities that make a well-rounded portrait. Here are some of my favorites:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t resist adding a few more White House-related books to this list because lists are good, and I think we all benefit from them:

 

 

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