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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
Biographies of U.S. Presidents
One of my goals is to read (or listen to) a biography of each one of the American Presidents. Whenever possible I try to determine in advance which biography is considered the best or most definitive for each of them. Presidents whose biographies I’ve completed are in bold with the recommended book listed beneath.
Currently underway: Ulysses S. Grant & Andrew Johnson.
- George Washington, 1789-1797
- Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow.
- John Adams, 1797-1801
- John Adams by David McCullough.
- Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809
- Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham.
- James Madison, 1809-1817
- James Monroe, 1817-1825
- John Quincy Adams, 1825-1829
- Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837
- Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841
- William Henry Harrison, 1841
- John Tyler, 1841-1845
- James Knox Polk, 1845-1849
- Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850
- Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853
- Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857
- James Buchanan, 1857-1861
- Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865
- Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869
- Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877
- Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-1881
- James Abram Garfield, 1881
- Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-1885
- Grover Cleveland, 1885-1889
- Benjamin Harrison, 1889-1893
- Grover Cleveland, 1893-1897
- William McKinley, 1897-1901
- Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909
- William Howard Taft, 1909-1913
- Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921
- Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-1923
- Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929
- Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945
- FDR by Jean Edward Smith
- Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953
- Truman by David McCullough.
- Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961
- Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963
- Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969
- Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974
- Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977
- James Earl Carter, Jr., 1977-1981
- Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989
- When Character Was King by Peggy Noonan
- George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993
- William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001
- George Walker Bush, 2001-2009
- Decision Points by George W. Bush.*
- Barack Hussein Obama, 2009-
*I will eventually read a biography rather than autobiography of George W. Bush; however, it will be at least a few years before there will be a biography that can provide a realistic assessment of his time in office.
#I will eventually read a biography rather than autobiography of George W. Bush; however, it will be at least a few years before there will be a biography that can provide a realistic assessment of his time in office.