Worst. President. Ever

Worst. President. Ever

James Buchanan, the POTUS Rating Game, and the Legacy of the Least of the Lesser Presidents

Book - 2016
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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.
Publisher: Guilford, Connecticut : Lyons Press, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.
ISBN: 9781493024834
1493024833
9781493024841
Branch Call Number: 973.68 STRAUSS
Characteristics: xiv, 257 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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jquick99
Jan 20, 2018

I’d skip this. I kept trying, but it was just boring. The first chapter starts with Dolly Madison and the history of various First Ladies’ entertainment abilities, and it’s just...boring. And then it’s all about the author. The last chapter legacy story about Buchanan’s statue dragged on and was boring, really NOT worth repeating...or just tell it with a one or two sentences.

j
johnwish34
Jul 22, 2017

Yes, I did learn about Buchanan and his successes and failures.
BUT
There is way too many digressions where the author inserts himself into the text riffing on persons, places and periods that should not have been in THIS Biography.

Perhaps the author's personal musings would be of interest to his family or filed as notes for some other writing project.

Sorry, I cannot recommend the book unless you cannot find another Buchanan biography.

Much more carefully edited and about 100 pages in total, it could be a good read.
john wish
July 22, 2017

b
beckythecat1
Dec 12, 2016

Really a difficult read because the book is as much about the authors ego as it is about Buchanan and several other presidents. Yes, I learned a few new things about various people but not a fun read. Sorry, I do not recommend this book. I checked it out because of the review in the New York Times.

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