My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

CarterCoinThe first two presidents in this journey took me nearly three months to get through. George W. Bush and his predecessor hardly took me three weeks.

But unlike George Washington and John Adams, recent presidents haven’t been off the stage long enough to induce most historian-biographers to tackle their lives.

That will change as additional time passes, more documents are de-classified and presidential legacies (and lives) continue to marinate under the bright light of day.

I read just two biographies of Bush 43, but was excited about each for different reasons: one was written by an author who ranks as one of my all-time favorite biographers…and the other was written by an author known for his indefatigable determination and uncanny ability to piece together a story.

* * *

* “Bush” (2016) by Jean Edward Smith

No biographer has impressed me more often, or more consistently, than Smith. His…

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