Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Books by Presidents

The year 2008 has been one of the most active and interesting years in decades for politics. There has been record voter turnout, and technology has allowed us to keep up with up to the second information (my favorite: CNN's amazing touch screen map--I want one of these at home on my wall). However, as much as I am enamored with technology, I still like to hold books in my hands and read in-depth information that is much harder to find on the internet and in 30 second soundbites. So I've decided to take a look at books written by presidents. Some presidents are more prolific than others. For instance, Jimmy Carter has written over 15 books, while Gerald Ford's entry on my list was actually "written" by Thomas DeFrank and is comprised of interviews between the author and Ford. Presidents writing books is rarer when you go back through time, so mostly 20th century presidents are represented. One interesting exception is the diary of James Polk, who managed to add three states to the U.S., issue the first postage stamp, and abolish the bank in one term as president. A couple of the writings are more personal than others, but all are entertaining. Click on each book to see the Arlington Public Library's holdings.

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