As of 2012, only 43 men have held the office of the President of the United States. Some have been sanctified and some reviled. This historical work addresses the careers of the first ten presidents, men who made vital contributions not only to the office of the presidency, but to the course of the fledgling nation. From Washington through Tyler, every term is recounted in detail and each presidential profile provides as many as a hundred quotations (with full source notes) by the president, his friends, family, historians, and others. Each profile ends with an extensive bibliography of books about the president, his principles and policies, and also provides suggestion for further reading. Rigorously nonpartisan in approach, this detail-rich text describes the early years of what may well be one of the most demanding jobs in the world.
Robert A Nowlan —
Robert A. Nowlan is a scholar, researcher, teacher, writer, storyteller and lecturer, and the author of two dozen books and numerous articles. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, and Marco Island, Florida.
Nowlan, Robert A. The American presidents, Washington to Tyler: what they did, what they said, what was said about them, with full source notes. McFarland, 2012. 450p bibl index afp ISBN 0786463368 pbk; ISBN 9780786463367 pbk. Reviewed in 2013jun CHOICE.
Everything that a US presidential history buff or scholar might want to know about the first ten presidents is here: their personal fetishes, likes/dislikes, physical appearances, family backgrounds, policies, and more. Each of the ten chapters in this book by independent scholar Nowlan closes with a personal assessment of a particular president and his place in history. Readers will discover that James and Elizabeth Monroe were the only presidential couple to witness the crowning of Napoleon as emperor of the French; and that Elizabeth saved the Marquis de Lafayette's wife from the guillotine. They will learn that Andrew Jackson convinced Chief Black Hawk and the Cherokees that they must move from Georgia and the Carolinas to lands to the west; and that William Henry Harrison, while a general, saw Shawnee Chief Tecumseh killed in battle. Thomas Jefferson knew that slavery would have to be abolished, but surmised that a younger man must be the one to do it; he feared for the ability of African Americans to live in white society. Those who view that attitude as racist must remember that Jefferson lived in a time when blacks had not been emancipated and did not have access to universal education. When contemporary historians evaluate Andrew Jackson, who persuaded the Cherokees and other Indian tribes that they could not live among whites, they should remember that, by virtue of the Cherokees' lifestyle--living in tribes away from white society--they could not. Of course, contemporary historians must come to grips with the fact that this American nation was built on the plight of other peoples. This volume offers extremely interesting reading for those interested in how the American nation was forged.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. -- R. T. Ivey, University of Memphis