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  1. Grant

    by Ron Chernow
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Very niche

    Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman, fond of drinking to excess; or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War; or as a credulous and hapless president whose tenure came to symbolize the worst excesses of the Gilded Age. These stereotypes don't come close to capturing adequately his spirit and the sheer magnitude of his monumental accomplishments. A biographer at the height of his powers, Chernow has produced a portrait of Grant that is a masterpiece, the first to provide a complete … (Goodreads)

  2. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

    by Doris Kearns Goodwin
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Winner of the Lincoln Prize Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln's political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president. On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably … (Goodreads)

  3. Truman

    by David McCullough
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The book provides a biography of Harry Truman in chronological fashion from his birth to his rise to U.S. Senator , Vice President , and President . It follows his activities until death, exploring many of the major decisions he made as president, including his decision to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki , his meetings and confrontation with Joseph Stalin during the end of World War II , his decision to create the Marshall Plan , his decision to send troops to the Korean War , his decision to recognize the State of Israel , and his … (Wikipedia)

  4. The Passage of Power

    by Robert A. Caro
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    Readership: Very niche

    The Passage of Power follows Lyndon Johnson through both the most frustrating and the most triumphant periods of his career—1958 to1964. It is a time that would see him trade the extraordinary power he had created for himself as Senate Majority Leader for what became the wretched powerlessness of a Vice President in an administration that disdained and distrusted him. Yet it was, as well, the time in which the presidency, the goal he had always pursued, would be thrust upon him in the moment it took an assassin’s bullet to reach its mark. By 1958, as Johnson began … (Goodreads)

  5. Alexander Hamilton

    by Ron Chernow
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    An alternate cover edition can be found ,here., Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation. In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, ,Alexander Hamilton, is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.” Few figures in American history have been … (Goodreads)

  6. Lincoln

    by David Herbert Donald
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A masterful work by Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Herbert Donald, Lincoln is a stunning portrait of Abraham Lincoln’s life and presidency. Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, … (Goodreads)

  7. Washington: A Life

    by Ron Chernow
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of ,Alexander Hamilton,, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.,,,, Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's … (Barnes & Noble)

  8. Master of the Senate

    by Robert A. Caro
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    Readership: Very niche

    The most riveting political biography of our time, Robert A. Caro’s life of Lyndon B. Johnson, continues. Master of the Senate takes Johnson’s story through one of its most remarkable periods: his twelve years, from 1949 through 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson’s brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history and how … (Goodreads)

  9. John Adams

    by David McCullough
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    The enthralling, often surprising story of John Adams, one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived. In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot -- "the colossus of independence," as Thomas Jefferson called him -- who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of … (Goodreads)

  10. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

    by Isabel Wilkerson
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. “As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.” In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an … (Goodreads)

  11. Battle Cry of Freedom

    by James M. McPherson
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    Readership: Very niche

    Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the … (Goodreads)

  12. The Wright Brothers

    by David McCullough
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Librarian's note: An alternate cover edition can be found ,here, Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright. On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot. Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did? David … (Goodreads)

  13. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    by Isabel Wilkerson
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    Readership: Eclectic

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American … (Goodreads)

  14. Peril

    by Bob Woodward
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    Readership: Very niche

    The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink. This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the … (Barnes & Noble)

  15. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

    by John Carreyrou
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising … (Goodreads)

  16. FDR

    by Jean Edward Smith
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    Readership: Very niche

    One of today’s premier biographers has written a modern, comprehensive, indeed ultimate book on the epic life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In this superlative volume, Jean Edward Smith combines contemporary scholarship and a broad range of primary source material to provide an engrossing narrative of one of America’s greatest presidents. This is a portrait painted in broad strokes and fine details. We see how Roosevelt’s restless energy, fierce intellect, personal magnetism, and ability to project effortless grace permitted him to master countless challenges throughout his life. Smith recounts FDR’s battles with polio and physical disability, and how these experiences helped … (Goodreads)

  17. Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

    by Jane Mayer
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    Readership: Very niche

    Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the ascendancy of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the … (Goodreads)

  18. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
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    Readership: Very niche

    "We were eight years in power" was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. Now Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president." But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over … (Goodreads)

  19. Means of Ascent

    by Robert A. Caro
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Very niche

    Robert A. Caro's life of Lyndon Johnson, which began with the greatly acclaimed The Path to Power, also winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, continues -- one of the richest, most intensive and most revealing examinations ever undertaken of an American President. In Means of Ascent the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer/historian, chronicler also of Robert Moses in The Power Broker, carries Johnson through his service in World War II and the foundation of his long-concealed fortune and the facts behind the myths he created about it. But the explosive heart of the book is Caro's revelation of the true … (Goodreads)

  20. His Excellency: George Washington

    by Joseph J. Ellis
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    Readership: Eclectic

    To this landmark biography of our first president, Joseph J. Ellis brings the exacting scholarship, shrewd analysis, and lyric prose that have made him one of the premier historians of the Revolutionary era. Training his lens on a figure who sometimes seems as remote as his effigy on Mount Rushmore, Ellis assesses George Washington as a military and political leader and a man whose “statue-like solidity” concealed volcanic energies and emotions. Here is the impetuous young officer whose miraculous survival in combat half-convinced him that he could not be killed. Here is the free-spending landowner whose debts to English merchants … (Goodreads)