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  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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)

  5. Grant

    by Ron Chernow
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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)

  6. 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)

  7. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    by Candice Millard
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    Readership: Eclectic

    James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile … (Goodreads)

  8. 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)

  9. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

    by Jon Meacham
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The definitive biography of a larger-than-life president who defied norms, divided a nation, and changed Washington forever Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy. Jackson's election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding … (Goodreads)

  10. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

    by Walter Isaacson
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us. An ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings, he seems made of flesh rather than of marble. In bestselling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin seems to turn to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. By bringing Franklin to life, Isaacson shows how he helped to define both his own time and ours. He was, during his 84-year life, America's best scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, and business strategist, … (Goodreads)

  11. The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

    by Jon Meacham
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    Readership: Very niche

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear. Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the "better angels of our nature" have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential … (Goodreads)

  12. Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt

    by David McCullough
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    Readership: Very niche

    Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life, and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as a masterpiece by Newsday, it also won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography. Now with a new introduction by the author, Mornings on Horseback is reprinted as a Simon & Schuster Classic Edition. ,Mornings on Horseback, is about the world of the young Theodore Roosevelt. It is the story of a remarkable little boy, seriously handicapped by recurrent and nearly fatal attacks of asthma, and … (Goodreads)

  13. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

    by Joseph J. Ellis
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    Readership: Eclectic

    Informs our understanding of American politics--then and now--and gives us a new perspective on the unpredictable forces that shape history. An illuminating study of the intertwined lives of the founders of the American republic--John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. During the 1790s, which Ellis calls the most decisive decade in our nation's history, the greatest statesmen of their generation--and perhaps any--came together to define the new republic and direct its course for the coming centuries. Ellis focuses on six discrete moments that exemplify the most crucial issues facing the fragile new … (Goodreads)

  14. Eisenhower in War and Peace

    by Jean Edward Smith
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    Readership: Very niche

    NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ,The Christian Science Monitor • St. Louis Post-Dispatch, In his magisterial bestseller FDR, Jean Edward Smith gave us a fresh, modern look at one of the most indelible figures in American history. Now this peerless biographer returns with a new life of Dwight D. Eisenhower that is as full, rich, and revealing as anything ever written about America’s thirty-fourth president. As America searches for new heroes to lead it out of its present-day predicaments, Jean Edward Smith’s achievement lies in reintroducing us to a hero from the past whose virtues … (Goodreads)

  15. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    by Daniel James Brown
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    This novel is about the University of Washington eight-oared crew that represented the United States in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and narrowly beat out Italy and Germany to win the gold medal. The main character is Joe Rantz . There are two backstories. One illustrates how all nine members of the Washington team came from lower-middle-class families and had to struggle to earn their way through school during the depths of the Depression . Along with the chronicle of their victories and defeats in domestic competition, the reader learns the importance of synchronization of the eight rowers as they … (Wikipedia)

  16. The Wright Brothers

    by David McCullough
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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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)

  17. 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)

  18. Colonel Roosevelt

    by Edmund Morris
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    Readership: Very niche

    Of all our great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one whose greatness increased out of office. When he toured Europe in 1910 as plain “Colonel Roosevelt,” he was hailed as the most famous man in the world. Crowned heads vied to put him up in their palaces. “If I see another king,” he joked, “I think I shall bite him.” Had TR won his historic “Bull Moose” campaign in 1912 (when he outpolled the sitting president, William Howard Taft), he might have averted World War I, so great was his international influence. Had he not died in 1919, at … (Goodreads)

  19. 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)

  20. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever

    by Bill O'Reilly
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    ,A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly, The anchor of ,The O'Reilly Factor, recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into … (Goodreads)