Every generation of historians reviews and revises the work of its predecessors. With this book, the best historical writers of today's generation undertake such a task. Displaying wit and narrative flair, their elegant essays offer a fresh perspective on the most fascinating group of Americans: the American presidents. Who better to write a new assessment of the presidents than the most respected (and best-selling) historians of our time? In To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidents, members of the prestigious Society of American Historians deliver engaging, thoughtful analyses of the forty-one men who have led this country- some, of course, more successfully than others. In this copiously illustrated volume, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winner James M. McPherson, you will learn from Gordon S. Wood how George Washington, an extraordinary man, made it possible for ordinary men to govern; from Allen Weinstein how Theodore Roosevelt tested and extended the limits of the presidency; from Tom Wicker how Richard Nixon's hatreds and insecurities gripped him ever more tightly as he achieved his long-sought goal of power; and from Evan Thomas how much Bill Clinton cares about his place in the new presidential pecking order.
And I have to say, I know how to pick 'em. This is an excellent reference book that contains well-researched biographies on each President up to Clinton (the book being published in 2000). Pherson has pulled together some heavy-hitters to write each bio and includes a wealth of major events that occurred during each presidency. Also included in the back of the book are breakdowns of each campaign and each President's inaugural address.
I learned so much from this book and will definitely be picking up a copy for my own library as soon as possible. Also, it's left me ready to learn more.