→ Upcoming Releases ←

Upcoming and recent books related to the presidents are shown below. This list is based on press releases, news stories, emails from publishers and authors, emails/comments I receive and tentative publication dates provided by booksellers. Titles and publication dates are subject to change. Recent changes shown in bold.

Last updated September 21, 2020.  If I’m missing something please let me know!

Upcoming Releases:

[various] The Virginia Dynasty: Four Presidents and the Creation of the American Nation by Lynne Cheney Sept 22
Carter His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life by Jonathan Alter Sept 29
Lincoln Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times by David Reynolds Sept 29
Lincoln The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom by H.W. Brands Oct 6
Lincoln Lincoln’s Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News, Wall Street, and the White House by Elizabeth Mitchell Oct 6
Jefferson, Adams The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America by Winston Groom Nov 3
Washington The First Inauguration: George Washington and the Invention of the Republic by Stephen Howard Browne Nov 15
TR Forging the Trident: Theodore Roosevelt and the United States Navy by William Leeman Nov 15
Obama A Promised Land by Barack Obama Nov 17
Truman Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization by Joe Scarborough Nov 17
McKinley Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality by Benjamin Justesen Dec 16
Washington George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father by David Stewart Feb 9, 2021
Lincoln Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President by Ronald White May 4, 2021
Jefferson, Madison, Monroe The Virginia Dynasty: Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe by Kevin Gutzman Sept 1, 2021
Cleveland A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland” by Troy Senik
-tbd-
Buchanan [Currently untitled] by Paul Kahan -tbd-
JFK [Currently untitled] by Timothy Nafthali -tbd-
T Roosev [Currently untitled] by T.J. Stiles -tbd-
Van Buren [Currently untitled] by James Bradley -tbd-
Carter [Currently untitled re: Carter’s White House years] by Kai Bird -tbd-
Harding [Currently untitled] by Ronald and Allis Radosh -tbd-
LBJ [Volume 5] by Robert Caro -tbd-
Ford [Currently untitled] by Richard Norton Smith -tbd-
Grant [Currently untitled] (Vol 2) by Brooks Simpson -tbd-
Madison [Currently untitled] by John Meacham -tbd-
Garfield [The Life and Labors of James Garfield] by Charles Goodyear -tbd-

The list of upcoming presidential biographies releases is based on information believed to be accurate; dates are subject to change prior to publication. Not every new/upcoming release will end up in my library (or being reviewed on this site).

366 thoughts on “→ Upcoming Releases ←”

  1. I happened upon references to a couple of new books that are in the works – “A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland” by Troy Senik, and “The Life and Labors of James Garfield” by CW Goodyear. No word on publication dates that I could find.

    On a side note, Charles Rappleye, whose last book was on Hoover (and which I highly recommend) was working on a biography of Zachary Taylor when he unfortunately passed away about a year and a half ago. I got in touch with his literary agent, who confirmed sadly that the book was not completed and won’t be published. A real loss.

    • The news about Charles Rappleye’s passing is indeed sad. His book on Hoover was first class.

      The books by Troy Senik and CW Goodyear are being well hidden by the publishers – whoever they may be. Have you picked up that information?

      • Both are said to be Simon & Schuster – I can’t find much about Goodyear’s book, but Senik is promoting his in his online profiles.

        As for Rappleye, I have no idea how far he had gotten on the Taylor book – maybe not far enough for someone else to continue or complete it. But given that Steve and we commenters are always wishing a first-rate writer would take on a lesser-known president, a Rappleye book on Zachary Taylor could have been quite the treat.

      • Very good news. After not finding much information about either book, I was afraid they were going to be published by a vanity press.

      • I had not previously heard anything about Senik’s or Goodyear’s books and no publisher has contacted me yet to claim credit for them(!)

        Count me in, too, as disappointed we won’t have the benefit of seeing what Rappleye could have done with Zachary Taylor. Coincidentally I’m beginning his Hoover biography later today and expect to read his biography of Robert Morris in a few months!

    • Gary Schantz said:

      While it is a shame that Rappleye passed, it is unfortunate that the editor does not have someone to complete the book. I was always under the impression that all writers have a “ghost-writer” per se that does the grunt work that the author then finalizes before passing on to the editor. But perhaps I am wrong.

      • Hi Steve,
        Rick Perlstein is due out with the next volume of his series: Reaganland. I had to look back to see if you read Nixonland (yes) and The Invisible Bridge (no). So I am not sure if you wish to add this one to the biography upcoming release list. If you do, it is due out on 8/11/20. From what I can tell, he focuses on 1976-1980. I find it tough to put Perlstein’s works into either Biography or History, as I think they are an enmeshed combination of both categories. I hope you are well. Take care.

      • I definitely want to include this here, so thanks for sharing! Although I have tried to only read things that are rigorously classified as “biography” I have tried to maintain more flexibility for new releases since there are so many compelling president- and presidency-related books published. You might think that with pandemics and stay-at-home orders, etc. I’d be able to get more reading done (including things not strictly considered biographies) and, yet….

  2. Can I request that you restore the list of recent releases that also used to appear on this page? I always found it helpful because it showed me what books I could actually buy, unlike books that are not yet available.

    • Jeff, I moved those to their own pages (each past year of new releases has its own page) because this page got to be cumbersome in length.

      When you hover over the “Upcoming Releases” title in the upper row of menu items, a drop-down menu should appear which gives you the option of also going to individual pages for the past “new releases” for years 2015 through 2020. Another way to get to the 2019 page of releases would be to go to this address: https://bestpresidentialbios.com/2019-releases/ – or substitute 2018, 2017, etc., for those years.

  3. It won’t be the first in 2021, but here’s the first one for the list:

    The Virginia Dynasty by Kevin Gutzman

    • Ah yes…it’s time to start looking forward to 2021! Thanks for sharing-

    • Actually, due to being forced to stay home, I decided to use this time to try knocking out some of the larger books I have. Like you, somehow I still do not have enough time to read (I don’t mean that as a complaint as I feel fortunate to continue to work full time). Nonetheless I did read The Invisible Bridge and I think, if you ever get a chance, it’s absolutely worth your time to read. There are some chapters that are straight biography of Reagan when he was young. Still, that one is more history then biography overall.

      After recently reading the Logevall book on Vietnam, I am eagerly anticipating his upcoming JFK biography. I have a lot of books on my shelves devoted to FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ, and Nixon. Yet only a few on Kennedy. So I think I need to beef that spot up a bit at some point.

      • I remember assigning no rating to the Perlstein book I read on Nixon since I couldn’t characterize it as a true (or even “mostly”) biography, but I vividly remember finding it enjoyable and interesting. If I’m not mistaken, “The Invisible Bridge” is the sequel to the book I read which definitely makes it a Must Read!

        I’m also looking forward to three or four (or five?) biographies slated to come out this year including one on James Monroe (next few days?), Jimmy Carter, John Adams, JFK…….

  4. J. Jensen said:

    This morning I received my copy of “President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler” which was released just today. Based on the introduction and epilogue which I just read, this should be an excellent read. Already it’s illuminated his character fairly well, and touched on his family life more than previous biographies which often overlook it. Indeed, some of the chapters are “Absence as a Way of Life,” “Miss Gardiner,” “A New Bride and a New State,” and “Fatherhood, Part Two.”

    It seems one of the most common quibbles in your reviews is the lack of insight into their home and family lives, as well as a lack of appropriate context that analyzes the president as a whole and presents a nice overview. This seems like it will provide both of those very well. The Epilogue was only 3 pages but was a very efficient 3 pages and provided excellent analysis and context for John Tyler, focusing on the comment someone made of him that only history would tell if he had died too late or too soon. Leahy analyzes that comment and how Tyler’s legacy would be different if he had died before the Civil War. Anyway, this looks to be great and hit on several of the key points you consistently look for in biographies.

    • Thanks for the insight. I’ve not yet received my copy of Leahy’s bio of Tyler but I did get Tim McGrath’s new biography of Monroe on time a couple days ago and am knee-deep in that now. Not to jump the shark, but based on your commentary I might have more satisfied waiting a few extra days for the Tyler bio 🙂

      • Say it ain’t so. I was looking forward to the Monroe bio.

      • The good news is that while the first 1/3 or more of the book underwhelmed me, it improves as it moves to and through Monroe’s presidency.

      • Very good. It seems to be getting generally positive reviews – including one in the WSJ.

      • I received my copy of McGrath’s “Monroe” bio this week as well and did my usual quick overview (when I get a new book I read the introduction/prologue and then the epilogue or closing chapter) to get a quick feel for the author’s writing style, approach, etc. I know comparing the final chapter is but a small window into the overall work, but of the two I definitely like the epilogue better in the Tyler bio. I’m sure both will be great reads, however. Both are getting pretty good reviews.

        Another comforting point from the Tyler bio is the author does not appear to be a Tyler apologist who is going to try to make him sound far more important than he really was, or try to justify some of his glaring weaknesses, namely his siding with the Confederacy during the Civil War. Again, that’s just going off 2 chapters, but the epilogue makes it pretty clear that Leahy understands Tyler while not worshiping him.

  5. The University of Kansas Press will be publishing their volume on the 1880 election in either August (the Publisher’s site) or October (Amazon):
    https://kansaspress.ku.edu/series/american-presidential-elections/978-0-7006-2982-4.html

  6. Due from David O Stewart right before Presidents’ Day 2021:

  7. Rick Clarke said:

    Hello Steve,
    I came across your website a few months back and can’t seem to stay away. I have always enjoyed a good biography, especially
    of historical note. Although I am Canadian I find American history profoundly more interesting. I really enjoy your recommendations for best presidential biographies and now have acquired a number of them. It really helps when someone has
    already done the “work” of determining the best biography. I really appreciate all the time searching through Amazon and related sites you have saved me. Thankyou so much

    • My pleasure! I’ve been surprised at the number of people from the UK and Canada who enjoy reading US presidential biographies – I get notes and emails frequently which support that fact. And the UK and Canada tend to account for 10% of my web traffic (something I can discern from web hosting data). I hope you continue to enjoy visiting the site and let me know if you come across something I’ve missed!

  8. It was bugging me that I couldn’t find out any more about Goodyear’s book on Garfield, but he’s now posted a reference to the book on his LinkedIn profile:
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-goodyear-61920298
    So maybe that’s confirmation enough to move it from “rumored” to “tbd” on the list?

    • Excellent sleuthing – thanks! But what, exactly, compels someone three or four years out of college to write a biography on Garfield I wonder?

      • I can’t imagine – it’s certainly not the kind of thing that was on my mind three or four years out of college! But if he feels compelled to write about Garfield, we can only hope it’s because he has something compelling to say.

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