→ 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. Billy Watson said:

    Don’t know how good it is but George Washington, a Life by Willard Sterne Randall is out. When it first came out they sold the kindle for 0.99 for a few days. Picked it up on the cheap. I also just picked up Lincoln’s Battle with God for 0.99 on kindle.
    Again, haven’t read it yet and I know most don’t like to read about presidents theological views, but I kind of like that genre. My reading list seems to grow by 2-3 books for everyone I get read

  2. At last count I’ve read over 20 biographies on presidents and I have a few comments on your list and ratings.

    I see that Chernow’s book on Washington got 5 stars, the most of any bio. I have not read the book but I did read his bio on Alexander Hamilton and it was great. So I imagine that Washington is also well done too but the best bio I read so far was Remeni’s 3 volume set on Andrew Jackson which you rated as 4.5 stars. I cannot see Chernow’s work or anyone else’s work surpassing the Remini effort. I actually read the 3 volumes twice and you feel like you lived the like of Jackson.

    I just finished the Harding bio Shadow Grove. It is on your list. I recommend skimming through the first part of the book until you get to the Convention, but don’t start seriously reading until after convention.

    Bully Pulpit was great – again you felt like you lived in the lives of both TR and Taft and the way Kerns juxtaposition both lives was fantastic. Team of Rivals was also great.

    Berg’s Wilson was very good, I actually say him speak at a recent book fair and he was very good. There is also a clip of him on the Colbert show that was interesting.

    Your list also includes Macgregor’s two volumes on FDR – fantastic. They were my first presidential books that got me on this journey.

    Also see that you have Hamiton’s JFK on the list. Don’t bother.

    Ambrose’s Nixon was very good and so was Wood’s LBJ.

    I am reading Reminis John Qunicy Adams right now – its basic but informative.

    It is really a great journey reading about the American presidents.

    • Wow, thanks for your substantial (and substantive) thoughts!

      1. I’m tempted to read anything and everything Ron Chernow has written. If I begin to lose my mind with presidential bios at any point, I’m going straight for Chernow’s bio on Hamilton which is sitting within arm’s reach. I’m thrilled you loved it and I can’t wait to read it.

      2. I’m worried about how interesting Harding will be, and your comment about skimming leads me to believe I might be “tolerating” his bio rather than enjoying it. I’ll be prepared.

      3. I’ve not heard much feedback on the FDR volumes you referenced, but research led me to believe I had to read them to really experience FDR broadly. They seem to have been for you what Team of Rivals was for me (what got me motivated to do all this in the first place).

      4. The last thing I want to do is downplay Remini’s effort on Jackson – I thought it was outstanding. If I had to come up with a statistical margin of error for my rating system it would be at least 0.5 stars, so Chernow’s Washington bio and Remini’s work on Jackson are in a statistical dead heat. I’ll be reading both again someday without a doubt.

      5. Thanks for your other comments as well – including your reference to a JFK bio. I’ll be re-thinking it…

  3. In regard to Harding’s bio, I learned a lot but it came at high cost.

  4. Hey,

    I’ll throw you a fastball. Which 2nd and 3rd Presidents of the United States died on the same day, July 4, 1826?

    Thanks, McCullough!

  5. With regard to your list of Upcoming Releases, here are a couple I learned about just recently:

    1. Ron Chernow is working on a bio of Ulysses Grant. The title and release date are TBD.

    2. HW Brands is writing a bio of Reagan – the release date looks to be June 2015.

  6. The Randall books on GW (and also JEfferson) are very good and very readable! Maybe one day you will start reading your way through the First Ladies!!

    • I’m already focused on a book or two about Abigail Adams I want to read, and I’ll be able to come up with many many more with little trouble! Many of the First Ladies are as interesting as their husbands (as you certainly know). Until I finish the best bios of the presidents themselves, I’ve been content to follow the posts on your website which are interesting and illuminating to be sure-

  7. The Brands book on Reagan is now up on Amazon: [see link above]

    • Thanks for the heads-up; I’ve noted the change. Coincidentally I’m in the early chapters of Brand’s bio of Grant and so far I’m pretty happy with it. Not quite Jean Edward Smith happy, but smiling nonetheless. Can’t wait to read his book on Reagan-

      • I’m trying to track with you on some of your books, although I read a lot more slowly than you do, so I only pick a few to do that with. I just finished Smith’s book and I’m halfway through Brands, and I agree with your take. I think Brands provides greater historical context, but Smith offers a lot more detail, especially on the battle narratives. Reagan should be great – there are very few legitimate full-life Reagan bios to date.

  8. Apologies, but I noticed that a particular Eisenhower biography is missing from your list: Eisenhower: The White House Years, by Jim Newton (2011). Despite the title, it’s a biography of sorts – the first part of the book is a short bio of his life until the presidency. Link to Amazon listing

  9. Zach Switzer said:

    Hi Steve, Sidney Blumenthal, the former Clinton aide Is currently writing a three volume biography of Lincoln. The first volume “a self made man”, is up on amazon.

    Zach S.

  10. Eric Lurio said:

    Evens’ bio of Bill Clinton has either been postponed or cancelled. Do you know anything about that? Then there’s Michael Burkhimers’ “100 Essential Lincoln Books,” which is sort of like this website, only more specific.

    • Unfortunately I don’t know anything about the Clinton biography. I’ll keep my ear to the ground on that…

      Thanks for mentioning Burkhimer’s book on Lincoln. I haven’t run across it before but it looks fascinating (and I love the concept!) Unfortunately since it was published a dozen years ago it will miss the popular (and recent) biographies but I’m interested to see what it says about the pre-2003 books on Lincoln.

  11. Tinmanic said:

    There’s a new book about the first half or so of Madison’s life: Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father, by Michael Signer. http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Madison-Extraordinary-Origins-Founding/dp/1610392957

  12. Ronald C White Jr’s book on Grant is now scheduled for a Spring 2016 release. See
    http://www.ronaldcwhitejr.com/speaking-dates/

    My Grant biography is now scheduled to be published by Random House in early 2016.

    • Wow, thanks this was very helpful. Updating the “upcoming biographies” list and completing spring cleaning are two tasks I’ve temporarily fallen behind on… At least I got my taxes filed on time.

  13. Luz Shepherd said:

    Love your website! Because of your reviews, I’ve bought and read Chernow on Washington, Remini on Jackson, Stewart on Andrew Jonhson and Jean Edward Smith on Grant and Harbaugh on TR (I already owned/read Morris’ trilogy (excellent), McCullough (ok) and Dalton (terrible)). All great recommendations by you! I also just read David Stewart’s latest book about Madison and thought it is the best bio of him by far. You should definitely add it to your next go around on the presidents. Another TR bio is Edward Wagenknecht from 1958; it is very interesting. Jean Edward Smith’s FDR and Eisenhower bios are great while Ambrose’s Eisenhower and Nixon bios are fairly good. I thought Reeves’ JFK bio was balanced unlike so many that are just hagiographies. Keep up the great reviews and interesting side notes re Monticello and Montepelier, etc.!

    • I’m glad you weren’t disappointed with Chernow, Remini, Smith or Harbaugh. I’ll add Stewart’s book to my follow-up list – sounds great! And I’ll have to look into the the TR bio I wasn’t aware of from 1958. (How’d I miss that?!?) Thanks for the foreshadowing on FDR/Ike/Nixon. Seems like a long road to get there, but time flies when there’s so much to get to. And yes, I am trying to plan the next side note but I’m running out of convenient Virginia-area presidents. I considered a photo of Pine Knot (just south of Charlottesville which TR and his wife bought) but it’s almost invisible from the air. Oh well…

  14. I dont know if anyone is into reading these books right when they come out but the Evan Thomas bio on Nixon is coming out in a few days. It was originally scheduled for later this fall. I will look forward to it but it is down the list. So many great books so little time.

    • Thanks for the catch re: the timing change – I hadn’t noticed the publication date was accelerated. And yes, there always seem to be too much to read and far too little available time!

  15. Zach Switzer said:

    Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency Hardcover – May 10, 2016 Hoover bio!

    • Thanks for the tip! Sadly it’s being published a few months too late to make my first round of Hoover bio reading, so I’ll have to consider adding it to my follow-up list.

  16. Hi Steve – Just ran across this one. Didn’t see it on your list, so in case you want to add it….

    http://www.amazon.com/Nixons-Gamble-Presidents-Government-Administration/dp/1493009311/ref=pd_rhf_dp_s_cp_11?ie=UTF8&refRID=12V2VDJPQ6D18R76NVWZ

  17. I no longer see any reference on this page to Chernow’s U.S. Grant bio. I also wasn’t able to find any updates–or changes in plans–on the Internet. Do you happen to know if he’s still planning on publishing it? Thank you.

    • Thanks for noticing! At some point I accidentally dropped everything without a publication date. As far as I know, Chernow’s biography of Grant is still underway but with no end in sight…

      • Got it. Thanks for the reply. I have no idea how he works, but it seems strange how little one can find online about his progress (or lack thereof).

  18. I see on Amazon a new book by Jean Edward Smith title Bush due for release mid 2016

  19. Do you know when Ron Chernow’s book on Ulysses S. Grant is coming out and who is publishing it? Thanks!

    • I haven’t seen any details yet…and I’ve been watching pretty closely. I even watched most a 60 Minutes piece last night where Chernow was interviewed briefly for a segment on an Alexander Hamilton-inspired musical). – but no specifics on his Grant biography as far as I’m aware.

  20. Looks like the Jean Edward Smith bio’s amazon entry has been updated with a product description indicating that it’s about W.

  21. Also, if the product description is indeed an accurate description of the book it’s going to likely be controversial.

  22. DJ Richardson said:

    It is my honor and pleasure to work at and manage a Civil War battlefield…one that discusses Ulysses Grant heavily. It has been a pleasure to meet with and talk with both Ronald White and Ron Chernow. Dr. White says his new USG bio will be released in September, 2016. No word on Chernow’s.

    • Thanks for the tip, and having immensely enjoyed reading about Grant’s life (particularly his pre-presidency) I’m jealous of your time at the battlefield! I really can’t wait to read White’s (and Chernow’s) biographies of Grant…

  23. DJ Richardson said:

    I’ve begun reading Karl Rove’s book on McKinley and the 1896 election. Quite interesting. I wonder if he actually wrote it or had a ghostwriter. But it’s nice to see William McKinley featured everywhere from Walmart to Barnes and Noble to Amazon.

  24. Hello, long time troll on your website ( I love biographies and history). I read a while back that a professor William Hitchcock from UVA is publishing a book about Eisenhower, titled “The Age of Eisenhower.” Does anyone have any information on it? An interesting book about Ike is Eisenhower’s Sputnik Moment by Yanek Mieczkowski, which discusses Eisenhower and America’s response to the scientific Cold War.

    • Thanks for the heads up! I’ll just call his office tomorrow and see what they can tell me. Otherwise, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for any info. If anyone else knows anything, please let us know-

  25. Steve, what else have you heard re “The Age of Eisenhower?” To slightly digress for a moment, i was looking for a good book on reagan, but the brands bio appears disappointing (not enough attention is given to certain details of his life), the cannon book(s) appear biased, and Morris’s book is too abstract. My thoughts are that Reagan deserves a three volume biography, vol 1 would cover his early life and hollywood years; volume 2 would cover the 50s to his election as president, and the third one would be his election to his death. Love him or hate him, his story is too interesting to be a single volume.

    • I haven’t heard much of anything about “The Age of Eisenhower” yet. On Reagan, I hadn’t given it any real thought but I don’t disagree that his life deserves a high-quality multiple-volume series (perhaps not quite of the scale of Caro/LBJ or Malone/Jefferson, but…)

      I’ve only heard rumblings of “averageness” about the Brands biography but obviously don’t have a point of view yet. And I was hopeful that Cannon’s series would be compelling so I’m disappointed to hear it may be obtusely biased. In any event, I’m expecting to get to Reagan sometime in the fall of 2017.

  26. A new release on Washington for your consideration: [First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity]

    • Kurt Flynn said:

      Hi, Just in case you were not aware, I just finished listening to Library of Congress interview w/ Doris G-Kerns re: Taft/Roosevelt and another interview re: recent release of W. Harding’s love letters.  Excellent interviews.

  27. redskullduggery said:

    Here is another possible candidate for the upcoming release list. There’s no description/summary of it on the Amazon entry yet but based on the two principals (Truman and MacArthur) I’m guessing it’s going to be about the events leading to MacArthur’s resignation. With the possible exception of George McCellan, MacArthur has got to be the most arrogant general in American history so that could be some mighty juicy reading.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385540574/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0385540574&linkCode=as2&tag=bestpresbios-20&linkId=X5M26HNT2WIMHMKV

  28. Hi, looks like the link for the “New Gilded Age” book about Bill Clinton is incorrect.

  29. Diane Lindenberger said:

    I am drooling waiting to read Ron Chernow’s new book on Grant. When will this be released ? He is now my favorite author. His book on Washington was so wonderful and then Hamilton ranks second in my list of favorites…..

    • I wish I knew! He began thinking about writing this book in 2010 (after completing his bio of Washington) and seems to have fully committed himself to the task in 2013 when he read all of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant. It’s hard to imagine he’s not close to completion yet…but I haven’t seen anything concrete about a publication date.

  30. I’ve been awaiting the book about Harding by the Radoshes. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find anything on it, other than they have been working on it for quite a while.

    • I’ve not been able to find anything definitive on the timing of their book (other than the fact it is perpetually “forthcoming”) but I’ll be quite interested to see what they come out with when it IS finally published.

  31. I feel that once I read the upcoming Harding book, the Chernow grant bio, Burlingame’s lincoln, and a multivolume cradle to grave bio of reagan, I’m good to go . . .

  32. Hello, Steve, just learned via Goodreads that Paul Kahan is working on a narrative history of Grant’s presidency, in case you want to add it.

  33. March 22, 2016 is the date for the Traub John Quincy Adams book

  34. Amazon now has a release date and cover design for Ronald White’s book on Grant. The release date is October 4, 2016.

    • Awesome, thanks. I wish I hadn’t already completed the first pass through the Grant biographies but I’m looking forward to reading this as part of my follow-up list!

  35. Whoops, you’re way ahead of me. I hadn’t seen this before.

  36. Hi. My one-volume life of Richard Nixon, with the working title, “Richard Nixon: An American Tragedy,” will be published in the spring of 2017 by Doubleday. Info about me at http://www.jafarrell.com and info, photographs, thoughts etc. about Nixon and the book at its Facebook page, “Richard Nixon: An American Tragedy.” Best, JAF

    • Thanks for stopping by and letting us know about your upcoming biography – I should be getting to Nixon late summer of 2017 so your timing is good!

    • Could I ask John your assessment of Nixon books so far…so many books out there, even a recent one with “tragedy” it in its title…as a sure to be reader (I read everything on Nixon….I LOVED Crowley’s books, and Ambrose was good. I wish Gellman would just give in and complete another couple books to complete the life.

  37. I am in the middle of the new Hoover bio by Charles Rappleye….what a great book. I knew I’d love it from the intro…he clearly demontrates what his aim is with the book. But he paints a great pic of Hoover as both a man and politician, and an honest assessment of why his presidency failed.

    Grab it.

  38. Nigel Hamilton’s follow-up to Mantle of Command is being published on June 7th.

    http://www.amazon.com/Commander-Chief-FDRs-Battle-Churchill/dp/0544279115/

    • Thanks – you’re on a roll! I simply forgot to follow-up on Hamilton’s series, but the Jeansonne bio of Hoover totally escaped me. HH is having quite a year!

  39. Hi Steve! I want to let you know how grateful I am for your site. I’m along for the journey so thanks for writing about yours! My endeavor is to read just one biography of each president and certain other historical figures including the founding fathers. I’m working through Chernow’s Hamilton now and looking for a book on John Jay. Any outstanding books on Jay that you’re aware of? Thanks again!

    • Thanks for your kind note. I’m also looking forward to reading great biographies about the non-presidents I’ve encountered along the way such as Hamilton, Seward, Jay, etc. I’ve had one person recommend a book on John Jay (http://amzn.to/1PtT3UM) which I believe was written by someone who also authored a biography on Wm Seward…but I haven’t read them and can’t confirm how outstanding they are. If you do find one you love, please let me know!

  40. A new Arthur bio by Scott Greenberger is expected in February. Da Capo Press is the publisher. (https://twitter.com/sgreenberger/status/737832556108914688)

  41. I just finished the Doug Schoen book on Nixon…..Did not agree with all conclusions, but still well worth the read!

    • Thanks – Nixon is the “modern” president I know the least well so I’m looking forward to getting to him over the next year. In light of your comment I’m intrigued to find out what Schoen’s take was and whether or not it’s controversial or mainstream.

  42. Douglas R said:

    The new Jean Smith biography of George W. Bush is proof that it takes time to write a fair and objective biography of a president, especially a living former president, and especially such a controversial one.

    He begins the book with some thing like “America could not have been less better served than by George W. Bush.” It set the tone for the whole book.

    He gives credit to Bush for his humanitarian work and such, but this is not a fair and objective biography of Bush…which is not to be expected.

    Again, too soon for somebody, especially a distinguished biographer like Smith, to write a book like this.

    • I have to admit I wasn’t sure whether I was more (i) delighted to see JES coming out with the biography (because I’ve loved everything he’s written thus far) or (ii) shocked to see a comprehensive treatment of Bush written by a credible biographer before about 2025…

      • Douglas R said:

        Well, Smith’s book just kept drawing me back to it, so I went back and read it a second time. And I think I have to retract some of what I wrote. I think Smith was about as fair as a biographer can be about the most recent of former presidents. As I reread it, you see a clearer picture of how he builds a portrait of Bush, and builds his cast of characters around him…and then shows how so many of that cast of characters caused the Bush presidency to collapse. I was glad I gave it a second read.

    • Its a wonder how such a respected historian can spend so much time working on a book that is just…awful….Of course the liberal press will eat it up, but as the review states, so little time to asses and so many terrible mistakes!

  43. Another one for the TBD list: Fredrik Logevall’s bio on Kennedy: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/viking-pre-empts-major-jfk-biography

    • Thanks as always – I hadn’t heard about this one. And it seems it has been a long time in the making 🙂

      • By HW Brands’s standards yes. By Robert Caro’s probably not. 🙂 Two years and counting for a major bio doesn’t sound too long.

        Logevall, past winner of the Pulitzer Prize, was interviewed this week on the Presidential Podcast. This week, Caro gets the full podcast on LBJ.

      • robertemmet said:

        Hi. My Nixon book is now titled: “Richard Nixon: A Life” and the publication date is May 2, 2017. Best wishes, JF

    • I’m just (slightly) embarrassed that word of this pending bio has been out a couple years and I was in the dark 🙂 And yes, I’m praying for Robert Caro’s continued good health…

      • This is for Robert Emmet: I am always curious on new NIxon biographies. There seems to be so many, one wonders what new can be said. Your title is quite like that of Jonathan Aitken’s biography, one that I have read and liked very much. What will make your “life” different than past “life’s”?

  44. You may have already answered this somewhere and I didn’t see it, but I wonder if you read books that are connected to the Presidents – either about family or associates. I’ve recently finished Kick by Paula Byrne and thought it was really wonderful. I’ve just read there is a book coming out soon about Missy LeHand which I am quite interested in.

    • Yes, I’ve gotten that question before and here’s the punch-line: (1) I’m creating a list (yes *another* list…though this one hasn’t been posted anywhere) of all the people related to the presidents who would be fascinating to read about in their own right, including folks like Hamilton, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, Robert E. Lee, Frances Perkins, etc. and (2) beginning with FDR I’m going to include – in my “The Best Bios of ___” post – a list of the people I’m adding to the list based on the bios I read of that particular president. Incidentally, I had never heard of Missy LeHand until I got to FDR but I can see how a biography of her would be fascinating!

  45. Maybe you want to add Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention to the list

  46. Robert Strauss has written an engaging book about James Buchanan and his presidential legacy. It’s not breaking any new ground (I’m halfway through), but it nicely covers his career and presidency.
    https://www.amazon.com/Worst-President-Ever-Buchanan-Presidents/dp/1493024833

    Eisenhower scholar David A. Nichols will be publishing a new book early next year:
    https://www.amazon.com/Ike-McCarthy-Eisenhowers-Campaign-against/dp/1451686609/

    • Thanks – I’d seen the Strauss book (and found the title provocative) but wasn’t aware of the Nichols book. They both look interesting!

  47. Hello,

    I am suggesting two books because you recommend River of Doubt. Consider reading Hidden White House, about Truman’s revamping of the President’s House, and FDR’s funeral train.

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