→ New/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 November 10, 2019.  If I’m missing something please let me know!

Upcoming Releases:

Jefferson Revolutionary Brothers: Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette, and the Friendship that Helped Forge Two Nations by Tom Chaffin Nov 26, 2019
Trump Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of His Presidency by Doug Wead Nov 26, 2019
Washington Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of George Washington’s Mother by Craig Shirley Dec 3, 2019
Washington A Crisis of Peace:George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution by David Head Dec 3, 2019
Washington You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington by Alexis Coe Feb 4, 2020
Washington Franklin and Washington: The Founding Partnership by Edward Larson Feb 11, 2020
Washington Washington’s End: The Final Years and Forgotten Struggle by Jonathan Horn Feb 11, 2020
[various] Author in Chief: The Untold Story of Our Presidents by Craig Fehrman Feb 11, 2020
[various] Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump by Tevi Troy Feb 11, 2020
Jefferson Thomas Jefferson: Psychobiography of an American Lion by M. Andrew Holowchak Mar 2, 2020
Adams John Adams Under Fire: The Founding Father’s Fight for Justice in the Boston Massacre Murder Trial by Dan Abrams Mar 3, 2020
Trump Psychologically Sound: The Mind of Donald J. Trump by Sheldon Roth, M.D. Mar 17, 2020
Trump The Toddler-in-Chief: What Donald Trump Teaches Us about the Modern Presidency by Daniel Drezner Mar 22, 2020
T Roosev Theodore Roosevelt: A Manly President’s Gendered Personal and Political Transformations by Neil Cogan Mar 30, 2020
Lincoln Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington by Ted Widmer Apr 7, 2020
JFK The House of Kennedy by James Patterson Apr 13, 2020
Lincoln The Lincoln Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill America’s Sixteenth President by Brad Meltzer May 5, 2020
Monroe James Monroe: A Life by Tim McGrath May 5, 2020
TR The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the People’s War on Corporate Power by Susan Berfield May 5, 2020
Tyler President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler by Christopher Leahy May 6, 2020
[various] Team of Five: The Presidents Club in the Age of Trump by Kate Andersen Brower May 19, 2020
TR Go West Mr. President: Theodore Roosevelt’s Great Loop Tour of 1903 by Michael Blake June 1, 2020
Reagan Reconsidering Reagan: Racism, Republicans, and the Road to Trump by Daniel Lucks June 23, 2020
Washington George Washington, Entrepreneur by John Berlau June 30, 2020
Trump Trump and Churchill: Defenders of Western Civilization by Nick Adams July 7, 2020
Carter [Currently untitled] by Jonathan Alter 2020
Buchanan [Currently untitled] by Paul Kahan -tbd-
JFK [Currently untitled] by Timothy Nafthali -tbd-
Grant Grant and His Generals: A Study of Civil War Command by Harry Laver -tbd-
Grant General U.S. Grant and President Andrew Johnson by Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein -tbd-
T Roosev [Currently untitled] by T.J. Stiles -tbd-
Van Buren [Currently untitled] by James Bradley -tbd-
Carter [Currently untitled] by Kai Bird -tbd-
Harding [Currently untitled] by Ronald and Allis Radosh -tbd-
LBJ [Volume 5] by Robert Caro -tbd-
JFK [Currently untitled] by Fredrik Logevall -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-

2019 Releases:

Trump This Ends Badly: How Donald Trump Conned America by Joe Scarborough Oct 13
Obama Barack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary Partnership by Steven Levingston Oct 8
Nixon Fan in Chief: Richard Nixon and American Sports, 1969-1974 by Nicholas Sarantakes Oct 4
Reagan Becoming Ronald Reagan: The Rise of a Conservative Icon by Robert Mann Oct 1
[Pence] Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House by Tom LoBianco Sept 24
Trump The United States of Trump: How the President Really Sees America by Bill O’Reilly Sept 24
Arthur The Accidental President: Chester A. Arthur by John Pafford Sept 17
Trump Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America by James Poniewozik Sept 10
Lincoln All the Powers of Earth: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln 1856-1863 (Vol 3) by Sidney Blumenthal Sept 3
FDR A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt by John Woolverton Aug 6
JFK Murder, Inc.: The CIA Under John F. Kennedy by James Johnston Aug 1
Nixon After the Fall: The Remarkable Comeback of Richard Nixon by Kasey Pipes July 23
Trump The Method to the Madness: Donald Trump’s Ascent by Allen Salkin July 9
Trump The Real Deal: My Decade Fighting Battles and Winning Wars with Trump by George Sorial June 11
Washington The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington by Martha Saxton June 11
Buchanan The Worlds of James Buchanan and Thaddeus Stevens by T. Michael Parrish (ed) June 5
TR The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders and the Dawn of the American Century by Alan Sears June 4
Eisenhower The Soul of an American President: The Untold Story of Dwight Eisenhower’s Faith by Alan Sears June 4
Trump Siege: Trump Under Fire by Michael Wolff June 4
FDR The Washington War: FDR’s Inner Circle and the Politics of Power by James Lacey May 28
Johnson The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation by Brenda Wineapple May 21
TR Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense: The Courtroom Battle to Save His Legacy by Dan Abrams May 21
Taft The Chief Justiceship of William Howard Taft, 1921-1930 by Jonathan Lurie May 16
Jefferson Thomas Jefferson: A Modern Prometheus by Wilson Jeremiah Moses May 16
FDR War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta (Vol 3) by Nigel Hamilton May 7
Noted Presidents: Historians Rank America’s Best – And Worst – Chief Executives by Brian Lamb Apr 23
Adams, JQA The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality by Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein Apr 16
Grant Hold On with a Bulldog Grip: A Short Study of Ulysses S. Grant by John Marszalek Apr 15
Lincoln Lincoln in the Illinois Legislature by Ron Keller Apr 11
Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America by Jared Cohen Apr 9
Obama A Crisis Wasted: Barack Obama’s Defining Decisions by Reed Hunt Apr 2
JFK American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley Apr 2
Washington Revolutionary: George Washington at War by Robert O’Connell Apr 2
Lincoln Abraham Lincoln’s Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy by Jon Schaff Mar 14, 2019
Wilson Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote by Tina Cassidy Mar 5
Lincoln The Black Heavens: Abraham Lincoln and Death by Brian Dirck Feb 6
Monroe James Monroe: A Republican Champion by Brook Poston Jan 22
Washington The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer Jan 8
Madison James Madison: The Father of Religious Liberty by Rodney K. Smith Jan 8

2018 Releases:

FDR, Hoover Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal by Eric Rauchway Nov 20
FDR The Allies: Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II by Winston Groom Nov 13
Reagan Ronald Reagan: An Intellectual Biography by David Byrne Nov 1
Jackson The Rise of Andrew Jackson by David Heidler Oct 23
Washington In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick Oct 16
Johnson, Clinton, Nixon, Trump Impeachment: An American History by Jon Meacham, Peter Baker, Timothy Naftali and Jeffrey Engel Oct 16
LBJ Launching LBJ: How a Kennedy Insider Helped Define Johnson’s Presidency by Helen O’Donnell Oct 2
Reagan Reagan: An American Journey by Bob Spitz Oct 2
Lincoln Becoming Lincoln by William Freehling Sept 18
Grant Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses S. Grant and the American Indians by Mary Stockwell Sept 12
Jackson In Defense of Andrew Jackson by Bradley Birzer Sept 11
FDR FDR, Al Smith, and the Unlikely Alliance That Created the Modern Democratic Party by Terry Golway Sept 11
FDR Roosevelt and Churchill: A Friendship that Saved the World by Al Cimino Sept 11
Trump Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward Sept 11 New Release Alert
Reagan A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland by Seth Jones Sept 11
T Roosev TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy by David Pietrusza Sept 1
Pence The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence by Michael D’Antonio and Peter Eisner Aug 28
Obama Barack Obama: American Historian by Steven Sarson Aug 9
Grant The Decision Was Always My Own: Ulysses S. Grant and the Vicksburg Campaign by Timothy Smith July 13
Reagan The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983 by Marc Ambinder July 10
Obama Obama: An Oral History by Brian Abrams July 10
Reagan Reagan: The American President by Larry Schweikart July 4
Grant The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: Preserving the Civil War’s Legacy by Paul Kahan
June 22
Lincoln Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams
June 5
Ford When the Center Held: Gerald Ford and the Rescue of the American Presidency by Donald Rumsfeld
May 15
Reagan Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire by Bret Baier
May 15
Lincoln Sixteenth President-in-Waiting: Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield Dispatches of Henry Villard by Michael Burlingame (ed)
May 15
Trump Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other by Conrad Black
May 14
Eisenhower / JFK Rising Star, Setting Sun: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and the Presidential Transition that Changed America by John Shaw
May 1
Washington Young Washington: How Wilderness and War Forged America’s Founding Father by Peter Stark May 1
Wilson The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole
Apr 24
Carter President Carter: The White House Years by Stuart Eizenstat Apr 24
Eisenhower Eisenhower vs. Warren: The Battle for Civil Rights and Liberties by James Simon Apr 10
Washington The Indian World of George Washington by Colin Calloway Apr 6
T Roosev Theodore Roosevelt: A Literary Life by Thomas Bailey
Apr 3
Eisenhower The Age of Eisenhower by William Hitchcock
Mar 20
Taft William Howard Taft: The American Presidents Series by Jeffrey Rosen
Mar 20
TR The Cowboy President: The American West and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt by Michael Blake
Mar 1
Trump The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography by David Brody
Feb 13
LBJ Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House by Joshua Zeitz
Jan 30
Eisenhower Eisenhower: Becoming Leader of the Free World by Louis Galambos
Jan 28
Lincoln Lincoln and Churchill: Statesmen at War by Lewis Lehrman
Jan 15
TR An Unlikely Trust: Theodore Roosevelt, JP Morgan, and the Improbable Partnership that Remade American Business by Gerard Helferich
Jan 1

2017 Releases:

FDR The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and Peace by David Woolner
Dec 12
T Roosev Theodore Roosevelt’s Ghost: The History and Memory of an American Icon by Michael Patrick Cullinane
Dec 11
Ford Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford by Scott Kaufman
Nov 15
Bush The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush by Mark Updegrove
Nov 14
Nixon The Mafia’s President: Nixon and the Mob by Don Fulsom
Nov 14
FDR Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life by Robert Dallek
Nov 7
McKinley President McKinley: Architect of the American Century by Robert Merry
Nov 7
Obama Obama: An Intimate Portrait (a “visual” biography) by Pete Souza
Nov 7
Madison The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President by Noah Feldman
Oct 31
JQA The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics by William Cooper
Oct 24
Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon Wood
Oct 24
Truman The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World by A. J. Baime Oct 24
Grant Grant by Ron Chernow
Oct 10 New Release Alert
Hoover Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte
Oct 10
Grant The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant by Charles Calhoun
Jackson Sharp Knife: Andrew Jackson and the American Indians by Alfred Cave
Sept 30
The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur by Scott Greenberger
Sept 12
Power Without Victory: Woodrow Wilson by Trygve Thronveit
July 15
Obama: The Call of History by Peter Baker
June 27
The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism by Henry Olsen
June 27
Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War by Fred Kaplan
June 13
Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights by Steven Levingston
June 6
Becoming Abraham Lincoln: The Coming of Age of Our Greatest President by Richard Kigel
June 6
Avenging the People: Andrew Jackson, the Rule of Law, and the American Nation by J. M. Opal
June 1
Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln (Vol 2) by Sidney Blumenthal
May 16
Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever by Patrick Buchanan
May 9
The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK’s Five-Year Campaign by Thomas Oliphant
May 9
Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama by David Garrow
May 9
JFK: A Vision for America by Stephen Kennedy Smith
May 2
George Washington: A Life in Books by Kevin Hayes
May 1
Forging a President: How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt by William Hazelgrove
May 1
Jefferson: Architect of American Liberty by John B. Boles
Apr 25
A Companion to Dwight D. Eisenhower by Chester Pach
Apr 10
Abraham Lincoln: The Critical History of an American Icon by Alan Sked
Mar 30
Richard Nixon: The Life by John A. Farrell
Mar 28
Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years 1976-1980 by Craig Shirley
Mar 21
Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower’s Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy by David Nichols
Mar 21
George Washington: A Man of Action by John Kaminski
Mar 2
George Washington: The Wonder of the Age by John Rhodehamel
Feb 21
Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and Its Demons by Elizabeth Brown Pryor
Feb 7
Thomas Jefferson – Revolutionary by Kevin Gutzman
Jan 31
Bill Clinton: The American Presidents Series by Michael Tomasky
Jan 24
The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Birth of American Empire by Stephen Kinzer
Jan 24
Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission by Brett Baier
Jan 10
Washington’s Farewell: The Founding Father’s Warning to Future Generations by John Avlon
Jan 10

A Consequential President: The Legacy of Barack Obama by Michael D’Antonio
Jan 3

2016 Releases:

Reagan: An American Icon by Iwan Morgan
Dec 16

The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America’s Greatest Political Family by William Mann
Dec 6 Third-party reviews

The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War by HW Brands
Oct 11 Third-party reviews
American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant by Ronald C. White, Jr. Oct 4 New Release Alert
Herbert Hoover: A Life by Glen Jeansonne
Oct 4 Third-party reviews
His Final Battle: The Final Months of Franklin Roosevelt  by Joseph Lelyveld
Sept 6 Third-party reviews
Bush, GW
Bush by Jean Edward Smith
July 4 New Release Alert
Commander in Chief: FDR’s Battle with Churchill, 1943 by Nigel Hamilton
June 7
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick
May 10
Jefferson’s America: The President, the Purchase, and the Explorers Who Transformed a Nation by Julie Fenster
May 10
A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln 1809 – 1849 (Vol 1) by Sidney Blumenthal
May 10 Third-party reviews
Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency by Charles Rappleye
May 10
Father Lincoln: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and His Boys by Alan Manning
May 1
Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson by Annette Gordon-Reed
April 13
The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt by Darrin Lunde
April 12
True Reagan: What Made Ronald Reagan Great by James Rosebush
April 12
Prisoners of Hope: LBJ, the Great Society, and the Limits of Liberalism by Randall Woods
April 5  Third-party reviews
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The War Years, 1939-1945 (Vol 2) by Roger Daniels
Mar 30
John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit by James Traub
Mar 22 Third-party reviews
Rightful Heritage: FDR and the Land of America by Douglas Brinkley
Mar 15
Redeeming the Great Emancipator by Allen Guelzo
Feb 12
Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President by Patrick J. Maney
Jan 28
The Nixon Effect: How His Presidency Fundamentally Changed American Politics by Douglas Schoen
Jan 26
First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His – and the Nation’s – Prosperity by Edward Lengel
Jan 26
Reagan Ronald Reagan: The 40th President (The American Presidents Series) by Jacob Weisberg
Jan 5

2015 Releases:

Reagan Selling Ronald Reagan: The Emergence of a President by Gerard De Groot
Nov 30
McKinley The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters by Karl Rove
Nov 24 Third-party reviews
TR Theodore Roosevelt in the Field by Michael Canfield
Nov 16
Bush, GHW Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
Nov 10 New Release Alert
Washington The Washingtons: George and Martha by Flora Fraser
Nov 3 Third-party reviews
Lincoln Lincoln, the Law, and Presidential Leadership by Charles Hubbard(ed)
Nov 2
TR Theodore the Great: Conservative Crusader by Daniel Ruddy
Oct 19
FDR Franklin D. Roosevelt: Road to the New Deal 1882-1939 (Vol 1) by Roger Daniels
Oct 15 Third-party reviews
Nixon Nixon’s Gamble: How a President’s Own Secret Government Destroyed His Administration by Ray Locker
Oct 1
Washington Powerful Mind: The Self-Education of George Washington by Adrienne Harrison
Oct 1
Reagan Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O’Reilly
Sept 22 Third-party reviews
FDR Man of Destiny: FDR and the Making of the American Century by Alonzo Hamby
Sept 22
FDR 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History by Jay Winik
Sept 22
Nixon/Eisenhw The President and the Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon, 1952-1961 by Irwin Gellman
Jul 28 Third-party reviews
Reagan Reagan Remembered by Gilbert Robinson (ed.)
Jul 20
Nixon One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon by Tim Weiner
June 16 Third-party reviews
Bush The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H. W. Bush by John Sununu
June 16 Third-party reviews
Nixon Being Nixon: A Man Divided by Evan Thomas
June 16 Third-party reviews
Reagan Reagan: The Life by H.W. Brands
May 12 Third-party reviews
Washington Washington’s Circle: The Creation of the President by David Heidler Mar 17 Third-party reviews
Madison Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father by Michael Signer
Mar 10 Third-party reviews
Lincoln Mourning Lincoln by Martha Hodes
Feb 24 Third-party reviews
JFK The Politics of Deception: JFK’s Secret Decisions by Patrick Sloyan
Feb 10
Madison Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America by David Stewart
Feb 10 Third-party reviews
Washington Washington’s Revolution: The Making of America’s First Leader by Robert Middlekauff Feb 3 Third-party reviews
Bush George W. Bush by James Mann Feb 3 Third-party reviews
Quincy Adams The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams by Phyllis Lee Levin Jan 6 Third-party reviews

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).


311 thoughts on “→ New/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

    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….


  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.


  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.


    • 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.

    Eisenhower scholar David A. Nichols will be publishing a new book early next year:

    • 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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