→ 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).

317 thoughts on “→ New/Upcoming Releases ←”

  1. Steve L in Mississippi said:

    Any current info on when caro will finish/release volume 5 on LBJ?
    Steve L in Mississippi

    • His previous volumes have been 8-12 years apart. I recall in interviews for the last book he had said he’d already done a lot of the research for volume 5. So I’d guess sometime between 2020 and 2022.

      • Gary Schantz said:

        I don’t think these books are particularly good. They are too lengthy and agonizing to read. I think a two volume tome on any president is long enough.

  2. redskullduggery said:

    Hopefully he lives that long! It’s a bit of a George RR Martin situation…

  3. I just came across two new upcoming books:
    – Washington’s Farewell by John Avlon, Simon & Schuster, Jan 10, 2017: http://amzn.to/2gCSgp4
    – The True Flag: TR, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire by Stephen Kinzer, Jan 24, 2017, http://amzn.to/2geWWxC

  4. I wonder when Ron Chernow is going to release his book on U.S. Grant ?

    • Great question, but not likely in the next 12 months. The upside: I’ll probably be done with my first biographies of each of the presidents and will be reading “follow-up” list biographies. And anything Chernow writes about any president will be among the first things I read!

      • The bigger question: When does Grant hit Broadway?

        Here’s the good news: Late last year Mr. Chernow told the WSJ he “has written [Grant] faster than usual, energized by the impact of 2015.”

  5. If Grant hits Broadway, he will be turning in his grave……

  6. One way to get people to learn American History…..it’s the dancing General Grant…..ha!

  7. Zach Switzer said:

    Hi Steve,

    Walter Merry has a McKinley Bio published by simon and Schuster coming out in sept! President McKinley: The Art of Stealthy Leadership

  8. Thanks – I agree that something fresh on McKinley is overdue! I’ll be waiting anxiously to see how this turns out…

    • and Rosen’s book on Taft has been moved to Jan 1, 2018. It is like the Grant volume in the University Press of Kansas series; the publication date is a moving target.

  9. How did you find out about when Hitchcock’s Eisenhower book will be published?

  10. Meacham “is working on a biography of James and Dolley Madison.”

  11. Gary Schantz said:

    While its understandable that Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy (who seem to be considered “the” presidents) get more than their fair share of books, I have been looking forward to good authors taking on Ford, Taft, Coolidge as well as the bearded presidents. But it doesn’t appear they are on any writer’s radar.

    • I’ve been waiting for someone great to take on Van Buren and Hoover, both of whom were fascinating (particularly Hoover pre-presidency). But I would be up for great biographies of Taft, Coolidge and Ford as well!

      • I thought Robert Sobel’s book on Coolidge served as an excellent introduction to the man and his presidency. I had tried to read Shlae’s biography, but I found it disorganized and poorly written despite the plethora of information. Coolidge has proven to be more influential in the past thirty years than the thirty immediately preceding his death.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        Hoover was extremely fascinating pre-presidency. I am surprised how much I enjoyed reading about that period, particularly the first 3 volumes of the massive 6 volume treatment of his life (“The Engineer, 1874-1914,” “The Humanitarian, 1914-1917,” and “Master of Emergencies, 1917-1918”). It’s fair to say he may be the greatest humanitarian in American history. Just a couple months ago I was talking with a friend, who is a screenwriter, about Hoover’s life, and as we were talking he remarked that there could be an exciting screenplay in there. From his weeks under fire on the front lines of the Boxer Rebellion in China to his humanitarian efforts amidst World War I in Europe and even his orphaned youth filled with near-death experiences that continued through his early mining career when he began to rise from poverty and amass his wealth.

  12. Gary Schantz said:

    I agree about Schlae’s book on Coolidge. However I plan to read Sobel’s book.

  13. As my hope for the February release of the Chester Arthur book dwindles, this new one on JFK looks interesting:


  14. Taking a break from monitoring the new Arthur bio, I found some good stuff coming up this fall:

    Oct 10: Kenneth Whyte on Hoover (the third Hoover bio in the past year):

    Oct 31: Noah Feldman on Madison:

    Nov 7: Gordon Wood on Adams and Jefferson (anyone else enjoy Matt Damon citing Wood in Good Will Hunting?):

  15. My apologies for clogging up this section, but I found two new announcements:
    – Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War, Fred Kaplan, June 13, 2017
    – The Last Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics, William J. Cooper, Nov 14, 2017

  16. Gary Schantz said:

    All these new books about presidents are really great. But at some point I have to choose as my library is only so big and I can only read so many books. However…it is a good problem to have.

    • An excellent problem indeed. In my humble opinion, the best of 2017 would probably be Chernow’s Grant, Merry’s McKinley, Greenberger’s Arthur, and Farrell’s Nixon.

      • I think Nixon is a fascinating political figure and I’m looking forward to Steve’s take on his books not to mention Kennedy, LBJ and Reagan but why do you feel Farrell’s Nixon book will be noteworthy. I don’t now anything about Farrell as a writer.

      • The book has been receiving favorable advance publicity.

        About the author: http://www.jafarrell.com/aboutjack.html

        Review from Kirkus: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/john-a-farrell/richard-nixon-the-life/

        The Kirkus coda says it all for me: “Full of fresh, endlessly revealing insights into Nixon’s political career, less on the matter of his character, refreshingly, than on the events that accompanied and resulted from it.”

      • That review does sound promising and Nixon certainly was a complicated guy.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        Farrell actually surprised me. I learned a couple years ago that Farrell personally does not like Nixon, and since that time my hopes for an objective biography kept sinking as I regularly saw him denigrate Nixon, but this work actually offers praise in some areas and even handed analysis in others. He does stretch to offer new indictments of aspects of Nixon’s involvement in Vietnam, and while some arguments seem plausible, others less so. Nonetheless, a solid biography. If you liked Evan Thomas’ “Being Nixon,” you’ll like this one for its added depth (and increased length).

  17. Hooray ! At last I know when Ron Chernow’s book on Grant will be out….I loved his books on Washington and Hamilton and now Grant…My mother, who is 96 and an avid Civil War buff, will love reading Chernow’s new biography. Thank you for posting this information.

  18. Robert Dallek’s next book is Franklin Roosevelt: A Political Life. No specific release date has been provided.

    • Excellent news and it seems like it may be close. I don’t find anything on Viking’s site though.

      From USNews:
      Robert Dallek Contributor
      Historian Robert Dallek is the author of books on John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. In September, Viking will publish his next book, “FDR: A Political Life.”

  19. While not a biography, there is a noteworthy primary source release coming up of John Quincy Adams’ Diaries, totaling nearly 1300 pages. It’s a Library of America release scheduled for this June. I love to have primary source collections in my library accompanying my biographies whenever possible, especially private letters, diaries, etc.

    The Diaries of John Quincy Adams, 1779-1848: http://amzn.to/2m27t3K

    Note the above link is to the boxed set, as it is 2 separate volumes.

  20. Thanks for the tip – I think JQA led an incredibly compelling life (even if he was a disappointment as president). His diary must be absolutely fascinating…

    • I do have a little bias towards primary sources, as most of my research over the past 15 years has been in letters, journals, and contemporary news articles, etc. JQA is one whose diaries I’ve only seen snippets from, but they do have some very, very colorful and even exciting passages…of course, reading through ALL the diaries to find the exciting passages would be a most tedious undertaking. I find the most value in materials such as this when I use them in harmony with formal biographies or other analysis, and when those reference certain dates or events, I like to pause and go to that time or event in the primary sources to study briefly before returning to the biography.

      • Gary Schantz said:

        As I read through the biographies, I have discovered that some authors have done a great job of tying presidents together. For example H G Unger’s Monroe and John Quincy books were excellent back-to-back reads. I wish more authors would write in this fashion as it makes the understanding of history more fluid.

  21. Gary Schantz said:

    It is a bit hard to find good books on about approximately 20 of the presidents so another discourse on Kennedy, Lincoln or the Roosevelts could be done without…agree?

  22. I would definitely read it! I do think Van Buren’s pre-presidency was intrinsically more fascinating than Harding’s but the aftermath of WGH’s presidency could use a little additional transparency (and perspective) to be sure. I often ask myself how Chernow / JES / Ronald White would examine a president/presidency they haven’t yet covered…

    • Remini’s MVB and the Making of the Democratic Party is an excellent examination of his pre-Presidential activities.

  23. DKG’s THE BULLY PULPIT and William Cooper’s WARRIOR AND THE PRIEST do a nice job at tying consecutive presidencies together. I am awaiting the great Cleveland/Harrison/Cleveland weave.

  24. New FDR biography by Robert Dallek now available for pre-order on Amazon

    • Thanks for the heads up. It will be interesting to see if Dallek unearthed any new material on FDR’s health. He certainly opened a lot of eyes with his Kennedy bio.

  25. Regarding Harding, I keep waiting for news of the Radosh book . . .

    • J.L. Jensen said:

      I, too, can’t wait for the Radosh book. In my research to find out a target date (which I did not find), I did find this Op-Ed Radosh wrote for the New York Times back in 2015 which I’m sure is a small preview of what to expect in his book. This certainly got me more excited for his upcoming biography.

  26. Coming on October 24th from A.J. Baime: The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

  27. Although neither a presidential biography nor about the presidency, I think most (perhaps all) of us know the name and his new collection of speeches may be of interest to some.

    David McCullough: THE AMERICAN SPIRIT:

    It seems he is not working on the great Van Buren biography we seek. “The Pioneers” – about the Northwest Ordinance – is scheduled for 2019 delivery.

  28. The new book on Reagan (Reagan Rising) by Craig Shirley looks like a winner!

  29. This fall from the University Press of Kansas:
    Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford by Scott Kaufman

    … and this long-awaited volume in the American Presidency Series:
    The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant by Charles Calhoun, Sept 22, 2017.

    • J.L. Jensen said:

      I pre-ordered both of these without hesitation as soon as I saw them available. There’s not many good biographies about Ford, though An Honorable Life is good and probably the best right now.

      As for the Grant volume, I am actually quite excited to have a 720 page book that focuses exclusively on his presidency. I’ve always felt it was more consequential than people realize, and even more influential in establishing the foundations of the modern Republican party’s focus on economic issues and fiscal conservatism. Lots of good Grant books to look forward to this year, especially Chernow’s, but I am anticipating this nearly as much for a deeper analysis of his presidency than we’ve ever been treated to.

      • I did not notice the page count for The Presidency of Grant. Most of the volumes are in the 300-400 range. The LBJ volume at 432 is the next closest.

  30. Gerald Ford biography by Scott Kaufman now available to pre-order on Amazon

  31. redskullduggery said:

    I’d be curious to know what % of frequent visitors to this site have already pre-ordered Chernow’s Grant bio. 🙂

  32. Ron Chernow’s new biography of Grant will be released Oct. 10, 2017 and I just pre-ordered a copy on Amazon…

    • Ronald Park said:

      Walter Isaacson will release a biography of Leonardo DaVinci on October 17.

      • Indeed…I’ve been trying to figure out how / whether I can justify “sneaking” the DaVinci bio in amongst my presidential bios. Probably won’t attempt it (then I’d have to go ahead and read Chernow’s “Hamilton” and several others before finishing the POTUS line-up) but it’s tempting!

  33. Richard said:

    I’m more than half way thru Chernow’s Hamilton. It’s a lengthy book but never a dull moment. He was a fascinating man and I have to admit I didn’t much about him before starting the book. Also, on C-SPAN’s Q&A, Brian Lamb recently interviewed John Farrell about his Nixon book. Looks like it’s well worth reading and I’m looking forward to your take on it.

  34. Chernow has to be my favorite historical biographer. You are right about “never a dull moment” and Chernow has a way of getting inside the head of his subject that makes his writing so addictive. After reading his “Washington, A Life”, George Washington is my new all time hero.

    • Richard said:

      I’m looking forward to reading his Washington book. In Hamilton, there is a lot of interaction between Hamilton and Washington since Hamilton served as a top aid to Washington in the War and then as the first Treasury Secretary. Pretty amazing for someone who grew up in poverty in the Caribbean.

  35. It is neither biography nor new, but …

    The final volume of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant is being published in October. It is a scholarly, annotated edition of The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant which is being published by Belknap Press.

    • I just realized this is scheduled to be published one week after Chernow’s GRANT and two weeks after the University Press of Kansas publishes the missing link in its American Presidency Series (the Grant volume).

  36. Ronald Park said:

    Did you mistakenly drop the link to the non-presidential biographies?

  37. Gary Schantz said:

    The more I come back to the site, the more I am finding that the newer bios are better than the older ones. So I’m building my library based on the new books unless anyone has a suggestion of which older books are must-reads.

    • Gary Schantz said:

      Also, I’m finding that if I stick to the same authors, I find the reading to be more fluid from one book to another such Unger’s Monroe and JQA books.

  38. Billy Watson said:

    Well bad news and maybe some good news on Caro’s last LBJ volume

    Good news – He is still alive and working. He has 400 pages done.

    Bad news he wants to go to Vietnam to write the Vietnam section

    Good News – Health seems to be adequate

    Bad news – He is 81

    Come on, man – hang in there. Many of us have to have that last volume

    • Thanks for the update! I hadn’t yet seen the NYT article. I’m encouraged by the progress, and I think we all have our fingers crossed for his excellent health and longevity!

    • I see it as a positive. As long as he doesn’t experience any adverse effects a la Roosevelt in the Amazon.

    • J.L. Jensen said:

      “The author estimated that less than 5 percent of the material in his research files has made it into the finished books.”

      WOW. Talk about a wealth of information for future biographers to comb through.

  39. One new one: The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole, January 9, 2018.

    One update: The Age of Eisenhower by William Hitchcock is scheduled to be published March 20, 2018.

  40. Richard said:

    There is a new interview of Robert Caro by Brian Lamb on his Q&A program from just a few days ago. Caro talks about the status of his current Johnson book among other things and despite his age (early 80’s) he said he is not rushing the book. The interview can be viewed on C-Span’s web site.

    • During his interview with Lamb, he discusses his new audiobook “On Power” which is available on audible.com. [Available with 30-day free trial through Amazon.] It was an excellent way to spend 1 hr 40 minutes.

  41. J.L. Jensen said:

    Looks like the University of Kansas’ “The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant” has been moved up and is now only about a week away from release. Can’t wait to read this as it will be my first Grant book that focuses only on his presidency, and at 720 pages I’m sure the analysis will be deep and verbose.

    As for the other book due out this year on Grant’s presidency, Paul Kahan’s “President Grant,” its release date of May 18 came and went. Amazon has no updated release date. Anyone know anything about this one and when we may expect it?

    • I reached out to Mr. Kahan earlier in the summer about Grant. He suggested I follow him on social media for news. So far, nothing new. His website is: http://www.paulkahan.com/.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        The release date has now also come and gone for Charles Calhoun’s “The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant.” Amazon now lists this as temporarily out of stock. Man, the second Grant release in a row to pass its release date with no update on when to expect it. At least Chernow’s will be more widely anticipated and thus actually come out on its currently scheduled release date. Though not new, I did just finally grab a copy of “Citizen of a Wider Commonwealth” by Edwina Campbell. Came out last year and I finally snagged a copy. Can’t wait to read it.

      • The Press’s website notes an October publication date for Dr. Calhoun’s book. On October 14th he is scheduled to discuss and sign his book at the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop’s Author’s Voice. The long-awaiting publication appears imminent.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        Just got a notification from Amazon that the shipping date for Calhoun’s Grant book is now Sept. 21 – Oct. 9. Given that the Press’ website says October, and his event is scheduled for Oct. 14th, I’d say early October is looking good. Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and it will be late September. Either way, I am very excited for this release, and also that it means Chernow’s is right behind.

      • As for the release date of Dr. Calhoun’s book: I will be happy to see the University Press of Kansas finally complete their American Presidency Series through Carter [plus George H.W. Bush]. It has been 33 years since Forrest McDonald published The Presidency of George Washington.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        And what do you know, but Amazon also just updated their release date for Kahan’s book. They have it listed with a release date of May 18, 2018.

      • After some initial enthusiasm my interest in Dr. Kahan’s book is waning. Following three major studies in a year (Ronald White, Charles Calhoun, and Ron Chernow) I am not sure how much his book will add. Additionally we are still waiting for Brooks Simpson to complete volume 2 of his biography. Of course, other opinions will vary.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        Got an email that Calhoun’s book has been shipped and I’ll receive it Wednesday. Great news to end an already excellent day spent at the Reagan Library where I was a guest speaker tonight. I joked with some during dinner that I thought they wanted me to speak on Ulysses S. Grant instead of Reagan and they weren’t sure if I was serious or not.

  42. And don’t forget Ron Chernow’s book, “Grant” which is due out in October this year and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. You can be sure that Chernow will do an in-depth character study of Grant.

  43. I noticed Alexis Coe’s upcoming book is noted here. Have any other readers here followed Elliott Kalan’s Audible podcast Presidents are People Too?

    • An edited version: I noticed Alexis Coe’s upcoming book is noted here. Have any other readers here followed her and Elliott Kalan’s Audible podcast Presidents are People Too?

  44. Regenry is scheduled to publish Donald Trump: The Man and His Hour by Conrad Black on May 14, 2018. Luckily (given his output on FDR and Nixon), it is described as ‘admirably concise’ (256 pages) on Amazon.

    • Thanks – I hadn’t hear about this one. And, yes, compared to the Conrad black biographies I have on my bookshelf at the moment 256 pages hardy seems worth his effort. Can’t wait to see how this works out!

  45. Gary Schantz said:

    While my reading project is not as in-depth as Steve’s, I must admit that I am getting frustrated trying to pick a few books per president. My goal has always been to have a good-working knowledge of each president but with the output of books in the past few years, I’m starting to wonder if this project is going to become a bottomless pit. The more I read, the more there is to read.

    • It can become a bottomless pit. [I have been – may still be – there. Depends on who is opining.] In addition to Steve’s list, the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop issues an Essential Presidential List. It is a little dated (November 2015) now, but still a great resource when trying to narrow your reading list.

      The titles reprinted by American Political Biography or Easton Press titles are generally well-regarded. Jeffrey Speirs of APB used to maintain a list of definitive biographies, but I haven’t seen an update in a few years.

      Quality over quantity.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        Thank you for those Abraham Lincoln Bookshop lists, I hadn’t seen those. I chuckled when I read “or even a recommendable one” on some who didn’t have anything listed. I am glad I’m not the only one who feels there isn’t a good, definitive biography out there yet on Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton. As for Ford, I was hoping “An Honorable Life” would be it, but I haven’t read it yet, so wonder why it wasn’t on their list. I have already pre-ordered the upcoming bio on him releasing next month from University of Kansas. I feel there’s some good material out there about Clinton, but not the big bio yet. As for Carter, it’s been nearly 40 years, yet I am surprised how little there is about him. I only have 2 books on him, and neither is definitive or comprehensive in any way.

        As for being a bottomless pit…it certainly is. I am still adding to my collection and I haven’t even read everything I own yet. I currently have 253 titles totaling 130,585 pages and I haven’t even read half of it yet. I don’t know why I keep adding to it, but alas, I have a weakness for presidential history. I have books on every president, though not full bios on every one.

      • You’re welcome. Many years ago I amalgamated the ALB and APB lists into one manageable list for building a collection. Then, I jumped into the abyss and ended up with a 781 volume (and counting) presidential library. As Ken Whyte states on his website: “I don’t have any hobbies, unless hoarding books can be considered a hobby, and, even then, I’m trying to get over it.’

      • I too am a hoarder of presidential biographies. I was interested to read that some of the more, not all, interesting books are those of staff who served under various presidents. Can anyone recommend some biographies/memoirs which may be worthwhile trying to obtain and read?

      • Gary Schantz said:

        I liked the Lincoln Bookshop list. I went through the whole list and updated my spreadsheet as to what I have, what I have read and what I have to get. This hobby is fun but it can be a little OCD as I’m thinking about knocking out a wall to make my library larger. Maybe I should just read and relax for a few years.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        @HBM, wow! 781 volumes! Do you happen to have a spreadsheet or doc with a list of your titles?

      • It’s so refreshing to see someone even more hopelessly addicted than me :). Thanks for sharing – I’ll have to comb through this in detail at some point!

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        Thank you, HBM! I have this set to notify me of new comments but for some reason I have missed a lot on this thread and haven’t been notified, so I just saw your comment with your list this morning. At 15 pages, it will take me some time to look through it all! I can’t say I will do a good job at keeping the commandments as I read through it, particularly the one about not coveting! 😉 Right off the bat, however, I did notice you have quite a few books on the elections, including many from the American Presidential Elections series. How have you enjoyed that series? Have any of them been duds or would you recommend all that you own? Of course, I must also ask how many of these you’ve read!. Thanks for sharing!

      • I have all read parts of all of them. Some of them not more than the introduction, particular sections of interest, the epilogue, or the bibliography. Frequently, I will skim through the non-Presidential portions of some books.

        Like their American Presidents Series, the UP Kansas’s series on the elections is variable. All are interesting and well researched, but they can be dense. Some of the candidates and issues can be quite dry (tariffs, bimetallism, et al.) or explained in a dry manner. The volumes are best consumed by patient readers more interested in content than style. In a few cases, these books may end up being the only modern treatment of certain elections. I would recommend them all, but not all at once.

    • AARON MILLION said:

      Gary I feel the same way at times. For example, I’ve read eleven books on or by Nixon. How many more do I really need to read on him? And yet it is a struggle to find something halfway engaging on many of the 19th century Presidents. I guess my way of dealing with the bottomless pit is that I purposely try to branch out into reading biographies of Cabinet secretaries or other top officials who worked closely with one or more Presidents. That way the presidential aspect of the book is still present, but the scope is a bit wider and I learn about some other important figures at the same time.

  46. Peter: the best narrative bio graphyI’ve ever read is Stephen Oates’s “Let the Trump Sound: A life of Martin Luther King, Jr. ” I’m also hoping for an objective and well written biography of Harry Truman. (McCullough engages in too much hagiography for me.)

    • thank you I will definitely look that one up. I am also interested to find interesting and worthwhile bios on secretaries of state and defence such as Robert McNamara which I have recently purchased.

  47. On January 28, 2018 Johns Hopkins University Press is publishing a new Eisenhower biography by Louis Galambos. Dr. Galambos is an editor on the Eisenhower papers. At just under 300 pages, it may prove to be an accessible biography.

    • Thanks – this one totally escaped my attention. Looking forward to learning more about it!

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        I missed this one as well. I have already pre-ordered William Hitchcock’s “The Age of Eisenhower,” but this one by Galambos has potential as he was the editor of the Eisenhower papers, so he should have some good insights into the man, and at under 300 pages hopefully it is crisp and clear.

      • Hi! Just wanted to point out that you listed the new Eisenhower book as “Truman” in the left column. (Currently reading Chernow’s Grant bio and loving it.)

      • Ah yes, an inexplicable case of pilot error. Thanks for catching!

  48. I’m a bit surprised there’s nothing on the horizon about Ronald Reagan . . .

  49. J.L. Jensen said:

    It’s official! Chernow’s “Grant” has been optioned by Lionsgate for a movie.

    • Gary Schantz said:

      When I saw the picture of Grant on the dust-jacket of the Chernow book, I thought it was Robin Williams. I bet he could have played the part perfectly considering Grant’s numerous travails. Unfortunately, we will never know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s