→ 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 August 6, 2020.  If I’m missing something please let me know!

Upcoming Releases:

Eisenhower How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions by Susan Eisenhower Aug 11
Taft William Howard Taft and the Phillipines by Adams Burns Aug 11
Reagan Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein Aug 18
Trump Donald Trump: Keeping His Promise by K.C. Blumm Aug 18
Trump Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President by Michael Schmidt Sept 1
Garfield The Last Lincoln Republican: The Presidential Election of 1880 by Benjamin Arrington Sept 7
JFK JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century by Fredrik Logevall Sept 8
Obama Barack Obama: His Legacy of Hope & Change by Kathleen Perricone Sept 8
Washington First and Always: A New Portrait of George Washington by Peter Henriques Sept 15
[various] America’s Presidents: Ranked from Best to Worst by Jason Stahl Sept 22
[various] The Virginia Dynasty: Four Presidents and the Creation of the American Nation by Lynne Cheney Sept 22
Carter His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life by Jonathan Alter Sept 29
Lincoln Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times by David Reynolds Sept 29
Lincoln The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom by H.W. Brands Oct 6
Lincoln Lincoln’s Lie: A True Civil War Caper Through Fake News, Wall Street, and the White House by Elizabeth Mitchell Oct 6
Jefferson, Adams The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America by Winston Groom Nov 3
Washington The First Inauguration: George Washington and the Invention of the Republic by Stephen Howard Browne Nov 15
TR Forging the Trident: Theodore Roosevelt and the United States Navy by William Leeman Nov 15
McKinley Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality by Benjamin Justesen Dec 16
Washington George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father by David Stewart Feb 9, 2021
Jefferson, Madison, Monroe The Virginia Dynasty: Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe by Kevin Gutzman Sept 1, 2021
Cleveland A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland” by Troy Senik
-tbd-
Buchanan [Currently untitled] by Paul Kahan -tbd-
JFK [Currently untitled] by Timothy Nafthali -tbd-
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 re: Carter’s White House years] by Kai Bird -tbd-
Harding [Currently untitled] by Ronald and Allis Radosh -tbd-
LBJ [Volume 5] by Robert Caro -tbd-
Ford [Currently untitled] by Richard Norton Smith -tbd-
Grant [Currently untitled] (Vol 2) by Brooks Simpson -tbd-
Madison [Currently untitled] by John Meacham -tbd-
Garfield The Life and Labors of James Garfield by C.W. Goodyear rumored

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).

361 thoughts on “→ Upcoming Releases ←”

  1. The 2019 section appears to be empty. To correct that: Kasey Pipes (author of Ike’s Final Battle) is writing a biography on Nixon to be published by Regnery in 2019. Amazon has it dropping in August 2018, but the author’s social media states 2019.

    An interesting review of Richard Aldous’s Arthur Schlesinger Jr. biography:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/02/books/review/arthur-schlesinger-biography-richard-aldous.html.
    It is much more favorable than The Wall Street Journal’s review.

    • J.L. Jensen said:

      I saw Amazon has it listed at only 256 pages, so a very brief biography. Either way, I’m surprised that there seems to be a couple Nixon books a year now. There’s no shortage of info no him, but being such a polarizing figure, it means the audience is also polarized and more narrow. Then again, I recently read a new Nixon book on Watergate that analyzes some recently uncovered information on unethical ex parte meetings on the part of Judge Sirica and others of the prosecution, so there is interest in stuff like that, at least for me. I love to read about newly declassified stuff, especially when it can offer significant new info to such a historic event.

  2. I missed this one until this morning’s WSJ: An Unlikely Trust: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Improbable Partnership That Remade American Business by Gerard Helferich. It is being published Jan 1, 2018.

  3. J.L. Jensen said:

    Released today was one that slipped under my radar until hearing about it this morning from Craig Shirley, “Reagan at the Movies.” Not a biography, but a memoir, it looks like a unique book with a pretty fun subject matter, at least for those of us who enjoyed many of the movies popular in the 80s! The author was a White House aide who enjoyed weekends at Camp David with the Reagan’s when they would watch movies, and he records their reactions to various films and how they impacted them as a couple and also him as a president.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2018/02/26/charming-new-book-has-front-row-seat-president-and-nancy-reagan-movie-night/357066002/

  4. After a quiet period, the publishers seem to have added a couple new titles to their fall offerings.
    – Winter War: Hoover, Roosevelt, and the First Clash Over the New Deal by Eric Rauchway (Basic Books, 272 pages). Dr. Rauchway’s Murdering McKinley was a very good read.
    – Reagan: An American Journey by Bob Spitz (Penguin Press, 608 pages). This one could be interesting as his prior books focused on the Beatles, Woodstock, and Julia Child. The blurb on Amazon states: “Reagan stands fair to be the first truly post-partisan biography of our 40th President, and thus a balm for our own bitterly divided times.”

    • Fabulous – thanks. Now that I’m back in civilization with access to electricity and internet I’m going to have to update this page. I was unaware of these and will be adding them shortly!

    • J.L. Jensen said:

      I’m curious how objective Dr. Rauchway can be in “Winter War” considering he is solidly on the side of FDR’s economic policies as read about in “The Money Makers.” It has the potential to be pretty good (the subject matter is very intriguing, as is that interregnum), as long as he can walk that fine line of being objective about policies that he has already come out as a strong proponent of. The Reagan book has some potential. I haven’t been asked yet to provide any reviews for it, but I am anticipating some review requests later in the summer. I am unfamiliar with Bob Spitz’s other works, so am also unfamiliar with his writing style and approach to research. Thanks for listing these! I love hearing about upcoming releases.

  5. Gary Schantz said:

    It’s becoming painfully obvious that we’ll never have enough books on Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy and both Roosevelts. Too bad there isn’t more interest in the other 39 presidents.

    • Believe it or not I’m waiting for a really good biography of Martin Van Buren (though I’m not holding my breath). As much as I’m looking forward to Chernow’s and White’s bios of Grant (as just two examples) I’d really like to see biographers of their caliber tackle someone a bit less conventional and well-known.

      • Gary Schantz said:

        I completely agree. Since Chernow wrote The Warbugs and The House of Morgan, I would think he could write a great book about Harding or Taft as it falls around the same period.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        I would love to see Chernow tackle a 20th century president, and Taft would be near the top of the list. I would love to see a similar treatment of Harding and Coolidge as well, two presidents very underrepresented in published works. When people say that’s because they led boring, uneventful lives, it makes me wonder if that’s really the case, or simply what we believe to be the case precisely because they have not received the Chernow treatment from a historian of his caliber who is able to not only uncover additional details previously unknown, but who is also able to write about it meaningfully and with good prose. Of course, I would also add Van Buren to that list, among several others!

    • I respectfully disagree. Eisenhower’s presidency has undergone a reevaulation in recent years and there’s been a deluge of books to go along with that; LBJ’s presidency is under reconsideration from historians who had written it off as a failure due to Vietnam; Reagan has also seen a strong interest over the past decade as well.

      • Gary Schantz said:

        I will concede what you have written to be true. I basically think that outside the presidents I have mentioned and the ones you have mentioned, it is just the same old stories. Taft would be a good subject due to his status as the only president who served on the supreme court. Harding and Buchanan would make good subjects since so many people like to read about scandals. Pierce’s personally tragedies would make a good story. Anything but another Kennedy or Roosevelt book.

    • I think us presidential history buffs would like to see the literature better dispersed among the presidents. Unfortunately, the general buying public likes the big names. One time when I was thinning out my collection a dealer told me “I’ll take your TR books because they’ll sell, but the other ones will just sit.”

      • Gary Schantz said:

        I believe it. While searching for books to build my library, I was amazed at how many books have been written on Washington or Kennedy to the point where each book seems plagiarized from the next book.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        I was shocked a couple weeks ago when I listed “Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son” and it sold 6 hours later. Granted, I was the lowest price, but I was still asking list price ($35). To be honest, when I listed it, I thought it would sit for weeks. I haven’t read this one yet, but ordered a copy direct from the publisher a while ago and it arrived slightly damaged, so they sent me a replacement for free and told me to just keep the other one.

      • This surprisingly (at least to me) became an expensive set. Your price was quite reasonable. I purchased signed copies upon publication and was surprised at the prices being asked when I checked a couple years back.

      • J.L. Jensen said:

        Yes, the third market pricing has fluctuated dramatically over the last year, spiking and dropping. It’s never dropped below retail price, but it has spiked several times to around $100. Of course, I learned long ago to contact authors or publishers directly about availability of copies if the third market pricing is exorbitant, and the book is somewhat recent. The Franklin Pierce set is still in stock and available direct from the publisher for retail price, but being a small publisher and limited set, most people probably don’t think of contacting them directly.

  6. Gary, I concur.

  7. Here’s another one that may be intriguing: Rising Star, Setting Sun and the Presidential Transition that Changed America (Eisenhower to Kennedy) by John Shaw. John Shaw authored JFK in the Senate.

  8. J.L. Jensen said:

    Your addition of “Interrupted Odyssey” as part of the World of Ulysses S. Grant series made me remember there’s another volume in that series coming out this year as well, scheduled for July 13, 2018. It is “The Decision Was Always My Own: Ulysses S. Grant and the Vicksburg Campaign.”
    https://www.amazon.com/Decision-Was-Always-Own-Vicksburg/dp/0809336669

  9. You left out Partner to Power: The Secret World of Presidents and Their Advisers. It is a psychological biography of 10 presidents, studying how their psychology impacted their decision making. Came out in February.

  10. Gary Schantz said:

    I am looking forward to a good book on Gerald Ford plus Jon Meacham’s Madison. I hope James Bradley’s book on Van Buren is good too.

  11. J.L. Jensen said:

    A couple upcoming Reagan titles not on your list. They are both focused on specific periods/events of his presidency (of a period of a few years), but look to be fairly exciting as they are both about pretty thrilling events.

    Arriving July 10 is “The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983” by Ambinder, Marc.

    Arriving July 31 is “A Covert Action: Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland” by Seth Jones.

  12. J.L. Jensen said:

    Here’s a PDF with some more upcoming Grant books. Some of these are already on your list. It also includes a bio on Julia Dent Grant. That one has good potential, as I can’t think of any modern works focusing on her. There’s another one on this list from Paul Kahan, whose upcoming work on Grant’s presidency has had a pretty illusive and ever changing release date…currently, it shows June 22, so we’ll see if it actually pans out and I receive my copy next week.

    Click to access WUSG_SeriesFlier_FINAL.pdf

  13. J.L. Jensen said:

    Communicated with Paul Kahan today and was informed he has a James Buchanan biography due in 2019 or 2020. His book on Grant’s foreign policy is father out, 2021 or 2022.

  14. J.L. Jensen said:

    This one looks interesting, just a couple months away. With the subject matter of Teddy Roosevelt, I imagine it should be a good read:

  15. Nigel Hamilton’s final volume of his FDR trilogy is scheduled for May 7, 2019.

  16. Ronald Park said:

    T. J. Stiles is currently writing a biography of Teddy Roosevelt. Publication date not identified.

    • Thanks for the tip! I see it is now referred to on his web page; I’ll add it ASAP. I found TR utterly fascinating, so I can’t wait to see Stiles’s perspective on this bio-

    • Never mind…I see I already had it listed (though I don’t remember adding it). Nevertheless I’m looking forward to seeing what Stiles comes up with.

  17. Ronald Park said:

    Sorry. I had missed you listing it also. Great website.

  18. Volume 3 of Sidney Blumenthal’s bio of Lincoln is scheduled for July 9, 2019:

    http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/All-the-Powers-of-Earth/Sidney-Blumenthal/9781476777283

  19. Kasey Pipes’s Nixon book is now scheduled for April 22, 2019 and – finally – has a title: After the Fall: The Remarkable Comeback of Richard Nixon.

    If anyone else follows the American Presidential Elections Series by the University Press of Kansas, their volume on 1964 is due out on June 14th: Two Suns of the Southwest: Lyndon Johnson, Barry Goldwater, and the 1964 Battle between Liberalism and Conservatism.

    Although not related to any Presidents:
    – Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Anthony Roberts is an excellent, first class biography. It may save everyone else the time of reading Martin Gilbert’s 8 volumes. It should be near the top of any follow-up or side lists.
    – David McCullough’s new book about the Northwest Territory is due on May 7th: The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West.

    Lastly, anyone else happy Ron Chernow is hosting the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in April?
    https://www.whca.press/2018/11/19/whca-announces-acclaimed-author-ron-chernow-as-featured-speaker-for-2019-dinner/

    • As always – thanks! I’m just now getting to an overdue update. Glad to see this one is more definitive…but I wish it were going to be a bit more sweeping. Still, sounds like it could be interesting…

  20. Has anyone read John Pafford’s Grover Cleveland: Forgotten Conservative? I am wondering if his upcoming book on Arthur is worthwhile as the Amazon reviews for Cleveland are mixed.

  21. Great news and bad news:
    Robert Caro will be publishing a book in April. It will not be the final volume of LBJ, but ” a gathering of “thoughts” and “experiences””. https://www.apnews.com/ce8aa0cee2ce45b9a3e3f00f78e4a9d3

    From the article:
    In his introduction to “Working,” Caro raises an obvious question.

    “Why am I publishing these random recollections toward a memoir while I’m still working on the last volume of the Johnson biography, when I haven’t finished it, while I’m still — at the age of 83 — several years from finishing it?” he writes. “The answer is, I’m afraid, quite obvious, and if I forget it for a few days, I am frequently reminded of it, by journalists who, in writing about me and my hopes of finishing, often express their doubts of that happening in a sarcastic phrase: ‘Do the math.’

    “Well, I can do that math. I am quite aware that I may never get to write the memoir, although I have so many thoughts about writing, so many anecdotes about research, that I would like to preserve for anyone interested enough to read them. I decided that, just in case, I’d put some of them down on paper now.”

    • My initial reaction when I heard about this was to wonder whether I should laugh – or cry. Still, at this point I’m happy to read anything he writes on any topic and this promises to be revealing if nothing else.

      Still, if Caro doesn’t get through his final volume on LBJ it’s going to be something like Shaq stepping up to the free throw line in the final game of the NBA playoffs and having the power grid go down before he can take the game winning shot.

    • Gary Schantz said:

      Despite the fact that I have Caro’s other four LBJ books, I have put off reading them for now. If he finishes the final volume then great if not I will just sell them to a used book store. Perhaps it is well-researched and engaging but I think that 2-3 volumes on anyone is enough information.

      • In my mind, one of the only flaws of the Caro series is its length. Looking back at my notes, I estimated the four published volumes could have been judiciously edited down by 900-1,000 pages (or nearly 1/3 on average). For the longest three of the four volumes that would have cased my rating to increase by 1/4 star (one of the volumes did not have an issue with length).

        But I’m hooked, and no matter how lengthy volume 5…I’ll be reading it the week it comes out. Assuming it comes out…

  22. Here’s one in the not-so-serious vein:

    • Thanks! I’ve been focusing so much on reading (to catch up to where I need to be in order to finish on time) that I’ve not paid enough attention to new upcoming releases…

  23. One minor change: Pafford’s book on Arthur has been moved to September 17th.

    Your recent reviews of Obama got me to thinking: Is there a comparable (to Remnick or Maraniss) Trump bio out there? Has any read TRUMP REVEALED by Kranish and Fisher?

  24. Another Washington one coming on Dec. 3 this year: A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution by David Head.

  25. J.L. Jensen said:

    Larry Schweikart’s “Reagan: The American President,” that was supposed to have been released last July as indicated here, was pushed back and now has an official release date of May 19 this year. It has also almost doubled in length from its original 300 pages. Schweikart will be focusing on the entirety of Reagan’s life now, not just the presidency. Here’s an updated link to the pre-order page on Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/Reagan-American-President-Larry-Schweikart/dp/1642930822/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

    Also, here’s another Grant working coming up from Donald Miller. It focuses on the Vicksburg campaign:

  26. Ronald Park said:

    I don’t necessarily agree that 2019 will be a week year. Some books to come this year:

    Evan Thomas on Sandra Day O’Connor (March)
    David Maraniss and David McCullough (both new books in May)
    Rick Atkinson, the first of his Revolutionary War series (May)
    Jean Edward Smith on the Liberation of Paris (July)
    Bret Baier, another 3 days at the brink, this time on FDR (October)
    Edmund Morris and his long awaited Thomas Edison bio (October)
    Kate Brower Team of Five (November)

    In addition, Erik Larson is supposed to release his Churchill book in 2019 as well.

    • You point out a glaring omission from my comment. I was specifically referring to books on the Presidency (hence my reference to 2020 which is a Presidential Election year). Since this site is dedicated to Presidential biographies, I took the liberty of not qualifying my statement at the expense of clarity. My adjective was ‘mediocre’ not ‘weak’.

      You are correct about It being a good year for non-Presidential material. Robert Caro’s Working is at the top of my list and McCullough’s Pioneers is a strong second.

      Thank you for alerting me to Erik Larson’s upcoming Churchill book. Dead Wake and In the Garden of the Beasts were great reads.

      • Ronald Park said:

        Thanks for the clarification. I do know that Steve has other material on here other than presidential biographies, so I thought I would offer these up anyway. The Jean Edward Smith book will focus on Eisenhower, the Baier book on FDR and the Brower book should be interesting, as the premise is focused on the five living ex-presidents and their reaction to the Trump presidency.

  27. Richard Dasheiff said:

    This book isn’t strictly a presidential bio but Steve thought it was germane to the topic.

    Review of “Presidents of War” by Michael Beschloss (2018)

    I received this book as a gift from relatives who know I am reading the biographies of the POTUS in chronological order. My selection of these bios has been from Steve Floyd’s website “The Best Presidential Biographies”. Steve sets a high standard and I myself take reading these bios seriously. Michael Beschloss has plenty of honors and recommendations, and is nationally known both through his published works and media exposure. So at the onset, I was hoping for a good read. The Preface (reproduced below) was very impressive and set me up for the prospect of real insight. It promised to illuminate the motives of the war makers, and a litany of other revelations.

    The first three chapters cover the War of 1812. Any reader of dedicated Presidential biographies from Jefferson to Polk already has more detailed knowledge of this war than what is disclosed in this book. I had to conclude the book failed to deliver its promise to bring anything new or insightful to the table. Of course if you are naive to American history, it will be refreshingly new.

    The narrative doesn’t go deep enough into the topic of “Presidents of War”, and frequently goes off on tangents I presume the author found as interesting nuggets of information during his eleven years researching the book. The history of eight Presidents and eight wars cannot be compressed into only 586 pages. Important facts and events are glossed over in a sentence, and anyone not already familiar with these historical details can only come away confused. Those who are familiar become distracted trying to re-expand and integrate these half-sentences.

    The common thread is that these eight Presidents were Commander-in-Chief during a war. They all dealt with the same issues, and a better use of space might have been to spend most of the time on one President and then point out significant variations by the other seven. In fact, a book on the Presidents of War was embedded in the 1902 five-volume book by then Princeton University President Woodrow Wilson (who would be our 28th POTUS and one of those War Presidents). Beschloss actually discusses and compares Wilson’s book with his own. You can download the five volumes from the internet (see below).

    My most damning criticism is this. Beschloss does a good job of illustrating the failings of these POTUS: their ego, prejudices, incompetence’s, moral insufficiency and inexperience. But the same failings are common to all our Presidents. And he does not make any case that the Presidents of War inflicted any greater harm (or honor) on America than those Presidents who were inadequate in handling non-war crises such as great depressions, civil rights, wealth inequity and big business, healthcare coverage, or epidemics like AIDS. Thus without a distinction there is nothing special about War Presidents. All our Presidents ‘wore no clothes’.

    Beschloss writing style is very fluid and easy to read. However, he frequently bounces back and forth around time points which is distracting. The second half of the book settles into a reliable format that the reader becomes familiar with. Comparisons between War Presidents are made and reinforces their similarities and differences. In this sense the book delivers some of its initial promise. In a short epilogue he takes us from the close of the Vietnam War to Donald Trump inheriting Afghanistan.

    Finally, I realized I took myself and Beschloss to seriously, and this book is only aimed as a popular “airport novel”, or what I would call historical entertainment. A topic made interesting for the general public which incidentally provides accurate historical information. In that regard Presidents of War is good historical entertainment and I hope it is widely read.

    Rated 4-stars

    Preface (available free online)
    ——————————-
    Since the start of the Republic, Presidents of the United States have taken the American people into major wars roughly once in a generation. This book is about eight Presidents who did so, as well as Thomas Jefferson, who refused. It illuminates the motivations of the war makers; how candid each was with the public; their struggles with Congress, the courts, and their critics; how they drew strength from spouses, families, and friends; their health, both physical and emotional; their respect for civil liberties (or lack of it); and whatever efforts they made to search for lessons from the American past.

    As a political history of Presidents who sought and waged war, the book suggests some of the most important qualities of leadership that Americans should demand when they choose a candidate for that office.

    Above all, it shows how Presidents of war have dealt with political power under the Constitution. The framers of that document in 1787 knew that British and other European monarchs had abused their absolute authority to make war: if a regime was growing unpopular, they sometimes cited or invented a foreign danger in order to launch a war that would unite their people and expand their own power and popular esteem. To reduce the risk of such offenses by an American President, the Founders created a Constitution that gave Congress the sole power to declare war, and divided the responsibility to wage war between the executive and legislative branches. As Congressman Abraham Lincoln wrote to his friend William Herndon in 1848, the early Americans resolved that “no one man should hold the power” to take the nation into war.

    As this volume demonstrates, during the past two centuries, Presidents, step by step, have disrupted the Founders’ design. With the too-frequent acquiescence of Congress, they have seized for themselves the power to launch large conflicts, almost on their own authority. It is telling that the last time a President asked Congress to declare war was 1942. Were the Founders to come back, they would probably be astonished and chagrined to discover that, in spite of their ardent strivings, the life or death of much of the human race has now come to depend on the character of the single person who happens to be the President of the United States.

    “History of the American People” by Woodrow Wilson (1902)
    ———————————————————
    The culmination of a series of articles written for Harper’s by then Princeton Univ President and later the 28th POTUS)

    Vol 1 https://archive.org/stream/cu31924082475470#page/n33/mode/2up
    Vol 2 https://archive.org/stream/cu31924082475488#page/n7/mode/2up
    Vol 3 https://archive.org/stream/cu31924082475496#page/n9/mode/2up
    Vol 4 https://archive.org/stream/cu31924082475504#page/n7/mode/2up
    Vol 5 https://archive.org/stream/ahistoryamerica03conggoog#page/n10/mode/2up

  28. For anyone interested, C-SPAN broadcast a recent interview by Brian Lamb of Robert Caro. [Also available as a podcast.] According to Mr. Lamb, it was their 8th one-hour interview.

  29. Gary Schantz said:

    Does anyone know if there is to be a follow-up to The American President: Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton by William Leuchtenburg? I thought I read that he was writing a book about presidents from 1800s.

    • When he was promoting The American President, he mentioned a a prequel dealing with the pre-TR presidents. That said, there do not appear to be any updates readily available. The amazing part is he was 93 when his last book was published in 2015.

  30. 2020 here we come. Edward Larson’s upcoming book: Franklin and Washington: The Founding Partnership.

  31. More Trump from Michael Wolff: https://www.amazon.com/Siege-Trump-Under-Michael-Wolff/dp/1250253829/. Is he trying to position himself as another Bob Woodward? Denials from contributors at the onset, but history proves them correct.

    The early reviews for Brenda Wineapple’s THE IMPEACHERS are excellent. It should be an excellent contribution to Presidential history.

  32. Very sad news concerning Edmund Morris:

  33. 2020 is looking to be a great year. A new James Monroe:

    • I imagine the super folks at James Monroe’s Highland are excited about this!

      • … and maybe we’ll learn about his heroic service with the Continental Congress Air Force. 🙂

        Alexis Coe’s Washington biography is now scheduled for February 2, 2020.

      • Indeed, just last week I drove past Monroe AFB (more popularly known as Fort Monroe) on the Chesapeake Bay in eastern VA and wished I had time to stop in and take a tour. And maybe walk on some of the original stone runways that were in use during the Siege of Yorktown…

      • AARON MILLION said:

        On my trip through Springfield, IL next month, I’m going to stop in again at the wonderful Lincoln Museum and see if they have any updated exhibits showing Lincoln’s use of drones to defeat the Confederacy…

      • I’m still trying to get my hands on one of the steam-powered drones. They’re remarkably hard to find!

      • Don’t look at Udvar Hazy. A friend of mine was there today and confirmed none were used in that era. Whilst at Fort McHenry in May, they did not mention their Revolutionary Era anti-aircraft batteries. They mainly focused on the War of 1812 and naval maneuvers.

  34. Little Jay said:

    Just saw that Timothy Naftali is writing a book about JFK

  35. If not for it being published by the University of Chicago Press I’d ignore it. One has to enjoy the title though:

    https://www.amazon.com/Toddler-Chief-Donald-Teaches-Presidency/dp/022666791X/

  36. Hi Steve,
    I heard of a new book on Nixon. Nicholas Sarantakes is the author. “Fan in Chief: Richard Nixon and American Sports 1969-1974”. I heard an interview with him and it sounds like it might be a welcome lighter-toned presidential book.

  37. First James Monroe and now John Tyler gets his due next year.

    https://www.amazon.com/President-without-Party-Life-Tyler/dp/0807172545/

    • When will the fun end? Seriously, I’m glad both Monroe and Tyler are receiving at least a modest amount of additional attention…

    • Teacher in Tejas said:

      Damn, after I slogged through Ammon’s door stop on Monroe last year, and am just about to start Tyler in a few weeks, I missed out on those two new looks, as I read one bio per president in order

  38. Teacher in Tejas said:

    • When I read your note I knew I’d seen that bio before…and it turns out some version of it was previously published on July 4, 2018 – where I’ve already got it listed. I haven’t done any meaningful research to get to the bottom of the mystery but it appears it was published (or self-published?) at different times by different publishers.

      • Also from Post Hill Press (July 7, 2020): https://posthillpress.com/book/trump-and-churchill-defenders-of-western-civilization

        From me: It begs the question: Will Trump be voted out like Winston?

        From Post Hill’s website:
        Trump and Churchill: Defenders of Western Civilization

        Trump and Churchill both fought valiantly to protect Western Civilization, and while fighting different forms of tyranny, Trump could very well be to the twenty-first century what Churchill was to the twentieth.

        What do Winston Churchill—the eloquent, eternally quotable wordsmith, pudgy politician of fifty years, wealthy aristocrat, war-time Prime Minister of England—and Donald Trump, the 6’4”, brash, Twitter happy, political neophyte, billionaire entrepreneur—have in common?

        In his new book, complete with never-before-told anecdotes, bestselling author Nick Adams explores how both leaders, with seemingly nothing in common, turned their day’s prevailing politics on its head.

        In doing so, they both endured shockingly similar battles instigated by the political establishment seeking their destruction.

        Trump and Churchill’s unorthodox approach to both domestic and international relations has rescued Western Civilization from the brink.

  39. It looks like Fredrik Logevall’s long-awaited JFK biography will be a multi-volume effort. A September 8, 2020 date has been set for volume 1.

    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/242113/untitled-biography-of-jfk-volume-1-by-fredrik-logevall/

  40. On September 8, 2020, The Patriots: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Making of America by Winston Groom will be published:

    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/645471/the-patriots-by-winston-groom/

  41. UP Kansas’s book on 1976:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0700629122/

  42. Hat tip to Potus Geek for this one on George Washington and his cabinet: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0674986482

  43. Douglas Richardson said:

    A new book on Harry Truman and the 1948 campaign by AJ Baime (“The Accidental President”) is on tap for summer 2020.

  44. Jonathan Alter’s Carter biography now has a name and date:

  45. One of the books is off point here, but 2020 is the year of the Struggle. HW Brands is telling the story of John Brown, Abraham Lincoln and the Struggle for American Freedom. Michael Woods using Stephen Douglas and Jefferson Davis to highlight the Struggle for American Democracy. Whereas most historians use Lincoln as the pivot (the name sells it seems), the focus on the Democratic party rivals will be interesting.

    We get a new bios on Monroe and Tyler this year while David Reynolds insures Lincoln will not be forgotten:

  46. Gary Schantz said:

    I am really hoping that at some point I will have two good bios on every president by the time I have finished my reading project in 10-15 years. Yet I doubt I will ever see any good ones on Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, either Harrison, Arthur, Cleveland or Taft (and I find this one odd considering his place in history as the only president and Chief justice). I have gone through the presidential reading list on this site (which is extremely helpful) and to help me to narrow down the major presidents (as there are so many reads on some presidents). Perhaps with the 250th anniversary of our country’s birth in six years, we will see a rebirth of interest in all presidential history, not just the founders or the popular ones.

    • Amen!

      Early on, Van Buren struck me as deserving of far more attention (or perhaps just “better” attention) given his political cunning, and I’d be happy to see substantial modern biographies for any of those you mentioned. Goodwin’s “The Bully Pulpit” was not, of course, directed solely at Taft but it did a nice enough job telling his story that I’ve long wondered why he hasn’t elicited more attention given his unique role in our history and his oversized persona.

  47. Steve, just curious to know if you’ve developed a timeline as to when you’re going to start tackling the Follow-Up List that you have compiled for each President?

    • Yes, you can find my plan for the next 12 months or so at:

      https://thebestbiographies.com/my-reading-plan/

      • Thanks for the link. I was actually also interested in your ‘Follow Up’ list for each President. It seems you’ve compiled an interesting roster of follow up reading for each POTUS, and I see that you have two books listed for George Washington to kick it off:

        Washington by Douglas Southall Freeman (Richard Harwell’s 1968 abridgment of Pulitzer Prize-winning 7-volume series)
        George Washington: A Biography by Washington Irving (Charles Neider’s 1976 abridgment of 5-volume series)

  48. Apologies, I’ve just noticed the asterisk at the very bottom of that page (* Follow-up biography for my Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies). It seems you’ll be going back and forth between lists. I look forward to the reviews nonetheless.

    • After 6+ years of “just” presidential biographies I decided, for my own sanity, I needed to broaden my scope a bit. But it didn’t seem appropriate to post a review of, say, a Steve Jobs bio on this site so… In any event, I expect that 1 of every 3 books I read will be a follow-up presidential bio but not in any particular order. And I’ve concluded that I should read promising new releases sooner rather than later when they are most topical / visible.

      • Gary Schantz said:

        This list you have is quite substantial as well as impressive. I have used the list to create my own project of reading American history in chronological order. Starting 2011, I read several books on presidents but in different historical orders and found it confusing to keep track of the other players (such as Henry Clay or Joseph McCarthy). So I came up with a new plan to better learn history. In the last 12 months I have read 12 books ranging from the Stamp Act (Lion of Liberty: Bio of Patrick Henry by Harlow Giles Unger through the Constitutional Convention (The Quartet by Joseph Ellis). I plan to include one or two books on each president as I travel through the timeline. Somehow I hope to turn this little adventure into a Master’s Degree in American History. So please keep up the suggestions.

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