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What Makes a President Great? Academics, journalists, and popular historians agree. Our greatest presidents are the ones who confronted a national crisis and mobilized the entire nation to face it. That’s the conventional wisdom. The chief executives who are celebrated in textbooks and placed in the top echelon of presidents in surveys of experts are the “bold” leaders— the What Makes a President Great? Academics, journalists, and popular historians agree. Our greatest presidents are the ones who confronted a national crisis and mobilized the entire nation to face it. That’s the conventional wisdom. The chief executives who are celebrated in textbooks and placed in the top echelon of presidents in surveys of experts are the “bold” leaders— the Woodrow Wilsons and Franklin Roosevelts— who reshaped the United States in line with their grand “vision” for America. Unfortunately, along the way, these “great” presidents inevitably expanded government— and shrunk our liberties. As the twentieth-century presidency has grown far beyond the bounds the Founders established for the office, the idea that our chief executive is responsible to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” has become a distant memory. Historian and celebrated Reagan biographer Steven F. Hayward reminds us that the Founders had an entirely different idea of greatness in the presidential office. The personal ambitions, populist appeals, and bribes paid to the voters with their own money that most modern presidents engage in would strike them as instances of the demagoguery they most feared— one of the great dangers to the people’s liberty that they wrote the Constitution explicitly to guard against. The Founders, in contrast to today’s historians, expected great presidents to be champions of the limited government established by the Constitution. Working from that almost forgotten standard of presidential greatness, Steven Hayward offers a fascinating off–the–beaten–track tour through the modern presidency, from the Progressive Era’s Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. Along the way, he serves up fresh historical insights, recalls forgotten anecdotes, celebrates undervalued presidents who took important stands in defense of the Constitution— and points the way to a revival of truly constitutional government in America. What you didn’t learn from your history teacher, but will find in The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Presidents: Progressive hero Woodrow Wilson aired a pro–Ku Klux Klan movie at the White House Calvin Coolidge, much mocked by liberal historians as a bland Babbitt, was the last president to write his own speeches, guided the country through years of prosperity and limited government, and was one of the most cultured men ever to live in the White House Why Eisenhower’s two biggest mistakes as president were, in his own words “both sitting on the Supreme Court” How as president JFK took mind–altering drugs, many of them prescribed by a physician he called “Dr. Feelgood,” who later lost his medical license for malpractice Nixon’s hysterically vilified Christmas bombing of North Vietnam in 1972 caused very few civilian casualties and compelled North Vietnam to negotiate an end to the Vietnam War The misunderestimated George W. Bush read 186 books during his presidency, mostly non–fiction, biography, and history


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What Makes a President Great? Academics, journalists, and popular historians agree. Our greatest presidents are the ones who confronted a national crisis and mobilized the entire nation to face it. That’s the conventional wisdom. The chief executives who are celebrated in textbooks and placed in the top echelon of presidents in surveys of experts are the “bold” leaders— the What Makes a President Great? Academics, journalists, and popular historians agree. Our greatest presidents are the ones who confronted a national crisis and mobilized the entire nation to face it. That’s the conventional wisdom. The chief executives who are celebrated in textbooks and placed in the top echelon of presidents in surveys of experts are the “bold” leaders— the Woodrow Wilsons and Franklin Roosevelts— who reshaped the United States in line with their grand “vision” for America. Unfortunately, along the way, these “great” presidents inevitably expanded government— and shrunk our liberties. As the twentieth-century presidency has grown far beyond the bounds the Founders established for the office, the idea that our chief executive is responsible to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” has become a distant memory. Historian and celebrated Reagan biographer Steven F. Hayward reminds us that the Founders had an entirely different idea of greatness in the presidential office. The personal ambitions, populist appeals, and bribes paid to the voters with their own money that most modern presidents engage in would strike them as instances of the demagoguery they most feared— one of the great dangers to the people’s liberty that they wrote the Constitution explicitly to guard against. The Founders, in contrast to today’s historians, expected great presidents to be champions of the limited government established by the Constitution. Working from that almost forgotten standard of presidential greatness, Steven Hayward offers a fascinating off–the–beaten–track tour through the modern presidency, from the Progressive Era’s Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. Along the way, he serves up fresh historical insights, recalls forgotten anecdotes, celebrates undervalued presidents who took important stands in defense of the Constitution— and points the way to a revival of truly constitutional government in America. What you didn’t learn from your history teacher, but will find in The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Presidents: Progressive hero Woodrow Wilson aired a pro–Ku Klux Klan movie at the White House Calvin Coolidge, much mocked by liberal historians as a bland Babbitt, was the last president to write his own speeches, guided the country through years of prosperity and limited government, and was one of the most cultured men ever to live in the White House Why Eisenhower’s two biggest mistakes as president were, in his own words “both sitting on the Supreme Court” How as president JFK took mind–altering drugs, many of them prescribed by a physician he called “Dr. Feelgood,” who later lost his medical license for malpractice Nixon’s hysterically vilified Christmas bombing of North Vietnam in 1972 caused very few civilian casualties and compelled North Vietnam to negotiate an end to the Vietnam War The misunderestimated George W. Bush read 186 books during his presidency, mostly non–fiction, biography, and history

30 review for The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents: From Wilson to Obama

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    I "finished" this book after reading through Chapter 3. I would not recommend it. First, I'll admit that I lean libertarian in my politics. So neither those who identify with Democrats nor those who identify with Republicans will have much of worth to offer me in terms of words or ideas. A preponderance of those who identify with either of these political parties are statists—people who are working to make governments bigger. In this book Steven F. Hayward gives a letter grade to the U.S. Presiden I "finished" this book after reading through Chapter 3. I would not recommend it. First, I'll admit that I lean libertarian in my politics. So neither those who identify with Democrats nor those who identify with Republicans will have much of worth to offer me in terms of words or ideas. A preponderance of those who identify with either of these political parties are statists—people who are working to make governments bigger. In this book Steven F. Hayward gives a letter grade to the U.S. Presidents from Woodrow Wilson to the current president based on their success at abiding by their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. After getting through Chapter 3 and reading some interesting things about Wilson, I skipped ahead and looked at the letter grade given to all the presidents since then. I've been around for a few years and so, have some real world experience of quite a few presidents. Based solely on the letter grade given to the presidents by the author, it is clear to me that the author is biased, and therefore whatever other information that he might present is suspect. Holding accountable presidents and any others who have sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution is a worthy endeavor, and it is only in that light that this book would have merit if it was not clearly biased. Some day, I might find the time to do my own research and make my own determination about the degree to which presidents were or were not champions of the U.S. Constitution.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    A fun, basic guide to our modern presidents, told from a completely biased point-of-view (as if there's any other kind). The book is probably a little too kind to George W. Bush and a little too hard on Obama (he receives an "F-" grade, the lowest for any president), but whatever. There's a lot of great information here, and it's the kind of book that does a good job separating hype from reality. Because of this book, I now have a much higher opinion of some of the rather obscure presidents like A fun, basic guide to our modern presidents, told from a completely biased point-of-view (as if there's any other kind). The book is probably a little too kind to George W. Bush and a little too hard on Obama (he receives an "F-" grade, the lowest for any president), but whatever. There's a lot of great information here, and it's the kind of book that does a good job separating hype from reality. Because of this book, I now have a much higher opinion of some of the rather obscure presidents like Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, and a much lower opinion of some of the more celebrated ones, like JFK and Bill Clinton.

  3. 4 out of 5

    The White Tiger

    This book masquerades as historical presidential analysis by using an academic-style grading system to whitewash myriad logical fallicies and selective evidence (when given). Most discussions are overly critical without considering broader domestic and international contexts challenging presidents of the modern era. My rating is not a disagreement with the author's assessments, but, rather, is my own assessment of his ability to construct and cogently defend an argument. Overall: disappointing. This book masquerades as historical presidential analysis by using an academic-style grading system to whitewash myriad logical fallicies and selective evidence (when given). Most discussions are overly critical without considering broader domestic and international contexts challenging presidents of the modern era. My rating is not a disagreement with the author's assessments, but, rather, is my own assessment of his ability to construct and cogently defend an argument. Overall: disappointing. Hard pass.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    An entertaining read and a great way to rate the presidents Published in 2012 by Regnery Publishing, Inc. First and foremost, the latest entry in the P.I.G. series is a great read. Steven Hayward is to be commended for making what could have been a very stale read into an entertaining read - he has a light touch. Secondly, how sad is it that grading presidents by how well they "preserve, protect, and defend" the constitution is a unique idea? Hayward begins with a look at what the founders wrote abo An entertaining read and a great way to rate the presidents Published in 2012 by Regnery Publishing, Inc. First and foremost, the latest entry in the P.I.G. series is a great read. Steven Hayward is to be commended for making what could have been a very stale read into an entertaining read - he has a light touch. Secondly, how sad is it that grading presidents by how well they "preserve, protect, and defend" the constitution is a unique idea? Hayward begins with a look at what the founders wrote about the office of the president and compares that to the modern presidency. He then looks at the presidency in the 19th century and how most presidents took the restrictions of the Constitution very seriously. As Hayward proceeds to grade the 17 presidents we have had from 1913 until the present on an A to F scale (just like in school) he gives a thumbnail sketch of each president with the major issues of the election and/or his time in office, where he diverged from the Constitution (or supported it) and how the Supreme Court justices he appointed fared by way of the Constitution as well. Each president gets about 8-12 pages per term in office and the text includes sidebar boxes with recommended readings, great quotes and interesting factoids. The overall grade is presented on the first page of each president's particular chapter and the last page explains how it was arrived at. So, what did I think?... Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2012/...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luke

    Hayward's book on the Presidents from Wilson to Obama is useful, in that it shines a light on Warren Harding as Calvin Coolidge's fidelity to the Constitution. However, the author, who is an analyst for the neoconservative think thank American Enterprise Institute, shows his true colors by whitewashing Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal, and by misleading the reader on George W. Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hayward's book on the Presidents from Wilson to Obama is useful, in that it shines a light on Warren Harding as Calvin Coolidge's fidelity to the Constitution. However, the author, who is an analyst for the neoconservative think thank American Enterprise Institute, shows his true colors by whitewashing Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal, and by misleading the reader on George W. Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -

    *It should be noted that post the publish date of this, DNA tests have proven that William G. Harding was indeed the father of Nan Britton's daughter, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing. This is very right leaning, but an interesting and, I think, valid framework to use when looking at and grading the Presidents. How did they stand in defending the Constitution? I would love to read a non-partisan view, using the same concept. Sadly, I don't think I'll be seeing that anytime soon. *It should be noted that post the publish date of this, DNA tests have proven that William G. Harding was indeed the father of Nan Britton's daughter, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing. This is very right leaning, but an interesting and, I think, valid framework to use when looking at and grading the Presidents. How did they stand in defending the Constitution? I would love to read a non-partisan view, using the same concept. Sadly, I don't think I'll be seeing that anytime soon.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jody K

    I gave this book 15 minutes before I noped the fuck out. Nope, nope, fucking nope. I'll find a different book to read on the presidents, thank you very much. I gave this book 15 minutes before I noped the fuck out. Nope, nope, fucking nope. I'll find a different book to read on the presidents, thank you very much.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Herst

    If you are a conservative & want your viewpoint echoed back to you then this is the book for you! This guy is ass neutral as a pundit on cable news.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    I was not surprised, given how highly the first volume of this series viewed the presidents of the late 18th and 19th centuries, that there would be a lot of negative comments made about the presidents of the 20th century as a whole.  By and large, this book did not therefore present the same sort of surprises that the first volume did.  I enjoyed reading the book and lamented the lack of constitutionality among so many of the presidents included on this list, but I must admit I was not surprise I was not surprised, given how highly the first volume of this series viewed the presidents of the late 18th and 19th centuries, that there would be a lot of negative comments made about the presidents of the 20th century as a whole.  By and large, this book did not therefore present the same sort of surprises that the first volume did.  I enjoyed reading the book and lamented the lack of constitutionality among so many of the presidents included on this list, but I must admit I was not surprised by what was said [1].  I was not even surprised by the wit that the author showed when writing about the more contemporary presidents who have been a part of the massive expansion of government power far beyond anything the Founding Fathers would have conceived or approved of.  Moreover, there is no change in our society that justifies such expansion of power, for our society is in no more need of such a paternalistic government than was the America of our founding, perhaps even less in need of one. Like the first volume of this collection, the general format and size and scope of the work is similar, except that there are many more details--some of them quite tawdry--about the presidents from Wilson to Obama, largely because there are fewer of them.  At any rate, there is a grade, some funny quotes, some detailed discussion of their backgrounds and presidencies, and some suggestions for further reading if you agree with the perspective of the author and want something worthwhile to read about one or another of the presidents included.  While it is not surprising, the author gives a large number of poor marks, giving an F grade to Wilson, FDR, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Obama.  Indeed, JFK, whose grossly sensual life and poor health earn him a great deal of criticism from the author, is the last of the Democrats to receive a passing grade, although the author has considerable praise for Truman along with some pointed criticism.  The author, it should be noted, does not only look at the constitutionality of the presidents but also the extent to which they defended America's best interests and brought credit upon their office, and on those grounds a lot of presidents, especially Democrats, did especially poorly, although the author certainly finds much to criticize Republicans for as well. In looking at this book, it is pretty clear that the authors envision some drastic changes when it comes to the presidency.  In the face of an electorate that has often been satiated on populist promises on the part of political candidates for more being done for them and less by themselves, the authors urge future presidents to be dignified and restrained, to do what is best for Americans and defend the Constitution even if it means, as it will, being continually libeled and slandered by leftists of all persuasions, especially in academia, trusting that history will eventually be just even if historians are seldom just, especially contemporary ones.  I cannot say that these circumstances would encourage anyone to become president as a constitutional president, but it is probably true, unfortunately, that anyone who wants to be president and is filled to the brim with ambition for the office is unworthy of it, and anyone who views it as a solemn duty and even a burden to be handled with courage and dignity and fortitude is likely not to enjoy it very much, alas. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016... https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Collard

    An interesting and fairly detailed overview of the modern presidency, which claims to put forward a constitutionally strict constructionist view of the office. Hard to disagree that the founding fathers would probably be "appalled" by the Brobdingnagian stature of modern day White House tenants. As with any political issue, the presidency obviously attracts partisanship and I was expecting a degree of this - in its right wing form - in Hayward's writing, what with him being a fairly prominent Co An interesting and fairly detailed overview of the modern presidency, which claims to put forward a constitutionally strict constructionist view of the office. Hard to disagree that the founding fathers would probably be "appalled" by the Brobdingnagian stature of modern day White House tenants. As with any political issue, the presidency obviously attracts partisanship and I was expecting a degree of this - in its right wing form - in Hayward's writing, what with him being a fairly prominent Conservative commentator in the USA. Hayward shows a clear predisposition towards the Republican party. At times, he almost seems to judge them by completely different standards. A hypocrite, in other words. This is most obvious when he argues that FDR's constitutional grade is an 'F' because of his opposition to the constitutional principle of 'limited government', then argues that Bush's compassionate conservatism, which oversaw the vast arrogation of state powers to the federal government with programmes like 'No Child Left Behind', was a wonderful thing, awarding him an adequate B+. He also argues that the changes that followed the Patriot Act were Conservative and necessary then gives Obama a tentative 'F'. I think that a more apposite title for the book would be 'The Conservative (please note the capital c) Guide to the Presidents'. Criticisms aside, the book is engaging and does prompt some re-evaluation of certain vaunted commanders-in-chiefs; the invectives against Wilson and FDR are particularly illuminating. What would be more illuminating still is a book that censures the presidents who have sinned against the constitution, rather than those who have done so, and happen to be, that increasingly loathsome appellation among the American right, liberal.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eric Parsons

    There is a large majority of the population who will hate this book. The primary reason is because the author--a self-identified Tea Party member--gives presidents grades based on their adherence to the Constitution as originally intended and on their Supreme Court appointees. From the opening president--Woodrow Wilson--it is clear that the Democrats are generally not going to fair very well and I do think that the author overrates a couple of Republicans, but no matter. What really needs to be c There is a large majority of the population who will hate this book. The primary reason is because the author--a self-identified Tea Party member--gives presidents grades based on their adherence to the Constitution as originally intended and on their Supreme Court appointees. From the opening president--Woodrow Wilson--it is clear that the Democrats are generally not going to fair very well and I do think that the author overrates a couple of Republicans, but no matter. What really needs to be considered even before the opening argument is that if you are going to disagree with the author based on his premise of "original intent" or using the Constitution itself, the reader should really consider that if we do not have a solid basis for the law, then what can we even argue about? The reality is that the founders gave very specific limitations for each branch of the government to avoid tyranny and mass mob rule. The government has continually stepped over those bounds since the mid 1800s--and it has gotten worse with nearly every presidency. No, many will hate this book because it argues against the notion of the federal government as our care provider, but the reality is that our founding documents are clearly against it. What really struck me while reading this book is that no president (or congress person, really) is every truly about the people...each only represents less than 50% of the population, while each will strenuously argue that this "is what America wants." Each president now only represents ideologies regardless of what the population thinks.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ray

    I was hoping for a little more in-depth and independent analysis in this book, but there really weren't any significant surprises. The author, Steven F. Hayward, is a fairly well known political commentator and author with libertarian and conservative viewpoints. Accordingly, I don't think anyone would be very surprised to see that Hayward rates our recent Presidents in accordance with their political Party. For example, Hayward gives President Reagan a grade of A, and grades both Bush 41 and 43 I was hoping for a little more in-depth and independent analysis in this book, but there really weren't any significant surprises. The author, Steven F. Hayward, is a fairly well known political commentator and author with libertarian and conservative viewpoints. Accordingly, I don't think anyone would be very surprised to see that Hayward rates our recent Presidents in accordance with their political Party. For example, Hayward gives President Reagan a grade of A, and grades both Bush 41 and 43 with B's, and awards failing grades to all recent Democratic Presidents (LBJ, Carter, Clinton, and Obama). So while I believe that Hayward has a lot of facts on his side, I thought the analysis was somewhat predictable and partisan, and simply influenced by his political philosophy. It's hard to argue with most of the factual information he provides, but I thought he was selective in what facts he chose to support his all too obvious conclusions. It seemed more a book of political judgement than a book of historical analysis, clearly intended to be a favorite for those on the right, and the bane of those on the left. I was more interested in a book which discusses the good and the bad of each Administration, and then came out with an assessment more based on those facts than on the political party of the president.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    The constitution-orientated look at each 20th Century President made this a very interesting and useful book. There were lots of surprises. And many gaps in my knowledge of the Presidency and US Presidents were filled. It is well written, too. But there was a little unfairness in how some men's actions were viewed. Mainly that was a minor failing... until he got to George W Bush! He gave him a B+! But he did so without even mentioning the Patriot Act. He did this by playing down TARP. And since h The constitution-orientated look at each 20th Century President made this a very interesting and useful book. There were lots of surprises. And many gaps in my knowledge of the Presidency and US Presidents were filled. It is well written, too. But there was a little unfairness in how some men's actions were viewed. Mainly that was a minor failing... until he got to George W Bush! He gave him a B+! But he did so without even mentioning the Patriot Act. He did this by playing down TARP. And since he judged men on how they protected the US, he gave Dubya his B+ despite the side-track war in Iraq which is partly responsible for the creation of IS, the Bush doctrine and the seriously flawed plan to create democracy in Middle Eastern countries. If he had given Bush a C- I might have given this book 5 stars instead of 4! Liked it a lot.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    This book was a severe disappointment. I have read about 10 PIGs and loved most of them. This book was all about toeing the Republican party line (neo-conservatism) rather than small government. The author was completely unfair and inconsistent with his assessments of presidents. For instance, he completely ignored that Reagan grew the size of government and spent a ton, and he also ignored the very important deregulatory policies that Carter signed off on (example: deregulation of airline indus This book was a severe disappointment. I have read about 10 PIGs and loved most of them. This book was all about toeing the Republican party line (neo-conservatism) rather than small government. The author was completely unfair and inconsistent with his assessments of presidents. For instance, he completely ignored that Reagan grew the size of government and spent a ton, and he also ignored the very important deregulatory policies that Carter signed off on (example: deregulation of airline industry that has transformed our economy in the last 40 years). He gave W Bush a constitutional grade of B+ and Obama an F, when I can't tell the difference between the two (they both should get Fs).

  15. 4 out of 5

    W. Frazier

    This book is an insightful analysis of Presidents based on how their policies have adhered to Constitutional principles. Each President is given a letter grade based on their performances in foreign and domestic policy issues, as well as their Supreme Court appointments. At times the reflections get a little heavy-handed, but there is a lot of good information, and many interesting did-you-knows.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Reza Amiri Praramadhan

    After years of reading history of POTUS depicted in usual (liberal) way, it's refreshing to look at it from the other side. Surprising that "great" presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, and of course, "The Blessed" Barack Obama got an F, while name Warren Harding, which usually ranked at the bottom of the list got an A. This book is an absolute eye-opener indeed. After years of reading history of POTUS depicted in usual (liberal) way, it's refreshing to look at it from the other side. Surprising that "great" presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, and of course, "The Blessed" Barack Obama got an F, while name Warren Harding, which usually ranked at the bottom of the list got an A. This book is an absolute eye-opener indeed.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Reedy

    Most of the Politically Incorrect series books are fun to read and very fair to both sides of an issue. But this book is way one sided, promoting only the very right wing views.

  18. 4 out of 5

    W

    read four chapters and have already known about the author's political view, or, to be more accurate, political bias. read four chapters and have already known about the author's political view, or, to be more accurate, political bias.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nicky P

    An impressive self fellating book. Just skip this and know they’re all elitist war criminals.

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is Part 2 of the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents by Steven Hayward and picks up where Part 1 left off covering Woodrow Wilson through Barack Obama. It provides a good summary of each of these presidents accomplishments, major events during their terms, as well as many little-known facts about them personally. Some of them, such as Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan, are dealt with in more detail than some others. Each President is covered in essentially his own chapter and the rea This is Part 2 of the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents by Steven Hayward and picks up where Part 1 left off covering Woodrow Wilson through Barack Obama. It provides a good summary of each of these presidents accomplishments, major events during their terms, as well as many little-known facts about them personally. Some of them, such as Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan, are dealt with in more detail than some others. Each President is covered in essentially his own chapter and the reader can quickly gain an understanding about the politics and the cultural environment in the country at the time they each held office. The author's rating or grade for each president is based on the author's assessment of their performance in upholding and protecting the constitution as well as their policies to benefit the United States and her citizens. This is a great read for someone who wants to get a chronological summary of the Presidents and their accomplishments for comparison and to possibly pique interest on which ones you may wish to find more detailed books to read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Konstantin Dobrev

    It is sufficient to read the chapter on the Cuban crisis - a major triumph for the United States, which weakened the Soviet Union and discredited Krushchev, with almost no drawbacks for the US - where the whole incident is described as a failure for the US, to realize that the author has no interest whatsoever in objectivity or factual accuracy. Either the author is unaware of the consequences of an invasion of Cuba, in which case he has no business writing such a book or he considered the invas It is sufficient to read the chapter on the Cuban crisis - a major triumph for the United States, which weakened the Soviet Union and discredited Krushchev, with almost no drawbacks for the US - where the whole incident is described as a failure for the US, to realize that the author has no interest whatsoever in objectivity or factual accuracy. Either the author is unaware of the consequences of an invasion of Cuba, in which case he has no business writing such a book or he considered the invasion preferable despite the chance of a nuclear war, which at the very least means that he has no moral standing to condemn any of the presidents in this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Some very interesting information from an ultra conservative point of view. It’s marred by the author’s insistence on taking swipes at democratic admins as a partisan exercise. And of course the author’s subsequent support of an administration that exemplifies everything he says a president shouldn’t do in order for the GOP to simply maintain power betrays the fact that he doesn’t really believe anything he wrote or at the very least considers those things less important than simply maintaining Some very interesting information from an ultra conservative point of view. It’s marred by the author’s insistence on taking swipes at democratic admins as a partisan exercise. And of course the author’s subsequent support of an administration that exemplifies everything he says a president shouldn’t do in order for the GOP to simply maintain power betrays the fact that he doesn’t really believe anything he wrote or at the very least considers those things less important than simply maintaining power. In short the book can be summed up this way: liberals are very bad and conservatives are very good.

  23. 5 out of 5

    C.A. Gray

    A great synopsis -- I learned a lot about the presidents before my time, and since I've only recently started paying attention to politics, also learned a lot more backstory about those during my lifetime as well. The title tells you off the bat that the book is biased, but at the same time, what's "mainstream" is also incredibly biased, and also less honest about it. Since I'm no history scholar I don't really know whether this is an unbiased perspective that simply counters the woke mainstream A great synopsis -- I learned a lot about the presidents before my time, and since I've only recently started paying attention to politics, also learned a lot more backstory about those during my lifetime as well. The title tells you off the bat that the book is biased, but at the same time, what's "mainstream" is also incredibly biased, and also less honest about it. Since I'm no history scholar I don't really know whether this is an unbiased perspective that simply counters the woke mainstream, or whether it falls off the other side of the horse, as it were. It ends during Obama's first term.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Geldar

    By "Politically Incorrect," Mr. Hayward means "Tea-Party Republican," which I probably would have discovered if I'd researched this book for one second prior to reading it. The spin is annoying but generally pretty clear, particularly with the most recent presidents, and many interesting storied are told despite it. By "Politically Incorrect," Mr. Hayward means "Tea-Party Republican," which I probably would have discovered if I'd researched this book for one second prior to reading it. The spin is annoying but generally pretty clear, particularly with the most recent presidents, and many interesting storied are told despite it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rich

    Good reading, but got a but tedious at times. Fantastic information about the most important criteria to judge a President.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Koppelmann

    Lots of interesting information about our presidents

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lana Glover

    This should be required reading in all high schools. Very informative.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    Steven Hayward devotes this book to giving each U.S. President from Wilson to Obama a grade based on how closely they adhered to the Constitution our Founding Fathers established. As Hillary Clinton moves closer to the Democratic nomination, it may be worth keeping in mind this statement about she and her husband: "The Clintons, in effect, came to Washington, dropped their drawers, and told the nation to 'kiss it.' For the most part, the nation did. There's a lesson in there somewhere." Steven Hayward devotes this book to giving each U.S. President from Wilson to Obama a grade based on how closely they adhered to the Constitution our Founding Fathers established. As Hillary Clinton moves closer to the Democratic nomination, it may be worth keeping in mind this statement about she and her husband: "The Clintons, in effect, came to Washington, dropped their drawers, and told the nation to 'kiss it.' For the most part, the nation did. There's a lesson in there somewhere."

  29. 4 out of 5

    Karenj

    Good recount of history from a very conservative point of view. Very critical of every Democratic president but very forgiving of every Republican. For example he blasts Kennedy and blames him for the Berlin Wall but completely forgives Reagan for Iran Contra because it was congresses fault for tying his hands in foreign policy and he didn't technically break any laws anyways. Good recount of history from a very conservative point of view. Very critical of every Democratic president but very forgiving of every Republican. For example he blasts Kennedy and blames him for the Berlin Wall but completely forgives Reagan for Iran Contra because it was congresses fault for tying his hands in foreign policy and he didn't technically break any laws anyways.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kai Tinley

    Should be called "The Anti-Liberal Guide to the Presidents." Though I found myself cringing several times, the book was still a valuable read, if for nothing else than to remind us that the office of the US President has grown beyond all proportion. If the office had stayed closer to what the Founding Fathers envisioned, it would surely not attract such demagogues as Donald Trump. Should be called "The Anti-Liberal Guide to the Presidents." Though I found myself cringing several times, the book was still a valuable read, if for nothing else than to remind us that the office of the US President has grown beyond all proportion. If the office had stayed closer to what the Founding Fathers envisioned, it would surely not attract such demagogues as Donald Trump.

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