In Dead Presidents, NPR host Brady Carlson takes listeners to presidential gravesites, monuments, and memorials to tell the death stories of our greatest leaders. Mixing biography and travelogue, Carlson explores whether William Henry Harrison really died of a cold, why Zachary Taylor's remains were exhumed 140 years after his death, and how what killed James A. Garfield wasn't an assassin's bullet. He tells the surprising stories of the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, and Grant's Tomb. And he explains why "Hooverball" is still played in Iowa, why Millard Fillmore's final resting place is beside that of funk legend Rick James, and why Ohio and Alaska continue to battle over the name of Mt. McKinley.
With an eye for neglected places and offbeat people reminiscent of Tony Horwitz and Sarah Vowell, Carlson shows that the ways we memorialize our presidents reveal as much about us as about the men themselves.
©2016 Brady Carlson. Recorded by arrangement with W. W. Norton & Company. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Honestly this story was a bit of a disappointment. We follow the narrator along what I guess was a road trip with his family checking out tourists spots where dead presidents have tombs and monuments.
This unfortunately makes for a disjointed confusing history lesson, going back and forth in time. While informative and interesting, I had a hard time following, as we leaped from one president to the next, out of chronological order, with no clear time line. The only interesting stories were those about each president while what we really needed was some way to tie the whole book together.
Humans are strange
No characters in this book.
I can multitask.
No extreme reaction.
Overall the story was quite interesting. I enjoyed these bits of information since I enjoy reading about American History.
Takes a humorous and very factual look at what one might assume is a morose topic. It is not. Nothing is overly critical nor glossed over. The delivery is "Just the facts, ma'am" but with a wink and a smile. A good choice for the narrator as well.
Very well researched by Brady Carlson and well worth the read.
I liked how Carlson clustered dead presidents by common theme instead of the typical #1 George Washington, #2 John Adams, #3 Thomas Jefferson, etc.
Every which way possible ... a president's handbook for dying AND memorializing
Finished this on Presidents' Day. Rather lightweight but enjoyable work on the subject I've held in most esteem since I was a boy.
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