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Publisher's Summary

From George Washington's reluctant oath taking through George W. Bush's leadership challenges after September 11, 2001, we view ambitious and fallible men through the new lens of the 21st century. Where did they succeed? Where did they fail? And what do we know now that we could not have known at the time?

©2015 American Heritage (P)2017 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about American Heritage History of the Presidents

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good top-level summary of presidents

I especially appreciated that the authors tried to present positives about each president, particularly the lesser-known or less well regarded ones and mentioned negatives about generally well regarded ones. It was most helpful with regard to little known presidents. The necessarily superficial coverage was annoying for recent presidents, whose administrations I remember well.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good but Far from Great

This was well worth the listen but it is problematic in a number of ways. Each president is covered by a short paper by a different author. Often the story of one president will cover the proceeding president and the next election. Thus in many cases the same information is covered two to three times in a row, with only slightly different perspectives.

This individual paper structure also insures there is no broader perspective or theme binding the stories into a single whole. One does gain perspective from the all the papers as a whole but there is little or no unified synthesis presented.

Finally the individual papers are (I suppose unsurprisingly) a bit formulaic and shallow. I had hoped for more depth and synthesis, but I nevertheless enjoyed the many details and relationships between the presidents. This is mostly about the presidents as presidents, and not as humans. Simple facts and basic context is provided for each president, but little more.

Nevertheless I would recommend this to anyone who wants to know a bit more about the presidents and the presidency.

The narration was clear and solid.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

where is the ending?

It seems reasonable that this book could have been updated since 2004. Great info on all our US Presidents, but it ends abruptly in the middle of the Bush (43) presidency.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding Overview of Presidents

Great brief review of each President from G.W. 1 to G.W. 43. Simply loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Loved this book. Learned much about the early presidents & was reminded of things I had forgotten since school. Shows how much history repeats & we should learn from it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good general overview

This was a very easy book to listen to, mainly because each chapter is about a different president than the last. With the chapters being around 30 minutes each, it was certainly not too long to find the time. It is a very general overview, so don't expect a lot of new information, but it was enjoyable.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Superficial

Did not learn anything new.
Generic descriptions.
Did not say anything on the Bush W Iraq war big lies.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

slight political bias on certain candidates.

some of the facts that were given were conclusions that were slightly biased. when history says "some people tbought,... and you use that" and then you use those as actual facts about the person it's a little troubling.

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  • K
  • 01-01-18

Outstanding and Practical

Concise, informative summaries of the lives and tenures of the first 43 Presidents, covering both their highs and lows.