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Publisher's Summary

Make no mistake: Our founding fathers were more bandanas-and-muscles than powdered-wigs-and-tea.

As a prisoner of war, Andrew Jackson walked several miles barefoot across state lines while suffering from smallpox and a serious head wound received when he refused to polish the boots of the soldiers who had taken him captive. He was thirteen years old. A few decades later, he became the first popularly elected president and served the nation, pausing briefly only to beat a would-be assassin with a cane to within an inch of his life. Theodore Roosevelt had asthma, was blind in one eye, survived multiple gunshot wounds, had only one regret (that there were no wars to fight under his presidency), and was the first U.S. president to win the Medal of Honor, which he did after he died. Faced with the choice, George Washington actually preferred the sound of bullets whizzing by his head in battle over the sound of silence.

And now these men - these hallowed leaders of the free world - want to kick your ass.

Plenty of historians can tell you which president had the most effective economic strategies, and which president helped shape our current political parties, but can any of them tell you what to do if you encounter Chester A. Arthur in a bare-knuckled boxing fight? This book will teach you how to be better, stronger, faster, and more deadly than the most powerful (and craziest) men in history. You’re welcome.

©2014 Daniel O'Brien (P)2014 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Josh
  • ELKVIEW, WV, United States
  • 03-24-14

Absolutely One of the Funniest Books on Audible.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I finished this audiobook in two days. I wold have finished it in one but I stopped every couple of chapters to recommend it to anybody I thought would appreciate it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How to Fight Presidents?

It's a given that Teddy Roosevelt's chapter would be awesome (which is was) but I have to say Andrew Jackson might have been my favorite.

Have you listened to any of Richard McGonagle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Richard McGonagle's reading is absolutely, 100%, the best performance I've ever heard as it pertains to the material. I don't know if Audible hands out an award for perfection in comedic delivery, but if not, they should. And they should name it the McGonagle.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Ronald Reagan is Wolverine. Ronald Reagan is Wolverine. Ronald Reagan is Wolverine.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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History that will leave you crying (w/ laughter!)

I completely enjoyed this well researched and completely unorthodox approach to American History. May I suggest a companion book which pits the presidents against each other? I'd expect a a final four of Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, & TR? (smart money is on TR!)

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan
  • marietta, GA, United States
  • 03-20-14

I have never laughed so hard

Would you listen to How to Fight Presidents again? Why?

Yes!! and I will. This book is hilarious and actually educational too.

What other book might you compare How to Fight Presidents to and why?

Never read/listened to I book like this. If I find another one I'll get it!

Which character – as performed by Richard McGonagle – was your favorite?

Theodore Roosevelt, I guess

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I will listen again and again.

Any additional comments?

I have listened to over 500 books and never written a review until now. This is just too funny not to mention the interestring history!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Resplendent

I wish Dan O'Brien would have narrated this himself. He does read the intro and tells us not to worry as the book will be read by someone who knows what they are doing and doesn't stutter. However, people who find and read this book are probably Daniel O'Brien fans and enjoy his voice.

That is not to say that Richard McGonagle did anything less than spectacular work. He nailed all of the gags in a voice that manages to be an impossible mix of a DO'B impression and booming authority.

Content wise, this book met all of my expectations, providing interesting facts, wonderful jokes, and a perspective to history that acts as a bonding agent for knowledge. Who knew that William McKinley was so sweet?

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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My favorite book

The narrator is perfect. This book is so entertaining. A great way to learn and not be bored out of your mind. I'm on my fifth listen now! I recommend this book to everyone I know. Enjoy!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • New Bedford, MA, United States
  • 07-13-14

Entertaining and Educational

I know more about history than most, which is not saying a lot, and I learned something. If for the Zachary Taylor and cherries alone this book is worth it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Russell
  • MESA, AZ, United States
  • 03-22-14

A historical overview of hilarious proportions!

First off kudos to Richard McGonagle for perfectly nailing the tone and demeanor of this book. This is perhaps the best reading of any of the hundreds of books that I have listened to from either audible or other places.

Secondly this book is a fun and lighthearted view of the historical people who ran the United States. If you cannot tell by the title it is a little bit vulgar but fun and silly through. It is still somewhat historically accurate (from the parts that I have independently studied).

Perhaps the largest downside to this book is that the author spends more or less equal time on all of the presidents, and while this leads to some very humorous chapters due to the need to fill it out prevents some presidents from getting the needed tome to accurately describe their badassery.

Also note that this only covers the dead presidents and not any living ones.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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So funny!

I really enjoyed this book. I wish history class in high school had been this interesting.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • End User
  • Bellevue, WA United States
  • 05-12-14

Funny and Historical

Where does How to Fight Presidents rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Ranks right up there for entertainment

What did you like best about this story?

History lesson with a funny twist

What does Richard McGonagle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A nice bass voice with just the right inflections at the right time. I've listened to this book several times and enjoy and learn something each time.

Any additional comments?

I don't know if I should take everything here as facts, but the author does disclaim appropriately.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Best Book in the History of God-Damn America

Richard Mcgonagle provides a flawless captures this funny and informative guide to fighting presidents. O'Brien's narrative voice is Tom Hanks of narrative voices (Deceptively simple, universally relateble, incredibly funny, inexplicably fixated on going to the bathroom)

My only complaint was that there weren't more presidents that I could fight.

10/10 would read again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful