Monthly Archives: May 2012

The President Project

The President Project

I love libraries, and I don’t know a lot about presidents. Therefore, I’m embarking on a mission to read a biography of every president.

This actually started when, upon realizing I had President’s Day off of work, I picked up a biography of George Washington in appreciation. I read biographies of both he and his wife, Martha “Patsy” Washington. Now I’m on John Adams.

In college, I took an entire class on the executive office. So I’ve got this strange, multiple-factor categorization of presidents in my head — mainly domestic vs. foreign policy presidents, presidents that used the office for activist vs. pacifist activities, frequent fliers on the veto jet, and sex scandal presidents (no, it’s not just Clinton). But other than that, I’ve got nothing more than vague, one-sentence associations with most presidents. Some examples:

James Madison: “Wonder if he was as pompous as everybody in that program at MSU?”

William Henry Harrison: “Poor sickly guy died in office.”

William Taft: “Stuck in a bathtub. Ouch.”

Teddy Roosevelt: “Can’t believe he got shot and finished his speech. Badass.”

Richard Nixon: “A Republican started the EPA, and now they all want to get rid of it. #ironic”

Gerald Ford: “The only president from Michigan was never really elected. For shame.”

So as you can see, I needed a better education. I’m hoping that reading biographies in order will help me get a little better perspective on how each term evolved the office, and connect the historical politics a little bit better in my head.

As a side note, I’m expecting the 1800’s to be really boring.