44 Best Books on US Presidents

On this list of the best books on US Presidents, you will find one amazing read on each one. It will be a great starting place for your journey to learn more about some of our most famous presidents including Washington, Jefferson, and Regan. 

You'll find them in order of their presidencies. If you want to read more than one book about a certain president, you will find a link below their selected book which will take you to a list of additional books for each one. 

We know you will find a lot of great options on this booklist! 

Best Books on US Presidents

1. George Washington (1789-1797)

Washington: A Life

Washington A Life

Written by: Ron Chernow

Published: January 5, 2010

Pages: 928

Ron Chernow is a comprehensive study of the life and reign of George Washington. The author has captured the story with vivid detail and clarity, making this biography one of the most popular books written about our first president.   The author paints an intimate portrait of this great man's character through his military exploits during the Revolutionary War to his tumultuous presidency as he took on both domestic and foreign policy challenges.

This is not just another boring biography; it is full of wit, humor, drama, tragedy, and suspense that will help you understand this incredible man and his achievements.

>> More books about George Washington

>> More books about all of the Founding Fathers

>> Additional books written by Ron Chernow

2. John Adams (1797-1801)

John Adams

John Adams

Written by: David McCullough

Published: May 1, 2001

Pages: 751

John Adams was the 2nd President of the United States and an American patriot. He began his political career as a delegate for Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, where he participated in drafting legislation that would set up a new nation. As President, he helped negotiate peace treaties with France and Great Britain and signed them into law. 

His presidency saw many other firsts: America's first treaty with Native Americans, America's first military victory on foreign soil (the naval battle at Tripoli), America's first national Thanksgiving Day celebration, America's first peaceful transfer of power from one President to another by John Quincy Adams.

3. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

American Sphinx

Written by: Joseph J. Ellis Ph.D.

Published: January 31, 1997 

Pages: 440

This is an excellent biography that tells the story of the third president of the United States while exploring critical themes in American history. This book serves as a perfect introduction to both Jefferson and his times. 

Although it focuses on one man, this book provides a window into social issues such as slavery, religion, and politics during early America. It also discusses some of his negatives, such as his affair with Sally Hemings. Thanks to its writing style and structure, in addition to being informative about its subject matter, this book is also entertaining.

>> More books about Thomas Jefferson

4. James Madison (1809-1817)

James Madison: A Biography

James Madison

Written by: Ralph Ketcham

Published: 1971

Pages: 753

Madison was born on March 16th, 1751, in Port Conway, Virginia. He attended Princeton University and later became a member of the Continental Congress, where he helped draft the United States Constitution. James Madison is most well known for being one of three authors to write The Federalist Papers, which are articles that argue for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His contributions to our country have led him to be ranked as one of our greatest Presidents. 

This biography provides readers with the opportunity to gain new insight on one of our nation's founding fathers by taking us through his life story via journal entries, letters, speeches, books are written about him at the time, and other documents. 

>> More books about James Madison

5. James Monroe (1817-1825)

The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness

The Last Founding Father

Written by: Harlow Giles Unger 

Published: September 1, 2009 

Pages: 388

James Monroe was a Founding Father of the United States. Even though the more famous presidents often overlooked him before him, he was just as important. Not only did he serve as Vice President and then as President, but he also negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, established trade agreements with Britain despite Jeffersonian opposition, helped establish American independence from France, and provided military leadership during the Revolutionary War. He retired to Virginia in 1825. 

This biography describes how Monroe dealt with challenges such as slavery, economic difficulties for both farmers and merchants, tensions between America and Europe over territory in North America, and so much more. 

6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)

John Quincy Adams: American Visionary

John Quincy Adams

Written by: Fred Kaplan

Published: May 6, 2014 

Pages: 672

Many people were critical players in the history of America, but there is one man that stands out from all the rest. John Quincy Adams was born on July 11th, 1767 and was influential; he lived until February 23rd, 1848. He served as an ambassador to various countries such as Russia and Great Britain (he helped negotiate the Treaty of Ghent and The Treaty Of Washington). 

He also served as Secretary of State for eight years under President James Monroe's administration. Later on, in life, he would serve as a congressman representing Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District and fight for the emancipation of slaves, among other important legislation. Some of the lesser-known facts you'll learn include that initially, he was elected President of the Democratic-Republican party but later became a Whig.

7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

American Lion

Written by: Jon Meacham

Published: November 11, 2008

Pages: 483

Andrew Jackson is one of the most controversial presidents in American history. He was a war hero, slave owner, and yet also a man of the people. He became President after defeating his archrival John Quincy Adams in 1828. His presidency was marked by the Panic of 1837, territorial expansion into Florida and Texas, which led to America's bloody conflict with Mexico; he also vetoed more legislation than all other previous presidents combined. 

Jon Meacham has written an insightful biography, using letters, and diary entries, about this complicated man that explains how he came from humble origins to become "The Great Emancipator" with a lasting effect on American democracy.

>> More books about Andrew Jackson

8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)

Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren

Written by: Ted Widmer

Published: January 5, 2005

Pages: 208

Many people have heard of the famous American President, Abraham Lincoln. However, there was a president before him that many people do not know about. Martin Van Buren was born in 1782 and became the 8th President of the United States from 1837-1841. Martin Van Buren was the eighth president of the United States. 

Before becoming President, he was a lawyer, New York state senator, governor of New York, vice president under Andrew Jackson, and secretary of state. His presidency saw many changes to America's government, including its first financial crisis, starting the Democratic Party, and abolitionism in which he would have to deal with during his term. 

9. William Henry Harrison (1841)

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

Written by: Gail Collins

Published: January 17, 2012 

Pages: 176

William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, was born on February 9th, 1773. He served in both houses of Congress before being elected to the presidency in 1840. His term lasted only thirty days due to his death from pneumonia on April 4th, 1841. This book discusses his life and career up until becoming President since it was such a short presidency. 

Before becoming President, he had a long career in public service, including serving two terms as governor of Indiana Territory between 1800 to 1804 and in the senate.

10. John Tyler (1841-1845)

John Tyler, the Accidental President

John Tyler

Written by: Edward P. Crapol

Published: October 1, 2006 

Pages: 344

John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States (1841-1845), has been called "the accidental president" because he was not elected to office. On April 4th, 1841, he ascended to the presidency after William Henry Harrison died only a month into his term and was selected by Congress as Vice President. 

His time in office is often remembered for his attempt to annex Texas and begin a war with Mexico over slavery issues and the support of the Confederacy. This effort led him to be censured by Congress. He was also known for his open support of states’ rights, even though he tried to increase his power. However, historians are no longer saying his presidency was an accident since he had such a lasting impact on the U.S.A.

11. James K. Polk (1845-1849)

Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America


Written by: Walter R. Borneman

Published: April 8, 2008 

Pages: 448

Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America is a book about James K. Polk, who became the 11th president of the United States in 1845. His presidency was one of expansion. His administration initiated the Mexican-American War and acquired territory that would become all or parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas. Because of his actions, the U.S. grew from being primarily small rural towns to bigger cities.

He also oversaw the passage of the Walker Tariff Act, which lowered tariff rates to encourage trade, and signed legislation ensuring bond payments in gold rather than silver. He sent troops into Oregon to assert U.S. claims over disputed territory along what is now known as the northern border states' southern borders with Canada. He also lowered property requirements to vote so that more citizens could be involved in politics.

12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850) 

Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor

Written by: John S. D. Eisenhower

Published: May 27, 2008

Pages: 192

Zachary Taylor was a five-star general who served as the 12th president of the United States. He is often forgotten as an essential part of American history. However, this book covers many aspects of his life and presidency. This starts with his humble beginnings in Orange County, Virginia, to his final resting place at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery near Louisville, Kentucky. 

These include stories about why he was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” and his military exploits in the Mexican War. This book examines his thoughts on democracy in the U.S. and the best way to build this young nation. An example is California's attempt to join the U.S. and be an anti-slavery state. This was incredibly contentious, and Taylor himself was a slaveholder, but he fought to be a free state. He, and California, ultimately prevailed, but this also set the stage for the civil unrest just underneath the surface. He was a complex man, and this book shows his many sides.

13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)

Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President

Millard Fillmore

Written by: Robert J. Rayback

Published: 1959

Pages: 470

Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States from 1850-1853 and served as a member of Congress before that. He became President after Zachary Taylor died suddenly in office. Millard Fillmore is very little known today, even though he was once a prominent figure at the national level. 

His accomplishments include the legislation to admit California to the union, the Gadsden Purchase, and creating the Department of the Interior. This biography uses more than 8,500 pieces of information and correspondence between President Fillmore and his friends and enemies during these times. They give a vision that is in-depth and insightful. 

14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce

Written by: Michael F. Holt

Published: March 30, 2010 

Pages: 176

After winning the election as a Democrat by a massive margin, Pierce proved to be a rather ineffectual and easily forgotten president. Instead of focusing on issues at home, he tried to get Spain to sell the U.S. the island of Cuba, which allowed for slavery. 

He also worked to repeal the Missouri Compromise, which encouraged the pro-slavery movement to expand into the West further. Regarded primarily as a failure as President, James Buchanan easily defeated him for the next election.

15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)

James Buchanan

James Buchanan

Written by: Jean H. Baker

Published: January 1, 2004

Pages: 192

James Buchanan was the 15th president of the United States. He is most known for his failed attempt to stop the Civil War. James Buchanan's presidency is often overshadowed by Abraham Lincoln's. However, he still deserves recognition for trying to halt Southern secessionists from seceding, dealing with slavery issues, and resisting British influence on America, all while trying to save money through cutting government spending.

He served in office from 1857-1861, during a tumultuous time when several critical issues were at hand. Some believe that if he had been more proactive in dealing with these issues, history might have turned out differently for America. The book James Buchanan by Jean H Baker sheds light on this controversial figure's life and presidency through extensive research and informative writing. 

16. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Team of Rivals

Written by: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Published: September 26, 2006 

Pages: 916

Doris Kearns Goodwin's latest book, Team of Rivals, is an excellent read for anyone interested in the political process. It highlights how Abraham Lincoln convinced his rivals into taking cabinet positions by focusing on what he wanted them to achieve instead of what they would lose. This book also shows how Lincoln used his close relationships with many previously against him to get things done and improve the country.

Unlike many other politicians before him, Lincoln was willing to take chances, build communities, and try to prevent the Civil War from destroying the nation.

>> More books about Abraham Lincoln

>> More books by author Doris Kearns Goodwin

17. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Written by: Annette Gordon-Reed

Published: December 30, 2008

Pages: 192

Andrew Jackson became vice president just six weeks before Lincoln was assassinated. Sadly, this seemed like a fitting start and end to his presidency. After the civil war ended, Johnson could not help fix the nation and still supported slavery and therefore tried to derail any reconciliation between the North and South.

Although he was acquitted by one vote, Johnson was also impeached, showing why he was unfit and incapable of leading the U.S. through these difficult times.

18. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)



Written by: Ron Chernow

Published: October 10, 2017

Pages: 1097

Grant is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book that tells the story of one of America's most influential presidents. The author Ron Chernow is a well-respected American biographer who has also written about Alexander Hamilton and John D. Rockefeller.  

The book followed Grant through his childhood to his presidency and death in 1885. The book takes readers through America's most significant battles, including Shiloh, Vicksburg, Antietam, Chattanooga, and Appomattox Court House. 

Throughout the entire story, Chernow analyzes how Ulysses S Grant overcame so many obstacles throughout his life as he moved from farm boy to general to President despite having little formal education or wealth during this period.

19. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes

Written by: Hans L. Trefousse

Published: November 1, 2002

Pages: 192

President Hayes was a strong advocate of civil service reform, and in 1883 he signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act into law. This act ended patronage or the practice of hiring government workers based on connections rather than qualifications. He also helped end Reconstruction in Louisiana by withdrawing troops from that state in 1877. 

He served as an essential peacemaker during his presidency when tensions were high between Northerners and Southerners following the Civil War. During his administration, he worked to help bring unity to our nation after its long struggle with slavery, secession, and other long-standing issues.

20. James A. Garfield (1881)

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Destiny of the Republic

Written by: Candice Millard

Published: September 20, 2011 

Pages: 339

She writes about his life before politics and his time in politics that led to him being elected President. This is an engaging story with many details that are not widely known about Garfield's short time in office, but it also has some flaws. 

In this captivating book, Millard goes beyond the obvious in the life of President James A. Garfield and explores it in more detail. It is a story that encompasses presidential assassination attempts, medical errors, and a tale of political corruption all wrapped up in one man's life.

The author starts with the characters involved in the events leading up to Garfield's presidency and follows him throughout his time as President until he finally succumbs to his wounds after being shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2nd, 1881. 

21. Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885)

The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur

The Unexpected President

Written by: Scott S. Greenberger

Published: September 12, 2017

Pages: 336

On March 4th, 1881, Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the twenty-first President of the United States. His predecessor, James Garfield, had only served four months before dying from an assassin's bullet. Despite his lack of experience and knowledge on being President, Arthur took ownership of his new position with grace and dignity. 

He led America through several challenges during his presidency, including labor unrest, civil service reform, and corruption scandals at all levels of the American government. Despite these obstacles, he left office, having restored some level of faith in the general American people that their country could move forward following its darkest hour yet experienced by any president up until then.

22. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897)

An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland

An Honest President

Written by: H. Paul Jeffers

Published: January 22, 2002 

Pages: 400

Honest Grover Cleveland, the twenty-second and twenty-fourth president of the United States, is a unique man. He was elected to two nonconsecutive terms – one in 1885 and another in 1893 – making him the only Democrat and only President to be reelected after a single term. 

In addition, he became known as "the Veto President" for his frequent use of that power during his second term. Despite this reputation for being stingy with funds, he also worked hard to end corruption within our government by signing into law the Pendleton Civil Service Act. While not all historians agree on how successful or ineffective these efforts were at curbing political patronage, they are generally agreed that he was driven to fix them. 

23. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison

Written by: Charles W. Calhoun

Published: June 6, 29005 

Pages: 224

Charles W. Calhoun's Benjamin Harrison is a biography that explores the life of a man who was President of the United States for one term from 1889-1893 yet accomplished much during his lifetime. A few accomplishments include serving as brigadier general in Union Army during the American Civil War and being elected to the Indiana House of Representatives at age 33. 

In addition, Harrison was also nominated for vice president under President James Garfield before becoming President himself after Garfield's assassination. He pushed for reforms in a very corrupt time in Congress and more. Harrison had an interesting life with many milestones and Calhoun does an excellent job chronicling it all in this book. 

24. William McKinley (1897-1901)

William McKinley

William McKinley

Written by: Kevin Phillips

Published: October 1, 2003

Pages: 173

William McKinley was the President of the United States during a period that saw many changes in America. He led America to victory in the Spanish-American War, and with his annexation of Hawaii, he set up what would eventually become American Samoa and Guam. With his help, we were able to see an era where we became a global power on the world stage.   

President McKinley is also remembered for his work as a Civil War veteran who helped bring about reconciliation between North and South after years of turmoil over slavery. Just a few months after his reelection, an attempted assassination left him wounded. He passed away at age 57 from gangrene due to an infection from a leg wound, James McKinley’s legacy lives on.

25. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Written by: Edmund Morris

Published: November 20, 2001

Pages: 816

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris is a historical account of the life and presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. It starts with his family and being born into wealth. However, in his childhood, he was often sick and ill. Then he continues his education at Harvard. He was famous for turning himself into a master hunter. 

It continues to his marriage to Edith Carow, a military career in the Spanish-American War and Cuba's rebellion against Spain, New York State politics as governor and Vice President under McKinley, and finally President from 1901-1909. He is probably most known for being one of the "Rough Riders" and charging up San Juan Hill in Cuba.

>> More books about Theodore Roosevelt

26. William Howard Taft (1909-1913)

William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft

Written by: Jeffrey Rosen

Published: March 20, 2018 

Pages: 224

William Howard Taft was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 15th, 1857. He attended Yale University and graduated at the age of twenty-three. Taft worked as a lawyer for some time, after which he became a judge in 1890. In 1900 President McKinley appointed him Secretary of War, and four years later, he became the 27th president of the United States after McKinley's assassination. Although Roosevelt agreed on much, Taft would only allow interpretations that expressly agreed with the Constitution.

After his presidency ended in 1913, Taft served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1921 to 1930. William Howard Taft is one man who has had many accomplishments, such as being both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

27. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

Woodrow Wilson: A Biography

Woodrow Wilson

Written by: John Milton Cooper Jr.

Published: November 3, 2009 

Pages: 702

He began his political career as an elected official in New Jersey and later became President of Princeton University before being elected Governor of New Jersey. Just some of his accomplishments include the Federal Reserve System, putting together legislation that would help F.D.R.'s New Deal, and through World War 1. 

However, some of the negative aspects of his personality included fighting again civil rights and civil liberties in general. Wilson won reelection on his second attempt after establishing himself as a progressive reformer dedicated to expanding democracy at home and abroad after World War I. 

28. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)

Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding

Written by: John W. Dean

Published: January 7, 2004 

Pages: 202

Warren G. Harding was the 29th president of the United States. He took office in 1921 after being elected in a landslide victory in 1920. During his presidency, he helped the country recover from World War I and gave women suffrage rights. He also helped Congress to have a federal budget that unified the country and reduced the national debt.

However, he also presided over one of the most corrupt administrations ever during this period. He is mainly known for the Teapot Dome scandal, which eventually led to his impeachment by Congress and resignation before he could be removed from office. 

29. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)



Written by: Amity Shlaes

Published: February 12, 2013

Pages: 456

This is a novel about the life of President Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge was extremely frugal, and he had an amazing ability to cut government spending without touching any essential programs. This book tells you how this President managed to do so much with so little. Known as "Silent Cal" because he didn't promote or make himself the center of attention, he accomplished so much quickly.

It also shows how America prospered during his presidency due to his policies that helped American citizens, not special interest groups or corporations like many politicians today would prefer. 

30. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)

Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times

Hoover: An Extraordinary

Written by: Kenneth Whyte

Published: October 10, 2017

Pages: 752

Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte is a portrait of the man who has been called “the most important and influential American leader of the twentieth century.” The book chronicles Hoover's rise from poverty to international prominence, his leadership through World War 1, his years as President, and his post-presidential life how it affected the “New Frontier” of John F. Kennedy. 

It also discusses how he helped shape modern America’s social programs and its understanding of relief for people in need. Written with Hoover’s cooperation, this biography captures an extraordinary life lived during extraordinary times. 

31. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II

No Ordinary Time

Written by: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Published: September 1, 1994

Pages: 633

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt led a nation with the world in turmoil and America on the brink of war. The Roosevelts were married to each other and partners in political life—working together for equality at home while uniting with others abroad. Together they helped create a New Deal, fought fascism alongside Winston Churchill, and built an enduring American legacy that shaped generations to come.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin (author of Team of Rivals), No Ordinary Time is their story. It is a frank account of their triumphs, defeats, personal lives, and public careers from the Great Depression through World War II.

32. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)



Written by: David McCullough

Published: June 14, 1993

Pages: 1120

It is almost impossible to sum up everything he went through during his two terms, but David McCullough does a fantastic job. This biography is over 1,000 pages, and that is for an excellent reason: Trump was without question one of the most influential presidents ever. Some of these include sending troops to Korea, meeting Stalin at Potsdam, firing the incredibly respected General MacArthur, and more. However, he is probably most known for the order to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.

McCullough interviews friends and family, research documents, and uses any way possible to get an in-depth picture of Truman. Because of this, he sheds light on the positive and the negative since he was so controversial.

33. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)

The Supreme Commander: The War Years of General Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Supreme Commander

Written by: Stephen E. Ambrose

Published: November 1, 1999 

Pages: 732

General Dwight Eisenhower, known as Ike to those close to him, was a man who had risen through the ranks of the United States Army during World War II. He first started as an aide to General Fox Conner and eventually led the D-Day Invasion. It is because of this that he is remembered as one of America's greatest heroes and leaders. 

However, although his military accomplishments are numerous and notable, Eisenhower should also be remembered for his political leadership after the war ended. Many historians consider his presidency from 1953-1961 to have been a great success for both parties involved. Learn more about them in this incredible biography.

>> More books about Eisenhower

>> More by Stephen E. Ambrose

34. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)

A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House

A Thousand Days

Written by: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Published: 1965 

Pages: 1088

John F. Kennedy is famous for his charisma and charm, but many people don't know the real story behind J.F.K.'s Presidency. John F. Kennedy in the White House by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. takes readers on a journey through J.F.K.'s thousand days in office. It focuses not only on major events like the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War but also on more personal moments that shaped him as President, such as his love of family. 

It delves deeply into his commitment to civil rights reform and equality for all. This book provides insight into the man who would become one of America’s most iconic presidents while offering lessons still relevant today about leadership, civility, courage, and grace under pressure. Kennedy chose Schlesinger to be his special assistant to get a lot of lesser-known information compared to other books.

35. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)

Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President

Lyndon B. Johnson

Written by: Robert Dallek

Published: 2004 

Pages: 396

Lyndon B. Johnson was the 36th president of the United States, serving from 1963 to 1969. He is well known for his "Great Society" reforms that helped end segregation. Other issues included the war in Vietnam, race riots at home, and an economy on the verge of collapse were just a few of his challenges. Robert Dallek's book, Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President, discusses both the good and bad aspects of L.B.J.'s presidency in great detail. 

It explores how Johnson rose above adversity to become one of our nation's most influential presidents - despite his flaws as a man and leader that are also discussed in this biography. Not as widely discussed as President Kennedy, because of his assassination, or Nixon, because of his resignation, he is still a significant figure in U.S. history.

36. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)

Richard Nixon: The Life

Richard Nixon: The Life

Written by: John A. Farrell

Published: March 28, 2017 

Pages: 752

Richard Nixon: The Life by John A. Farrell is a comprehensive and well-researched biography about the 37th president of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon. This book covers all aspects of his life, from childhood to death. It provides an in-depth look at his relationship with his wife Pat and other vital individuals throughout his political career, such as Henry Kissinger and Ronald Reagan.

Few people know that he was quite progressive and wanted to fix health care issues, civil rights, and the environment. Sadly, he ruined his presidency because of Watergate.

The author goes into great detail about what made Nixon tick both personally and politically, making for an interesting read even if you do not agree with some of Nixon's policies or decisions he made while in office.

>> More books about President Nixon

>> Additional books about Watergate

37. Gerald Ford (1974-1977)

Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford

Written by: Douglas Brinkley

Published: February 6, 2007 

Pages: 224

Gerald R. Ford by Douglas Brinkley is a biography of one of the lesser-known American presidents in history and the only President to serve without being elected to either office or vice-presidency before ascending to the presidency. The book covers his career as an athlete, naval officer, and congressman. He was also the minority leader in Congress when Nixon resigned because Watergate and Spiro Agnew resigned for illegal activities. 

That led to him being selected by both houses of Congress to be the next President, and finally President and his life after it. It also explores his relationships with other politicians such as Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, who was instrumental in securing passage of civil right legislation during Ford's tenure as House Minority Leader, which laid the foundation for future progress on racial equality.

38. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life

His Very Best

Written by: Jonathan Alter

Published: September 29, 2020

Pages: 672

President Jimmy Carter served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. He is often regarded as one of America's most underrated presidents because he successfully negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt, which seemed impossible at the time.

His administration also helped reform welfare by signing into law a sweeping tax cut to help the poor and middle class, which would later sadly be repealed by Ronald Reagan and enacting new legislation such as the Clean Air Act and negotiating treaties with Panama and Peru. 

Although many look back at his presidency as a failure, he accomplished so much that changed the U.S. forever. To that point, President Carter has been awarded many prestigious awards for his work in human rights, public service, global democracy promotion, free trade agreements, education reform, and civil rights issues. 

39. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)

When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan

When Character Was King

Written by: Peggy Noonan

Published: November 12, 2001

Pages: 352

You will find a treasure trove of Reagan anecdotes and memories from those who knew him best within this book. This is a deeply researched biography, and the information in it is invaluable. You'll learn about the man behind the myth, how he came to be President despite being dismissed by many, and what he accomplished in office. 

Peggy Noonan talks to his wife Nancy, his daughter, friends, family, and even people who disagreed with him to bring his story to life. Being that Peggy Noonan was his special assistant, you will find out more about this man than you could have ever imagined.

40. George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)

The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H. W. Bush's Post-Presidency

The Man I Knew

Written by: Jean Becker

Published: June 1, 2021 

Pages: 368

The book is a biography of George H. W. Bush's life, from his childhood to his presidency in 1992. The book covers every aspect of Bush's life, including political decisions he made as President, personal side stories about him being an uncle, father, and grandfather, how he dealt with the death of loved ones throughout his lifetime, and much more. 

This is a must-read for anyone curious about this momentous period in American history. It was written by Jean Becker, who had been one of his speechwriters and press secretary for eight years as Vice President and President. 

41. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

My Life

My Life

Written by: Bill Clinton

Published: 2004 

Pages: 969

Bill Clinton's autobiography, My Life, gives readers an inside look at the life of a politician. He talks about his childhood and living in Arkansas and some of his presidential experiences, such as dealing with the Monica Lewinsky scandal and 9/11. 

This autobiography is excellent for those interested in politics or simply wanting to see what it is like to be President. It also provides insight into who Bill Clinton is behind the scenes; he discusses his family life and personal interests such as golfing and reading novels. You may think you know all about President Clinton, no matter which political party you belong to, but this book is full of surprises.

42. George W. Bush (2001-2009)

Decision Points

Decision Points

Written by: George W. Bush

Published: January 1, 2010

Pages: 497

The book Decision Points by George W. Bush is a memoir that outlines his life and presidency concerning his decisions when in power. The book gives insight into the mind of our former President. It provides answers to questions you may have had about some of his controversial decisions, like invading Iraq or bailing out Wall Street during the financial crisis. 

The author also discusses significant events that occurred while he was President, such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the War on Terror. He talks about how these events changed him as a person and what he learned from them. Being that you can read it in President Bush's folksy style makes it even more human and natural.

43. Barack Obama (2009-2016)

A Promised Land

A Promised Land

Written by: Barack Obama

Published: November 17, 2020 

Pages: 768

Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of the United States, Barack Obama, has written a book detailing his journey as an American citizen. A Promised Land tells the story of Obama's life from his birth in Hawaii to his inauguration as President. 

Obama writes about how he found his own identity and what it means to be an American today. He looks at his choices and decisions while President, both for better and worse, and how the U.S.A. can become the nation that our forefathers wanted it to be. And by doing so, indeed a promised land for all. Written in President Obama's relaxed style of conversing, it is a beautiful way to spend time with him.

44. Trump (2016-2020)

Fear: Trump in the White House

Fear: Trump in the White House

Written by: Bob Woodward

Published: September 11, 2018 

Pages: 448

In Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward, a journalist who is well respected for his work, he explores President Donald Trump's mindset and how he operates within the White House. The book reveals that many people within this administration do not support their President's agenda and only benefit themselves. This is also true of President Trump; he is only in it for himself and couldn’t care less about the average U.S. citizen. 

The author shares examples from interviews with various staff members to show how they feel about their boss's lack of experience and complete ignorance of navigating politics.  Over time, these revelations paint a picture of an inept leader who has no idea what he's doing but insists on having everyone else believe otherwise. 

More Books about U.S. Presidents