The American presidents series


This series is edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., the prolific historian. The list of writers he has chosen to write each volume is interesting. I was disappointed to see that none of the authors seems to be a conservative (though perhaps some are; some of the names are unfamiliar to me), and evidently no books have been produced yet on John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, or Bill Clinton. But I have to admit that many of Schlesinger's choices seem very interesting indeed:

John Dean on Warren G. Harding, and I have enjoyed reading the former military officer Josiah Bunting III on Ulysses S. Grant, the novelist of New York society Louis Auchincloss on Theodore Roosevelt, and the late British politician Roy Jenkins on Franklin Roosevelt. I have to admit that I will probably never get to the promised William Henry Harrison biography from New York Times editorial page editor Gail Collins. But I will snap up Gary Hart on James Monroe the next time I see it on a bookshelf. As a conservative counterpoint to the books in Schlesinger's series, I recommend Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and Worst in the White House, a Wall Street Journal book edited by James Taranto and Leonard Leo. I wrote the chapter on Ulysses S. Grant.