When Presidents Tell It Their Way

Only ten of our forty Presidents have written accounts of their time in the White House. Jimmy Carter’s Keeping Faith is the latest addition to that short shelf, and James Buchanan was the somewhat unlikely creator of this rare literary form. But as the welcome new Da Capo Press edition of his autobiography reaffirms, Theodore Roosevelt remains its most vivid and vigorous practitioner. Read more »

JFK The Stained-Glass Image

As with Lincoln, assassination lifted John F. Kennedy to a beatified myth, in large part because of the guidelines set for books about him.

In mid-November, 1963, according to all major best-seller lists, the most popular nonfiction publication in America was a book that portrayed Jack Kennedy as “immature,” “arrogant,” “snobbish,” “glib,” “slick,” “calculating,” “hard as nails,” “mealymouthed,” “opportunistic,” “Machiavellian,” “intellectually shallow,” “spiritually rootless,” “morally pusillanimous,” “passionless,” “vain,” “shifty-eyed,” and, for every good reason, nicknamed “Jack the Knife.” The book, of course, was J.F.K.: The Man and the Myth, by Victor Lasky.