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Books by and about 2016 presidential candidates
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Crippled America ,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)
American Dreams,
by Marco Rubio (2015)
Taking a Stand,
by Rand Paul (2015)
Unintimidated,
by Scott Walker (2013)
A Time for Truth,
by Ted Cruz (2015)
One Nation,
by Ben Carson (2014)
Trump/Pence vs. Clinton/Kaine On the Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Living History ,
by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2003)
Between Hope and History ,
by Bill Clinton (1996)
In Harm’s Way ,
by Dr. Jill Stein (2000)
Democrat vs. Republican vs. Green vs. Libertarian,
Four Party's Presidential Nominees On The Issues (2016)
Books by and about 2012 presidential candidates
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

100 Valuable Leadership Lessons from 10 U.S. Presidents
Learn the leadership lessons of Kennedy & Nixon

by George Ilian



(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from 10 U.S. Presidents (number of quotes indicated):
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book ain't literature – and it ain't a book on leadership. It's simplistic analysis, simplistically written, with simplistic conclusions. We read this book to build our portfolio of books on past presidents, and it fulfilled that purpose a little for Ike. But really, this book is appropriate for high schoolers who are learning about past presidents for the first time, or trying out reading some light history for the first time.

But the author, George Ilian, doesn't bill it as high school-level history-light. He bills it as "Leadership Lessons," like applying historical precedents to current politics or business or modern life. For that purpose, this book is way too simplistic. For example, in discussing Nixon's actions during Watergate, Ilian writes, "he used his power quite aggressively in an attempt to combat the Democratic Congress" (p. 124). That's not an introduction – that's the analysis. The basic lesson for high schoolers learning to write persuasively is "Show; don't tell" – Ilian simply TELLS that Nixon was aggressive – he needs to SHOW how Nixon was aggressive with a concrete example or two. And then do that in every section of every chapter.

The entire chapter on Nixon, in fact, contains counterexamples of leadership lessons – i.e. Nixon is the "bad guy" of the book. Ilian does acknowledge Nixon's accomplishments: "He did a lot of great things during his time in office. I feel it important to mention the good because the lessons I'm about to go over mostly stem from the bad" (p. 113). The reader is left to guess what those good things might BE – Ilian only mentions that he would "mention" them, without actually saying them! -- but maybe Ilian is hinting at founding the EPA, opening China, overseeing the first moon landing, floating the dollar – those are just the first few that Ilian MIGHT mention but did not!

We did find some useful excerpts from Nixon, and from the other presidents we cover: JFK, Ike, and Reagan – and the six earlier presidents' chapters (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, TR, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR) were pleasant history-light reading. So perhaps it's a nice read for pundits, but we can't recommend it for anyone else.

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Jan. 2017

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)


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The above quotations are from 100 Valuable Leadership Lessons from 10 U.S. Presidents
Learn the leadership lessons of Kennedy & Nixon

by George Ilian
.

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Page last edited: Dec 18, 2016