The 200 Best Books About American Presidents

Voted on by Goodreads readers. The more votes a book gets, the higher it ranks on the list.


1. John Adams by David McCullough


2. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin


3. Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow


4. Truman by David McCullough


5. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris


6. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris


7. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard


8. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham


9. His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis


10. The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, #1) by Robert A. Caro


11. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II by Doris Kearns Goodwin


12. The Passage of Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, #4) by Robert A. Caro


13. Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough


14. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham


15. Master of the Senate (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, #3) by Robert A. Caro


16. Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, #2) by Robert A. Caro


17. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis


18. Lincoln by David Herbert Donald


19. The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin


20. Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith


21. Grant by Jean Edward Smith


22. John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life by Paul C. Nagel


23. With Malice Toward None: A Biography of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen B. Oates


24. Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands


25. Decision Points by George W. Bush


26. Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years by Carl Sandburg


27. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard


28. Eleanor and Franklin by Joseph P. Lash

29. A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent by Robert W. Merry


30. A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.


31. Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk


32. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama


33. First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis


34. Wilson by A. Scott Berg


35. Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner


36. An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963 by Robert Dallek


37. Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris


38. Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer


39. Coolidge by Amity Shlaes


40. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly


41. Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History by Fawn M. Brodie


42. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner


43. Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S. Grant


44. My Life by Bill Clinton


45. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell


46. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama


47. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter R. Borneman


48. Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief by James M. McPherson


49. An American Life by Ronald Reagan


50. Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams by Joseph J. Ellis


51. Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein


52. Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield by Kenneth D. Ackerman


53. The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert V. Remini


54. Write It When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations With Gerald R. Ford by Thomas M. DeFrank


55. A. Lincoln by Ronald C. White Jr.


56. The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H.W. Brands


57. The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger


58. Eisenhower: The White House Years by Jim Newton


59. Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by H.W. Brands


60. Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Empire, 1767–1821 by Robert V. Remini


61. James Madison: A Biography by Ralph Louis Ketcham


62. FDR by Jean Edward Smith


63. Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life by Kathleen Dalton


64. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller


65. T.R.: The Last Romantic by H.W. Brands


66. John Adams: A Life by John Ferling


67. American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant by Ronald C. White Jr.


68. Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy by David O. Stewart


69. Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan by Edmund Morris


70. Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward


71. Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Freedom, 1822–1832 by Robert V. Remini


72. Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America by David O. Stewart


73. The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter


74. 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents by David Pietrusza


75. Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox, 1882–1940 by James MacGregor Burns


76. Woodrow Wilson: A Biography by John Milton Cooper Jr.


77. James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney


78. Thomas Jefferson by R.B. Bernstein


79. Eisenhower, Volume #1: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890–1952 by Stephen E. Ambrose


80. Jefferson and the Rights of Man by Dumas Malone


81. Jefferson and the Ordeal of Liberty by Dumas Malone


82. The Hemingses of Monticello by Annette Gordon-Reed


83. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley


84. Jefferson the President: First Term, 1801–1805 by Dumas Malone


85. The American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It by Richard Hofstadter


86. Jefferson the Virginian by Dumas Malone


87. Jefferson the President: Second Term, 1805–1809 by Dumas Malone


88. The Age of Jackson by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.


89. Eisenhower: Soldier And President by Stephen E. Ambrose


90. Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab by Steve Inskeep


91. James Madison by Garry Wills


92. Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly


93. The Coming of the New Deal 1933–35 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol 2) by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.


94. Chester Alan Arthur (The American Presidents, #21) by Zachary Karabell


95. Arguing about Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress by William Lee Miller


96. The First of Men: A Life of George Washington by John Ferling


97. Mr. Adams’s Last Crusade: The Extraordinary Post-presidential Life of John Quincy Adams by Joseph Wheelan


98. The Politics of Upheaval 1935–36 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol 3) by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.


99. The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton by Joe Klein


100. The Sage of Monticello by Dumas Malone


101. Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 by John Ferling


102. The Crisis of the Old Order 1919–33 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol 1) by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.


103. Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Democracy, 1833–1845 by Robert V. Remini


104. Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton


105. Nation Builder: John Quincy Adams and the Grand Strategy of the Republic by Charles N. Edel


106. Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President by Ari Hoogenboom


107. John Quincy Adams: American Visionary by Fred Kaplan


108. Franklin Pierce: Martyr for the Union by Peter A. Wallner


109. In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal by Richard M. Nixon


110. The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge by Calvin Coolidge


111. James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity by Harry Ammon


112. The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon by John Ferling


113. A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico by Amy S. Greenberg


114. President Kennedy: Profile of Power by Richard Reeves


115. Garfield by Allan Peskin


116. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom by Conrad Black


117. Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson


118. The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s by Gil Troy


119. Reelecting Lincoln: The Battle for the 1864 Presidency by John C. Waugh


120. 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush


121. Bush by Jean Edward Smith


122. The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton by Joe Conason


123. Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower, and a Dangerous World by William Lee Miller


124. The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It by John W. Dean


125. Coolidge: An American Enigma by Robert Sobel


126. Theodore Roosevelt (The American Presidents, #26) by Louis Auchincloss


127. John Tyler: The Accidental President by Edward P. Crapol


128. Andrew Jackson (The American Presidents, #7) by Sean Wilentz


129. Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths by Stephen B. Oates


130. The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President by Taylor Branch


131. A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland by Charles Lachman


132. State of Denial by Bob Woodward


133. The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding in His Times by Francis Russell


134. Presidents of the United States: Biographies in Brief by Nathan Lee


135. The Presidents of the United States by Richard S. Hartmetz


136. Barack Obama: A Detailed Response to Benghazi by Illumination Publishing


137. Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves by Henry Wiencek


138. Warren G. Harding (The American Presidents, #29) by John W. Dean


139. Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service and the Failure to Protect President Kennedy by Vincent Michael Palamara


140. George Washington: Life and Death by George Roseman


141. All Cloudless Glory Boxed Set by Harrison Clark

142. Murdering McKinley: The Making of Theodore Roosevelt’s America by Eric Rauchway


143. John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit by James Traub


144. Presidential Inaugural Addresses 1789–2009 by Richard S. Hartmetz


145. The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Ketcham


146. Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son by Peter A. Wallner


147. In Lincoln’s Hand: His Original Manuscripts with Commentary by Distinguished Americans by Joshua Wolf Shenk


148. Andrew Jackson: Symbol for an Age by John William Ward


149. The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974–2008 by Sean Wilentz


150. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The American Presidents, #32) by Roy Jenkins


151. Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot by Robert W. Winston


152. RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, with a New Introduction by Richard M. Nixon


153. President Nixon: Alone in the White House by Richard Reeves


154. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by David Remnick


155. Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham


156. The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution: 1980–1989 by Steven F. Hayward


157. Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life by Carlo D’Este


158. Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation by Richard Norton Smith


159. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover by Richard Norton Smith


160. Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur by Thomas C. Reeves


161. The Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964–1980 by Steven F. Hayward


162. Millard Fillmore by Robert Scarry


163. A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford by Gerald R. Ford


164. Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era by David Herbert Donald


165. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage by Allan Nevins


166. The Young Jefferson 1743–1789 by Claude Gernade Bowers


167. Jefferson and Hamilton the Struggle for Democracy in America by Claude Gernade Bowers


168. John Tyler (The American Presidents, #10) by Gary May


169. Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Keneally


170. Jefferson in Power — The Death Struggle of the Federalists by Claude Gernade Bowers


171. FDR: A BIOGRAPHY by Ted Morgan


172. The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence by Gerald Blaine


173. Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full by Conrad Black


174. James K. Polk (The American Presidents, #11) by John Seigenthaler


175. Martin Van Buren and the American Political System by Donald B. Cole


176. Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House by Richard Wolffe


177. Ike: An American Hero by Michael Korda


178. Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party by David Corn


179. George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots by Dave R. Palmer


180. Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician by Roger Morris


181. John Adams by Page Smith


182. Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward


183. Herbert Hoover: A Public Life by David Burner


184. Bush at War by Bob Woodward


185. Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington by Peter R. Henriques


186. Harry S. Truman: A Life by Robert H. Ferrell


187. The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898 by Evan Thomas


188. Roosevelt’s Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage by Joseph E. Persico


189. The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006–08 by Bob Woodward


190. James Madison and the Making of America by Kevin R.C. Gutzman


191. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America by Timothy Egan


192. General George Washington: A Military Life by Edward G. Lengel


193. The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman & the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany 1941–45 by Michael R. Beschloss


194. Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington by Richard Brookhiser


195. The Rough Rider (Teddy Roosevelt Centennial Classics Illustrated 1957 special issue comic) (HRN-141) (№149) by Theodore Roosevelt


196. Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson by Gore Vidal


197. George Washington by Ingri d’Aulaire


198. Lincoln for Beginners by Paul M. Buhle


199. Abraham Lincoln (with panel zoom) — Classics Illustrated by Classic Comic Store


200. Abraham Lincoln: Great American Historians on Our Sixteenth President (C-Span Books) by Brian Lamb


Source: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/7572.Best_Presidential_Biographies



Categories: Literature & Fiction

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