Accidental presidents : eight men who changed America

by Cohen, Jared, 1981-

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 12 Libraries 12 of 14 copies
Available (12)
Location Collection Call #
Brentwood Library Nonfiction US GOV/POL Presidents Cohen
Location  Brentwood Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  US GOV/POL Presidents Cohen
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection JK609.C59 2019
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  JK609.C59 2019
Community Library of Castle Shannon Non Fiction 973.0922 PRESIDEN Cohen
Location  Community Library of Castle Shannon
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  973.0922 PRESIDEN Cohen
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Non-Fiction 973.099 COH
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  973.099 COH
Green Tree Public Library Adult Nonfiction 973.099 COH
Location  Green Tree Public Library
Collection  Adult Nonfiction
Call Number  973.099 COH
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 973.099 COHEN
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  973.099 COHEN
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 973.09 Coh
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  973.09 Coh
Northern Tier Regional Library Nonfiction 973.09 COHEN
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  973.09 COHEN
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 973.099 C66
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  973.099 C66
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 973.09 COH 2019
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  973.09 COH 2019
Shaler North Hills Library Non-Fiction 973.099 C
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  973.099 C
Upper St. Clair Township Library Non-fiction 973.099 COH
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  973.099 COH
Unavailable (2)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Downtown First Floor - Non-Fiction Collection CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Downtown
Collection  First Floor - Non-Fiction Collection
CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection

The strength and prestige of the American presidency has waxed and waned since George Washington. Accidental Presidents looks at eight men who came to the office without being elected to it. It demonstrates how the character of the man in that powerful seat affects the nation and world.

Eight men have succeeded to the presidency when the incumbent died in office. In one way or another they vastly changed our history. Only Theodore Roosevelt would have been elected in his own right. Only TR, Truman, Coolidge, and LBJ were re-elected.

John Tyler succeeded William Henry Harrison who died 30 days into his term. He was kicked out of his party and became the first president threatened with impeachment. Millard Fillmore succeeded esteemed General Zachary Taylor. He immediately sacked the entire cabinet and delayed an inevitable Civil War by standing with Henry Clay's compromise of 1850. Andrew Johnson , who succeeded our greatest president, sided with remnants of the Confederacy in Reconstruction. Chester Arthur , the embodiment of the spoils system, was so reviled as James Garfield's successor that he had to defend himself against plotting Garfield's assassination; but he reformed the civil service. Theodore Roosevelt broke up the trusts. Calvin Coolidge silently cooled down the Harding scandals and preserved the White House for the Republican Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. Truman surprised everybody when he succeeded the great FDR and proved an able and accomplished president. Lyndon B. Johnson was named to deliver Texas electorally. He led the nation forward on Civil Rights but failed on Vietnam.

Accidental Presidents adds immeasurably to our understanding of the power and limits of the American presidency in critical times.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Four American presidents have been assassinated (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy), three died in office unexpectedly (Harrison, Taylor, Harding), and one of a prolonged illness (FDR). In each case, despite the lack of a clear constitutional provision for it (the 25th Amendment came later), they were succeeded by their vice presidents. Cohen skirts the matter of Gerald Ford's succession to the resigned Richard Nixon, citing his reasons for doing so, but it's unfortunate that he almost ignores the nation's most definitively accidental presidency. But the story he does tell is illuminating, particularly in its treatment of John Tyler's assumption of the presidency after the death of Harrison and how that event set the precedent of succession, which was far from a foregone conclusion. He also covers in depth the selection of the respective vice presidents and the detail surrounding the transitions. For a work intended for general readers, there is a surfeit of endnotes, but this is genuinely interesting history on a topic that has never been addressed in this depth.--Mark Levine Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Cohen (One Hundred Days of Silence) explores the power transitions of eight U.S. vice presidents who took over the presidency upon the deaths of their predecessors in this entertaining but clunky history. Positing that "the matter of succession has been trivialized by voters, candidates, and lawmakers," Cohen presents brief, confidently told narratives of each transition (Teddy Roosevelt's reelection, for instance, "represented a glorious triumph for a man who believed he was destined to be president"). After a final chapter listing various near deaths of other presidents, Cohen concludes that the extant process for selecting vice-presidential candidates and integrating them into an administration's day-to-day business needs improvement, perhaps by requiring v-p candidates to have previously run for president or to have been selected not by campaign teams but party committees. Anecdotes (in 1844, a ship hosting a party of dignitaries, including President Tyler, suffered an explosion when demonstrating its gunpower, killing and maiming many guests) and overdoses of contextual details too often take precedence over the ostensible analytical focus. That said, the pacing is brisk, the writing is clear and engaging, and Cohen's characterizations of the presidents are mostly vivid. But the conclusions he draws feel slight. This colorful, occasionally amusing, but somewhat shaggy book may strike readers of history as lacking in urgency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Presidents -- Succession -- United States -- History -- Case studies.
Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Simon & Schuster,2019
Edition First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Language English
Description xii, 509 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 471-488) and index.
ISBN 9781501109829
Other Classic View