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Our Presidents: Their Lives and Stories Review by Cindy West

Nancy J. Skarmeas
Ideals Publications
535 Metroplex Drive, Suite 250
Nashville, TN 37211

Our Presidents: Their Lives and Stories is a full-color biographical book about all of the presidents of the United States, from George Washington through Barack Obama. Most presidents are given a two-page spread, with a few receiving only one page. In either case, there is a portrait or photo of the president, his birth and death dates, his years in office, and a somewhat brief description of his life, political views, and acts as president.

Almost every president's section also includes another painting, photograph or portrait that shows something significant about him. For example, in William McKinley's biography there is a painting depicting his assassination. An explanation always accompanies the significance of the additional picture.

Besides the nice full-color pictures, my favorite part has to be the quotes. For every president, there is some notable quote that helps you to understand something about him as a president and/or as a person. The source of the quote is always cited, along with the year it was delivered.

In the back of the book, there is a comprehensive chart of the presidents, listing his years in office, his birth and death dates, his place of birth, his vice president(s), and his wife. This section makes a nice quick reference!

If you're planning a brief look at our country's presidents, this book is perfect. It's short enough not to overwhelm, but it gives plenty of surface information. If you are planning an in-depth study of one or more of the presidents, this book may get you started, but additional resources will probably be necessary.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2009