Goodreads Review: American Indians/American Presidents — National Museum of the American Indian

American Indians/American Presidents: A HistoryAmerican Indians/American Presidents: A History by National Museum of the American Indian

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Multiple authors contributed to this educational book published by the National Museum of the American Indian. I would recommend it to all non-native Americans, as it sheds light on a people long ignored by the public and perpetually mistreated by the United States in general. The presidents’ roles in the atrocious story have varied, with some intentionally abusing the rights of American Indians, others reflecting indifference or misguided attitudes, and few doing much to right past wrongs. By no means a hateful assessment, it certainly holds no punches. The authors cover all presidents except one (Buchanan is not even in the index!), up to the book’s 2009 publication. The only other thing I would like to have read is a conclusion that returned to what was mentioned in the introduction: The giant faces carved into a mountain in the heart of Indian territory in South Dakota, one of which belongs to Thomas Jefferson, suggested in the intro to be the “planner of cultural genocide”–an accusation not without merit.

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Presidential Biographies

The Biographies I’ve Read of Each U.S. President

From three online “Best of” lists, and impulse pick-ups.
  1. Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow
  2. John Adams, David McCullough
  3. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, Jon Meacham
  4. James Madison: A Biography, Ralph Louis Ketcham
  5. James Monroe: The Quest for National Identity, Harry Amon
  6. John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life, Paul C. Nagel
  7. The Life of Andrew Jackson (abridged), Robert V. Remini
  8. Martin Van Buren, The Romantic Age of American Politics, John Niven
  9. Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time, Freeman Cleaves
  10. John Tyler: Champion of the Old South, Oliver P. Chitwood
  11. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America, Walter Bornemann
  12. Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest,  K. Jack Bauer
  13. Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President, Robert J. Rayback
  14. Franklin Pierce: Young Hickory of the Granite Hills, Roy F. Nichols
  15. President James Buchanan: A Biography,  Philip S. Klein
  16. A. Lincoln: A Biography, Ronald C. White, Jr.
  17. Andrew Johnson: A Biography, Hans L. Trefousse
  18. American Ulysses, Ronald C. White, Jr.
  19. Rutherford B. Hayes and His America, Harry Barnard
  20. Garfield: A Biography, Allan Peskin
  21. Gentleman Boss: The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur, Thomas C. Reeves
  22. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage, To the Loss of the Presidency, Allan Nevins
  23. Benjamin Harrison, Charles Calhoun
  24. Grover Cleveland, A Study in Courage, To the End of a Career, Allan Nevins
  25. William McKinley and His America, H. Wayne Morgan
  26. Mornings on Horseback, David McCullough [Theodore Roosevelt]
  27. The Life and Times of William Howard Taft, Henry F. Pringle
  28. Woodrow Wilson: A Biography, John Milton Cooper, Jr.

The Ones Ahead

Biographies I plan to read later.
  • 29. The Harding Era: Warren G. Harding and His Administration, Robert H. Murray
  • 30. Calvin Coolidge: The Quiet President, Donald R. McCoy
  • 31. Herbert Hoover: A Public Life, David Burner
  • 32. No Ordinary Time, Doris Kearnes Goodwin [Franklin Roosevelt]
  • 33. Truman, David McCullough
  • 34. Eisenhower: Soldier and President, Stephen E. Ambrose
  • 35. An Unfinished Life, Robert Dallek [John F. Kennedy]
  • 36. Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, Robert Dallek
  • 37. Nixonland, Rick Perlstein
  • 38. Gerald Ford, Douglas Brinkley
  • 39. Jimmy Carter: A Comprehensive Biography, Peter Bourne
  • 40. President Reagan, Lou Cannon
  • 41. George H.W. Bush, Timothy Naftali
  • 42. First in His Class, David Maraniss [Bill Clinton]
  • 43. To be determined [George W. Bush]
  • 44. To be determined [Barack Obama]
  • 45. To be determined [Donald Trump]
  •  7. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, John Meacham
  • 18. Grant: A Biography, William S. McFeeley
  • 18. Personal Memoirs, Ulysses S. Grant
  • 33. The Autobiography of Harry S. Truman, Harry Truman and Robert H. Ferrell*
  • 34. Eisenhower in War and Peace, Jean Edwards
  • 41. 41: A Portrait of My Father, George W. Bush
  • 42. My Life, Bill Clinton

The Supplementals

Biographies I’ve read of other significant people in American history.
  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson
  • Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow
  • Santa Anna of Mexico, Will Fowler
  • Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X, Alex Haley


* Already read. Also the first presidential biography I ever read.

Special Thanks to Steve at for his hard work and inspiration.