What Do You Know about America's Vice Presidents?
(The official quiz that you, the reader, should take right now to determine if you need this book)How many vice presidents went on to become president? How many sitting presidents died or were forced from office? How many vice presidents shot men while in office? Who was the better shot? Who was the first vice president to assume power when a president died? Why did he return official letters without reading them? What vice president was almost torn limb form limb in Venezuela? Which former VP was tried for treason for trying to start his own empire in the Southwest? How many vice presidents were assassinated? In the next presidential election, should you worry about the candidates for vice president?
(Bonus challenge: For extra points, name the men that the vice presidents shot!)
See answers below. No cheating!
The vice presidency isn't worth "a bucket of warm spit"
That's the prudish version of what John Nance Garner had to say about the office--several years after serving as VP under FDR. Was he right?
The vice presidency is one of America's most historically complicated, intriguing, and underappreciated public offices. And Jeremy Lott's sweeping, hilarious, and insightful history introduces readers to the unusual and sometimes shadowy cast of characters that have occupied it:Aaron Burr, the only VP tried for treason John Tyler, president without a party Andrew Johnson, defiant drunkard Thomas Marshall, who should have been president Richard Nixon, underdog and daredevil Gerald Ford, icon of the 1970s Al Gore, the most frustrated man in America And, of course, the real Dick Cheney
With crisp prose, Lott focuses on their bitter rivalries and rank ambitions, their glorious victories and tragic setbacks. At the end of hundreds of historical vignettes, interviews, and pilgrimages to obscure places, Lott concludes that the vice presidency is an invaluable political institution that tends to frustrate the ambitions of America's most ambitious politicans--an ungainly launch pad for future political success and a drunk tank for those who would imbibe too deeply of power.
Answers to Quiz!Fourteen of the forty-three presidents were vice president It's happened eight times so far Aaron Burr and Dick Cheney Aaron Burr John Tyler Because he insisted on being called "president," not "vice president" or "acting president" Richard Nixon Aaron Burr (him again!) None, though an assassin was hired to kill Andrew Johnson See answers one and two and then ask yourself, "Does America feel lucky?"
Answers to bonus challenge: Alexander Hamilton and Harry Whittington
0-4 You are a novice who should probably buy this book
5-8 You are a history buff who should love this book
9-12 You are a smart cookie who should appear on Jeopardy--and buy this book for show prep
This book is a companion to my “Presidential Profiles”, published in 2008. It provides short bigraphies on each of the thirty-three vice presidents who never bcame president. Most readers are familiar with those like John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who did rise to the presidency and so I have decided to write about those less well known.
Because most of these vice presidents are virtually forgotten today and yet were very prominent and important figures in their time, I have subtitled the book: “Our Forgotten Leaders.” In each biographical sketch, the reader will learn about the childhood and youth of the subject, his educational background, his marraige and family life, his career before becoming vice president, his vicepresidency and his life after leaving office.
Since 1960 the office of the vice presidency of the United States has evolved into a fundamentally different institution than the one the founders envisioned, attracting better-qualified aspirants who may be called upon to perform a variety of important tasks. This book offers a corrective to the overwhelmingly negative view that Americans have had of their vice presidents by demonstrating how the role has changed over time. In addition, Baumgartner examines those who were candidates for vice president but who were not elected. The book is organized thematically according to the career path of the vice president, from the selection process through campaign and nomination to election, service in office, and post-White House contributions.
John Adams famously called the vice presidency, the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived. Harry Truman called it, about as useful as a cow's fifth teat. How things have changed in a world where many consider Vice President Dick Cheney the most powerful figure in the current administration.
Since 1960 the office of the vice presidency of the United States has evolved into a fundamentally different institution than the one the founders envisioned, attracting better-qualified aspirants who may be called upon to perform a variety of important tasks. No longer a ceremonial figurehead or legislative drudge, the vice president today consults closely with the president and plays an important role in executive decisions. Those who are chosen as running mates are examined more thoroughly than ever before, not merely for the boost they might give the presidential candidate in the general election, but also for the kind of president they might be if fate called upon them to serve.
In a book that is as readable as it is fascinating, Baumgartner offers a corrective to the overwhelmingly negative view Americans have had of their vice presidents by demonstrating how the role has changed over time. Setting the stage with a visit to the Constitutional Convention and a brief look at pre-modern vice presidents, he examines the 19 men and one woman who have been vice presidents or candidates for the office since 1960. His insightful book is organized thematically according to the career path of the vice president-from the selection process through the campaign and nomination to election, service in office, and post-White House contributions.
Advice from the Presidents: The Student's Guide to Reaching the Top in Business and Politics: The Student's Guide to Reaching the Top in Business and Politics
The same skills and strategies can propel an aspiring executive to the top of any organization, be it the Podunk High School Student Council, the Acme Xylophone Corporation, or the government of the United States of America. The student council president may be an unpaid volunteer, and the Acme CEO may bark out orders in an office that is rectangular, not oval. But the paths that lead to those positions are remarkably similar to the trail that ends so gloriously at the front door of the White House. Author G. Scott Thomas spent two years examining the lives of nearly two hundred presidential candidates—winners and losers, the famous and the obscure—with an eye for the tactics and qualities that served their careers well or damaged them beyond repair. He has distilled their experiences into a comprehensive guide to success, Advice from the Presidents.
Thomas's book offers a wealth of advice, quotations, and anecdotes that are pertinent to any up-and-coming young man or woman. Which strategies for advancement are effective and which are doomed to fail? Which personal traits should be emulated and which are detrimental? Presidential candidates have learned the answers the hard way, earning the education of a lifetime in the gritty, cutthroat arena of national politics, a field as competitive as any to be found in corporate America. And now, for the first time, their valuable knowledge will be made available to ambitious executives and eager students across the country. Readers will learn the seven time-tested steps that can transform a would-be chief executive or U.S. President into the real thing: Decide upon your long-term goal. Develop your skills and interests. Polish your image and your people skills. Organize a network of mentors and helpers. Control your inner demons and your opponents. Maneuver to improve your position. Succeed with grace and serenity.
In this book, readers will follow the career paths of famous American politicians. There have been smart presidents and unintelligent ones, honest and dishonest ones, diligent and lazy ones. But all of these master politicians have remarkably different skills and personalities but had one thing in common. They all followed the same seven-step career plan detailed in Advice from the Presidents. And so can any ambitious person in any walk of life.
Presidents' Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Extraordinary Executives, Colorful Campaigns, and White House Oddities
Project President is a hilarious romp through American electoral history.
From short, fat, bald John Adams' wig-throwing tantrums during the 1800 election to Abraham Lincoln's decision to grow a beard in 1860; from John F. Kennedy's choice to forgo the fedora at his inauguration to John Kerry's decision to get Botoxed for the 2004 race; from the Golden Age of Facial Hair (1860-1912) to the Age of the Banker (1912-1960); from Washington's false teeth to George W. Bush's workout regimen, Project President tells the story of America's love affair with presidential looks and appearance, why that often matters more than a politico's positions on the issues, and what might well be coming next.
"I'm constantly citing the power of dress. It's semiology: our clothes send a message about how we want to be perceived, and where is this more powerful and evident than in elected offices. In Project President, Ben Shapiro captures presidential semiotics with a potent narrative and deft analysis. It's simultaneously fascinating and hilarious!"
Project Runway, Liz Claiborne, Inc.
"Ben Shapiro takes a romp through American history and shows how personality--and even haircuts--have elected or defeated presidential candidates. It's a tour through history that fans of both parties will enjoy-and can learn from."
Resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Senior Writer, U.S. News & World Report
Co-author, The Almanac of American Politics
"Presidential politics has always been more superficial than we'd like to admit. With a stylish and likeable touch befitting a strong candidate, Ben Shapiro takes us deep into the shallowness that has shaped American history."
"Shapiro deftly explains how height, hair and handsomeness can affect a candidate's campaign as much as issues. A fun, informative read."
Nationally syndicated talk show host
Host of CNN's The Glenn Beck Show
"A hilarious and illuminating journey through America's centuries-long fascination with presidential image-making. Whether you're left, right, moderate or apathetic, this lively book will get you ready for the packaging of the '08 races."
"This is a perceptive, witty-sometimes hilarious-look at the realities behind the faces and the facades, the slogans and the character assassinations, of each presidential campaign from George Washington to today - with much for us to ponder for tomorrow."
-Sir Martin Gilbert
Official biographer of Winston Churchill
"An entertaining and illuminating romp through the politics of symbolism and personality in our presidential politics. If you're thinking of running for president, read this book before you spend a dime on a political consultant."
COLMES: Who do you want [for the Supreme Court]?
ANN COULTER: Thank you for asking. I want Ben Shapiro.
COLMES: Ben Shapiro.
ANN COULTER: Yes. He just finished his first year at Harvard Law, 21 years old.
COLMES: You mean for a date or for the court?
ANN COULTER: No, for the court. He's my candidate. He's very bright. He's already written one best-selling book.
COLMES: You want to put a 21-year-old guy on the court?
ANN COULTER: Twenty-one, and he's just finished first year of Harvard Law.
COLMES: So you want someone who's going to be on the court for 50, 60 years? Is that - is that the whole idea?
ANN COULTER: No, I just happen to like Ben Shapiro.
Hannity and Colmes
Fox News Channel
July 8, 2005
In this Seventh Edition, marking the 25th anniversary of The American Presidency’s publication, the authors add new scholarship to every chapter, reexamine the end of George W. Bush’s tenure, assess President Obama’s first term in office, and explore Obama’s second term.