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A Book Review of Secret Lives of The U.S. Presidents

Updated on August 17, 2012

A light hearted look at our nation's Presidents

The book Secret Lives of The U.S. Presidents by Cormac O’ Brien takes the reader on an enjoyable journey. The book was first released in 2009. Most people when they hear the word history think old and boring this is not so at all. History in this case lets the reader take a look at the more human side of our Presidents.

If you know a person who loves history, who loves trivia, and who loves a good laugh this book is for you. This book is like reading Entertainment Weekly or People, but in this case it is less than current news that is being brought up.

This book could be good for the kids to read too. They will see history can be fun and it might get them started in reading more history that has a little more depth to it. There are certain parts that might want to be kept from them because some parts talk about the sex lives of some our Presidents, but for the most part, this book is good clean fun.

Each chapter lists a President telling the years they were President, their Astrological sign, the party they belonged to, the age they took office, who their Vice President was, who they ran against, their height, their nicknames, and a sound bite or quotation that they uttered.

I won’t spoil all the fun for you by telling you everything about all the Presidents, but I will tell you about a select few and some surprising things you may not have known about them.

GEORGE WASHINGTON We must start with the nation’s first President. George was a Pisces. He was a big man for his day measuring 6’2 inches tall.

Here are some little known facts about our founding father:

George Washington had a salary of what would amount to a million dollars today. That is a lot of money for the day he lived in.

He used his money to get leopard-skin robes for his horses.

He took the job as President because he needed the money.

George had a short temper.

He wanted to be called Mr. President. That isn’t conceited because the Senate wanted to call him His Highness.

ANDREW JACKSON He was our nation’s 7th President. He too was a Pisces. He too was a tall man at 6 feet tall.

Here are some interesting facts about this man:

Andrew was quite a fighter it is thought that he fought 100 duels in his life time.

Andrew was a bit on the thin side. At 6 feet tall he never weighed more than 145 pounds.

He carried a few bullets around with him for over twenty years after being shot.

ULYSSES S. GRANT He was President Number 18. He was a Taurus and he was 46 years old when he became President.

What is unique about Grant?

Grant had 3 natural gifts they were riding horses, sketching pictures, and winning battles.

Being a war time soldier you would have thought that Grant had seen it all, but the sight of blood made him sick.

He loved cigars which led to his demise.

CALVIN COOLIDGE He was our 30th President. Coolidge was a Cancer. His nickname was silent Cal.

What made Calvin special?

He said little and did little also.

He slept 10 hours a day.

He liked to ride an electric horse.

JOHN F. KENNEDY He was our 35th President. John was a Gemini and he was 43 years old when he became President.

What are some facts about Kennedy:

He was the first Navy man to make it in the White House

John’s Dad enlisted the aid of Sam Giancana, a mafi guy, to help get his son into the White House

He made some serious mistakes which could have caused him to be court martialed, but thanks to his Dad’s many connections he was off the hook.

RONALD REGAN He was an Aquarius and was our 40th President. He was 69 when he took office.

What are some fun facts about Ronald?

He was the oldest man to become President

In 1940 he was voted “Most Nearly Perfect Male Figure” by the University of California.

Regan and his wife were avid movie buffs.

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON He was our 42nd President. Bill was a Leo and was 46 years old when he became President.

What are a few facts about Clinton?

When he was a young man he was a gifted saxophone player.

He had a problem being anywhere on time. He showed up late for the formal greeting to the King of Spain.

He was the youngest governor in the country.

Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents is a book that will thrill the trivia lovers and for those of us who want to see facts about our Presidents that are not found in the school textbooks. It is like Lays Potato Chips for our eyes and you will finish the book wishing there was some more facts to be learned because one or two are just not enough. That is the sign of a good book. It may not be intellectually stimulating, but it is fun.


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    • cfjots profile image

      cfjots 5 years ago from Conway, SC

      Hi Georgie Lowery thank you for your comments. It is a fun book and you read some things that you really won't see in a history book. I just saw a book about the First Ladies by the same author. I will have to get that one too. Once I do I will write a review on that book too.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      GH Price 5 years ago from Texas

      I've seen this book a few times over the years but never picked it up. Thanks for the review, I'll get myself a copy! :)