Jacki: Warren G. Harding

The Ohio Gang: The World of Warren G. Harding, by Charles L. Mee, Jr.

Warren G. Harding has a reputation of being the worst president. Ever. If you’ve never checked out this amazing set of charts about President’s popularity and ratings over time, prepare to lose at least an hour of your life. You’re welcome.

Anyway, on all of those, by liberals and conservatives, Harding comes up last. Like… WHH who was president for all of a month ranks above him. Anyway.

Dude was a wreck. He was in WAAAAAY over his head. He had no business being in a national office, let alone in the White House and he totally knew it. His wife was driven and political and pretty much got him elected president… and rumor has it that she slowly poisoned him through out their marriage then killed him when she found out that he had an affair and a baby.

And that’s not even the worst scandal. This guy had the most crooked, corrupt cabinet (alliteration!) that you can imagine. He pretty ┬ámuch just picked a bunch of his poker buddies and set them up in positions of extreme power and they just went to town. It was crazy to read, almost like reading tabloids but it’s the real deal. This dude was president and he was a wreck, then he died in office. Bam.

So for all the awful that was WGH, this book was pretty amazing. I was kind of reluctant at first because it was written before I was born and the cover is hideous, but I am an absolute sucker for all things Ohio and this book is called The Ohio Gang, so you guys know I had to get it… and I’m so glad I did. It was written in an engaging, intriguing way and was never dry or boring. There are pictures throughout which keep it interesting (why yes, I am a 3rd grader) and it was just the right length. Also, I think it cost like one single dollar on Amazon. Can’t beat that. A total win.

Lauren B: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson: Author of America, by Christopher Hitchens

This was the LONGEST 150 page book I’ve ever read. The history stayed very high-level and broad, and really didn’t focus on Jefferson himself much at all, just the political events going on around him. Every other paragraph was broken up with original-source quotes. Obviously this author enjoys trying to impress his readers with big, academic words.

I did enjoy reading about some of the foreign policy stuff during his presidency, but other than that I felt like the information was so broad and brief – and things I already knew. It reminded me of the few paragraphs of info you get in a crappy high school text book. I’ve gotten this same level of info (in some cases, more) from other books I’ve read on the time period that aren’t even focused primarily on Jefferson. Meh.

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