American Presidents Series
January 5, 2010 8:13pm CST
I've been reading some of these of and on. The books are all about 180 pages long and hit the high (and low) points in the president's life and adminstration. The books tend to give you insights about the presidents that didn't get covered in school. This is especially good for some of the 'minor' presidents (like John Tyler or Zachary Taylor) who don't really get covered in history classes.
1 Oct 11
I hv read abt the life story of Abraham Lincoln. His life was an inspiration to me. He failed repeatedly while trying to achieve his goals (what he wanted to do) but he never gave up. In times of difficulties and in times of failures, he persevered. His persevering spirit is admirable.
• United States
2 Oct 11
People often argue which President was greater Washington, the first, or Lincoln the sixteenth. Washington did a lot to establish how or government is set up but he was, in many ways, a social climber. He grew up relatively poor and used the military to as a way to obtain land and wealth. Despite that, he was probably the only one who could get our system of government established. He also refused efforts to make him king or president for life. Lincoln was also poor but used the law and politics to rise above that. Whereas Washington had to overcome some military failures, Lincoln had to overcome political losses some of which were more due to the mechanics of election rather than his failure. Lincoln also had to overcome a number of personal hardships. Washington was naive in that he did not anticipate the formation of political parties. Lincoln was also naive in that he probably did not anticipate the southern states trying to secede from the union despite his own extremely strong anti-slavery stance. Lincoln's greatness, however, comes from managing the northern states through the Civil War to re-unite the country, a task unlike which no other American president has had to face. That should be enough to put him ahead of Washington.
• United States
3 Oct 11
I have been reading short biographies of the President, starting as I said with some of the lesser known or lesser thought of ones. Some of the early Presidents that were maligned may not have been that bad. Others like Thomas Jefferson may not have been so great. Jefferson, for all he spoke of liberty, was a slave holder and also felt that the American Indians were savages. Although he felt that women should be educated, that was only to make them more 'entertaining' to men. Women, of course, could not vote until more than a hundred years later. Jefferson's image has also suffered recently as genetic evidence suggests that he fathered a child with one of his slaves. (In partial defense, he was a widower at the time and his devotion to his wife caused him to never remarry.) What's fascinating to me is learning things about the Presidents and history that they never taught in school.
3 Oct 11
I hv read the life stories of some famous or well-known pp and I must say that their life stories are so inspiring. I hv read sth abt Ronald Reagon (Did I spell his name correctly?) many yrs ago...I hv also read abt Bill Clinton...but among the US Presidents whose biographies or life stories I hv read, I admire Abraham Lincoln the most.:)
• United States
3 Oct 11
Lincoln had more challenges to overcome than any other President. Reagan I feel was overrated. Those who praise him neglect some of the things he did. They remember him for lowering taxes but then he turned around and made one of the largest tax hikes in US history. They credit Reagan with the fall of the Soviet Union but he did little to cause that. The Soviet Union fell on its own, spurred by their invasion of Afghanistan. Clinton suffers from some of his personal failings yet he was one of the most intelligent Presidents. He was the only President in recent history who was able to start paying down our governments deficit. He also helped make our country popular around the world. That popularity was squandered by Bush 43's attitude that our country can do whatever it thinks is right. Those who backed Bush 43 criticize Obama for apologizing for some of the past things our country has done. Yet we have been guilty too often of interfering in what goes on in other countries. The interference was often not in the interest of freedom but in the interest of big business. Those that can't see that can't understand why some countries might hate us.
4 Oct 11
I think some countries expect the US to help maintain world order because it's a leading superpower. Maybe the US shld refrain from 'helping' (interfering) because it can cause tension or aggravate tension between/among countries. By 'helping' other countries, the US govt is also creating unhappiness among the citizens. Ultimately, it's the US (and its citizens) that will suffer in the long run.
5 Oct 11
I agree with your 1st statement. To me, wars are always cruel - whether they're called for or uncalled for. Like you hv mentioned, the US lost a lot of soldiers, and that's the cruelty of wars. Wars are costly and you've rightly put it - 'the cost of the war continues...' The world economy is apparently very much dependent on the US economy. Each war that the US fights (whether it's to defend another country or otherwise) has repercussions (possibly long-term repercussions) on the state of its economy as well as the state of world economy.