GROVER CLEVELAND, AGAIN! by Ken Burns

GROVER CLEVELAND, AGAIN!

A Treasury of American Presidents
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Humanizing portraits of the 43 men who have served as president of the United States.

Burns stresses that even though all but one president has been both white and male, the diversity of their backgrounds, occupations, experiences, and characters amply proves that anyone (born in the U.S. and 35 or older) can rise to the office—despite even physical disabilities (FDR) or learning differences (Wilson, possibly the second Bush). Each president through Barack Obama gets a double-page spread (Grover Cleveland gets two: thus the title) illustrated with both a small official portrait and a looser, much larger view by Kelley of the incumbent at some pivotal or intimate moment. Other than a few significant omissions (Sally Hemings, most notably) or spins (Ford “never lost the respect of the American people”), the accompanying overviews and selected anecdotes present sunny but not entirely disingenuous views of each office holder. Often some balance is at least attempted even for egregious faults, by acknowledging Jackson’s racism but also his adoption of a Creek orphan, for instance, or countering scandal-plagued Harding’s habit of giving his “worst friends” government jobs by also mentioning his anti-lynching efforts. Side ribbons with dates, family members and histories, nicknames, and pets serve as continuing reminders that all had personal as well as public lives.

A buoyant gallery, up to date, handsomely framed, and, in this particular election year, timely too. (glossary, list of historic sites) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: July 12th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-385-39209-9
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016




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