Not all the presidents of these United States have been men of brilliance or even outstanding ability, a fact made clear by this volume of tabloid biographies by a lifelong student of the Presidency- who is also an advocate of spelling reform. Dovetailing the events of each administration into those of the preceding and succeeding ones, the author, necessarily limited by space, plods dutifully through the careers of the presidents from Washington to Eisenhower, displaying little enthusiasm for some, admiring others, surprisingly such as Taylor and McKinley, and showing an understandable distaste for men such as Polk or Pierce. At times he also unfortunately lapses into what to some readers must seem uncalled for personal bias and lack of taste: he compares Mrs. Truman to Mrs. Roosevelt, to the disparagement of the latter, and says of the former Margaret Truman: ""The Trumans did not come in for praise over the musical ambitions of their only child. This independent young lady gave concerts and made other appearances during her father's term, but, by all the standards Americans had been used to, this was nothing more or less than capitalizing on the Presidential office. ..."" Obviously intended as a textbook, comprehensive but illumined by no ray of humor, this stodgy volume will hold little appeal to the average reader, but may be a useful reference reader for teachers and students of college courses in American history.