Sunday, January 20, 2013

Five top books on second terms

Tevi Troy is a Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute and a writer and consultant on health care and domestic policy. His book, What Washington Read, Eisenhower Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House, will be published in the fall of 2013.

One book on successful presidential second terms that he tagged for the Wall Street Journal:
April 1865
by Jay Winik (2001)

Abraham Lincoln's second term lasted only from his magisterial second inaugural address—"with malice toward none, with charity for all"—on March 4, 1865, to his tragic death on April 15, 1865. It was both the shortest and most famous second term in history. While not focused only on Lincoln, Jay Winik's book offers a gripping portrayal of Lincoln's last month in office, calling it the "month that saved America." Here are vivid, evocative portraits of some of that period's most memorable moments—Lincoln's visit to Richmond, Lee's surrender at Appomattox, and John Wilkes Booth's assassination of Lincoln at Ford's theater. The book closes with an epilogue that reflects Winik's sweeping command of history—and that previews the glorious era of political, economic and cultural expansion upon which America was about to embark. It was an era made possible, he avers, only because of men like Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, who, after a long and bloody struggle, were "determined to look ahead, not backward."
Read about the other books on Troy's list.

--Marshal Zeringue