Presidential Bibliography

  1. Abrams, Herbert L. "The President Has Been Shot": Confusion, Disability, and the 25th Amendment in the Aftermath of the Attempted Assassination of Ronald Reagan. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992.
        

    Comment: Rigorous and enormously thought provoking. Abrams tells not only the story of the shooting itself, but, more importantly, the maneuvering to disguise Reagan's slow recovery afterwards and forestall any consideration of transferring power to the Vice President.

  2. Anonymous. Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics. New York: Warner Books, 1996.
        

    Comment: "Anonymous" was later revealed to be Joel Klein.

  3. Boller, Paul F. Jr. Presidential Anecdotes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.
        
  4. Bollet, Alfred Jay. Plagues and Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease. Revised edition. New York: Demos, 2004.
        

    Comment: As reviewed in New Engl J Med. 2005;352:1055-1056.

  5. Braisted, William C.; Bell, William Hemphill; Rixey, Presley Marion. The Life Story of Presley Marion Rixey: Surgeon General, U. S. Navy 1902-1910: Biography and Autobiography. Strasburg, VA: Shenandoah Publishing House, Inc., 1930.
        

    Comment: Dr. Rixey was the White House physician for both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

  6. Bromley, Michael L. William Howard Taft and the First Motoring Presidency. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland, 2003.
        
  7. Brooks, Stewart M. Our Murdered Presidents: The Medical Story. New York: Frederick Fell, 1966.
        

    Comment: LCC shelving code R703 B873 1966.

  8. Bumgarner, John R. The Health of the Presidents: The 41 United States Presidents Through 1993 from a Physician's Point of View. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland & Company, 1994.
        

    Comment: Devotes one chapter to each President, through Clinton. Written for the layperson, well-referenced, with areas of speculation clearly identified, Dr. Zebra depends heavily on this book. Dr. Bumgarner survived the Bataan Death March and has written an unforgettable book casting a physician's eye on that experience.

  9. Butt, Archibald W. Taft and Roosevelt: The Intimate Letters of Archie Butt, Military Aide. Garden City, NY: Doubleday (1930). Volume 1: pages 1-432. Volume 2: pages 433-862.
        

    Comment: Butt, an Army officer, was military aide first to President Theodore Roosevelt and then to President William Taft. On April 14, 1912, Butt was at sea aboard the Titanic returning from a European vacation that Taft had insisted he take. President Taft later said: "When I heard that part of the ship's company had gone down, I gave up hope for the rescue of Major Butt, unless by accident. I knew that he would certainly remain on the ship's deck until every duty had been performed and every sacrifice made that properly fell on one charged, as he would feel himself charged, with responsibility for the rescue of others." Taft was correct. Butt did not survive the sinking.

  10. Coletta, Paolo E. The Presidency of William Howard Taft. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1973.
        
  11. Cooper, Pauline. The Medical Detectives. New York: David McKay, 1973.
        
  12. Cramer, Richard Ben. What It Takes: The Way to the White House. New York: Random House, 1992.
        

    Comment: This book -- an immersive biography of six contenders for the 1988 Presidential election -- is simply tremendous. One thousand pages, and you really don't want it to end. Makes it clear that success or failure in running for President ultimately rests on the personality of the candidate. The victor in this particular campaign, Bush41, was at all times willing to do "what it takes" to win the Presidency. There is no better book to discover what makes people at this level tick.

  13. Crenshaw, Charles A.; Hansen, Jens; Shaw, J. Gray. JFK: Conspiracy of Silence. New York: Signet, 1992.
        

    Comment: This book has been roundly criticized by other physicians involved in the Kennedy case.

  14. Dallek, Robert. An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963. Boston: Little, Brown, 2003.
        
  15. DeFrank, Thomas M. Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2007.
        
  16. Dole, RJ. Great Presidential Wit. NY: Scribner, 2001.
        
  17. Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln. New York: Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, 1996.
        

    Comment: Widely regarded as the best one-volume biography of Lincoln, covering his entire life.

  18. Flexner, James Thomas. Washington: The Indispensible Man. Boston: Little, Brown, 1974.
        

    Comment: Distillation of Flexner's four-volume biography of Washington published from 1965 to 1972.

  19. Gabriel, Richard A.; Metz, Karen S. A History of Military Medicine, Volume 2. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
        
  20. Gary, Ralph. Following Lincoln's Footsteps. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2001.
        
  21. Halstead, Murat. The Illustrious Life of William McKinley, Our Martyred President. 1901.
  22. Henriques, Peter R. The Death of George Washington: He Died as He Lived. Mt. Vernon, VA: The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, 2000.
        
  23. Hoover, Irwin Hood (Ike). 42 Years in the White House. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934.
        

    Comment: The Library of Congress contains more of Hoover's first-hand recollections of eight presidents.

  24. James, Marquis. Andrew Jackson: Portrait of a President. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, unknown year (originally published in 1937 by Bobbs-Merrill).
  25. Lamon, Ward Hill. Recollections of Abraham Lincoln. Washington, DC: Dorothy Lamon Teillard, 1911.
        
  26. Lattimer, John K. Kennedy and Lincoln: Medical & Ballistic Comparisons of Their Assassinations. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980.
        
  27. Leech, Margaret. Reveille in Washington 1860-1865. Alexandria: Time-Life Books, 1962.
        

    Comment: A vivid account of Washington, DC during the Civil War. Won the Pulitzer Prize.

  28. Leish, Kenneth W. (ed.) and other American Heritage Editors. The American Heritage Pictorial History of the Presidents of the United States. New York: American Heritage Publishing, 1968 (in two volumes).
        
  29. MacMahon, Edward B. and Curry, Leonard. Medical Cover-Ups in the White House. Washington, DC: Farragut, 1987.
        
  30. Manners, William. TR and Will: A Friendship that Split the Republican Party. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1969.
        
  31. Marion, Robert. Was George Washington Really the Father of our Country?. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1994.
        
  32. Marx, Rudolph. The Health of the Presidents. New York: GP Putnam's Sons, 1960.
        

    Comment: Tells great tales, but the book does not cite its sources.

  33. McKusick, Victor A. Mendelian Inheritance in Man. 9th ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.
        

    Comment: Later print editions have appeared, e.g. the 12th in 1998: Amazon (ISBN is 0801857422). The entire contents are freely available on the web as "Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM)" The online version is more current than the printed version.

  34. Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (ed). Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America. 2nd ed. London: Burke's Peerage Limited, 1981.
        

    Comment: Maps -- in great detail -- the ancestors and descendants of American presidents through Ronald Reagan. They would have had an exhausting time with President Obama's family tree! MORE

  35. O'Brien, Cormac. Secret Lives of the US Presidents: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the Men of the White House. Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2004.
        

    Comment: A marginally serious, but accurate review of presidents through 2004. Dr. Zebra is suspicious that O'Brien did not cite all of his sources properly.

  36. Park, Bert Edward. The Impact of Illness of World Leaders. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986.
        
  37. Pendel, Thomas F. Thirty-Six Years in the White House. Washington: Neale Publishing Company, 1902.
        

    Comment: Pendel was door-keeper at the White House from the time of Lincoln to the time of Theodore Roosevelt. Full text is available on-line at loc.gov. It is a rather dry book, and reads as if it were written by an old man. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?lhbcbbib:1:./temp/~~ammem_rEou::

  38. Post, Jerrold M. and Robins, Robert S. When Illness Strikes the Leader: The Dilemma of the Captive King. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993.
        

    Comment: At one time Post worked for the CIA, profiling foreign leaders.

  39. Pringle, Henry F. The Life and Times of William Howard Taft: A Biography. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1939.
        
  40. Remini, Robert V. The Life of Andrew Jackson. New York: Penguin, 1990 (hardback 1988).
        

    Comment: Well-written, coherent distillation of Remini's definitive three-volume biography of Jackson.

  41. Ross, Ishbel. An American Family: The Tafts - 1678 to 1964. Cleveland, OH: World Publishing Co., 1964.
  42. Russell, Francis. The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding in His Times. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968.
        
  43. Smith, Ira R. T.; Morris, Joe Alex. "Dear Mr. President:" The Story of Fifty Years in the White House Mail Room. New York: Julian Messner, 1949.
        

    Comment: Ira Smith was a peppery fellow who ran the White House mail room from 1897 to 1948. He started working during the administration of William McKinley and was the only mail room staffer until the volume of mail made it necessary to hire help during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt.

  44. Sotos, John G. The Physical Lincoln Sourcebook. Mt. Vernon, VA: Mt. Vernon Book Systems, 2008.
        

    Comment: More information at: http://www.physical-lincoln.com/

  45. Sotos, John G. The Physical Lincoln: Finding the Genetic Cause of Abraham Lincoln's Height, Homeliness, Pseudo-Depression, and Imminent Cancer Death. Mt. Vernon, VA: Mt. Vernon Book Systems, 2008.
        

    Comment: More information at: http://www.physical-lincoln.com/

  46. Stern, C. C. Braddock's Presidential Trivia. 3rd edition. Herndon, VA: Braddock Communications, Inc., 2001.
  47. Stoddard, Henry L. It Costs to Be President. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1938.
        

    Comment: Stoddard was editor and owner of the New York Evening Mail from 1900 to 1925.

  48. Sullivan, Mark. Our Times: 1900-1925 (Six volumes). New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, 1926-1940.
        
  49. Walker, Martin. The Cold War. New York: Henry Holt, 1995.