February 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm #92119
UPDATE: I originally posted this discussion on President’s Day in 2010. I decided to dust it off and brush it up a bit. At first, it only included biographies, but I’ve expanded the discussion to include TV and movies as well. Have fun!
I love biographies. I love reading about the life paths of people who overcome great obstacles to rise to greatness. Many of our presidents have such stories…How about the best TV or movie biopic?There are some amazing books and movies on Truman, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln, etc…what’s your favorite?
February 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm #92161
Here’s a great list of “Favorite Presidential Biographies” I found on Amazon:
Seems pretty solid as I’ve heard recommendations from others on about 5 of them.
February 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm #92159
P.S. You can also add movies and documentaries to the list of “favorite” things to share! Provide links! 🙂
February 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm #92157
February 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm #92155
Darrel W. ColeParticipant
Andrew, don’t get me started! I am with you on this….
For sure, the two volumes to date by Edmund Morris on Theodore Roosevelt. The first called “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt,” the second called “Theodore Rex.” Morris has not yet published the third. Anything about Roosevelt, though is always on my reading list, because his life fascinates me. Most currently, reading “Wilderness Warrior” by Douglas Brinckley about how Roosevelt was a key figure in the conservation/naturalist/preservation movement, and “River of Doubt” by Candice Milliard (sp?) about Roosevelt’s 1,000 mile journey in an unchartered section of the Amazon.
Also loved “John Adams” and “Truman” both bios by David McCullough.
But before any, read the Edmund Morris bios on Roosevelt. Well written, fascinating and captivating subject, keeps you wanting more.
February 15, 2010 at 4:23 pm #92153
I second that! Produced by Tom Hanks, it shows the whole life and times and how things were…. the difficult environment in which these brave men effected change, struggled with human integrity, and despite us all, gave birth to our great nation!!!
February 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm #92151
Thanks, Darrel. I am definitely adding those to my list…
I think I saw a History Channel show about his post-presidency expeditions to the Amazon…unbelievable adventurer!
February 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm #92149
Hands down, Truman is the best one I’ve read. Absolutely amazing…though a bit long.
February 16, 2010 at 12:02 am #92147
“Truman” by David McCullough. For a great experience, listen to McCullogh narrate his audio book.
February 16, 2010 at 12:05 am #92145
Good Call, His Excellency is a great read.
February 16, 2010 at 1:11 am #92143
I feel like a loser. Need to get my reading game going..Haven’t read a single one.
February 16, 2010 at 3:40 am #92141
Hey Gwynne – Quick aside: did I ever tell you I worked at Bishop McNamara for two years? Another great WCAC school! 🙂 And I was there during the years when their girls basketball team was nationally ranked. Pretty cool…
Great recommendation on this book, thanks!
February 16, 2010 at 3:40 am #92139
History Channel documentaries count, too! 😉
February 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm #92137
I third that. It’s a wonderful movie that I often use when explaining to students how a knowledge of anthropology could work into a career in movie-making.
February 18, 2013 at 5:10 pm #92135
It’s not technically about a president (though two of its lead characters would go on to become presidents), but I adore the film version of “1776.”
February 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm #92133
Yes, it’s a bit of a sucky choice to go for something so obvious, but I still watch “The West Wing” in reruns. Of course, the president is a fictitious one, but it is rare that we get to see the mechanics of how decisions are often made, in such richly nuanced detail.
February 18, 2013 at 7:45 pm #92131
February 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm #92129
Agree with Mark – fictitious representations are the most interesting.
My favorites are–
* Martin Sheen – “The West Wing”
* Dennis Haysbert – “24”
* Harrison Ford – “Air Force One”
February 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm #92127
Any of the Robert Caro books about President Johnson.
February 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm #92125
I was a huge 24 fan and sad to see it go. On the opposite side, this new show “Scandal” is not in contention. 🙂
February 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm #92123
Some of the research on gender-bias in hiring proposes that if an occupation is traditionally associated with one sex, it becomes difficult for hiring managers to imagine “the competent incumbent” in the form of the other under-represented sex. As the gender gap gets closed in that occupation (and I seem to recall the inflection point is somewhere around 30% or more of incumbents being the “nontraditional” sex), it becomes easier for hiring managers to imagine the competent incumbent in the form of either sex…because they’ve seen it enough times already. The applicant gets compared against that broader more inclusive template, and gets hired or not, based on THAT comparison, rather than simply being the “wrong sex”.
I harbour a belief that a small portion of what got President Obama elected the first time out was Dennis Haysbert’s role on the first few seasons of 24. There had likely been other occasions when the POTUS was depicted as non-Caucasian, but these would have been brief one-offs, in films or single episodes of shows. Dennis Haysbert brought his own brand of dignity to the role, and the character was certainly drawn as one with integrity and competence. But more importantly, the fact that he was regularly seen in the role for several seasons, making a variety of decisions on important matters, again and again, made it seem all that much more “normal” for someone different to be in the position. I think he helped to make it much less jarring for people to anticipate that change, by being to imagine the “competent incumbent” in more diverse forms. Obviously, Pres. Obama and his campaign had to carry the ball the rest of the way downfield, but as long as I’m using sports metaphors, I think 24 lowered the hurdles by an inch or so.
And yes, in the pantheons of people you’d vote for in a heartbeat, “Get…off…my…plane!!” wins hands down every time. 🙂
February 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm #92121
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