Cover image for American presidents : year by year
American presidents : year by year
Nelson, Lyle Emerson, 1924-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, [2004]

Physical Description:
3 volumes : illustrations ; 29 cm
v. 1. 1732-1860 -- v. 2. 1861-1932 -- v. 3. 1933-2000.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E176.1 .N44 2004 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
E176.1 .N44 2004 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
E176.1 .N44 2004 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



This fascinating multi-volume set illuminates the panorama of American history through the personal and professional stories of the nation's presidents. Arranged chronologically, and covering George Washington to George W. Bush, it juxtaposes the lives of each year's current, former, and future living presidents against each other and the historical backdrop of their times. Each chapter opens with a summary of the year and describes the major issues and events the incumbent president faced. Separate sections within each chapter - "Former Presidents" and "Future Presidents" - detail important developments in the lives of past and future presidents month by month during that same year, highlighting political, social, and personal decisions that helped shape the course of American history.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

In this set chronicling the lives of the U.S. presidents from George Washington to the election of George W. Bush, volume 1 covers 1732-1860, volume 2 covers 1861-1932, and volume 3 covers 1933-2000. The author has compiled a unique reference work by showing a vertical and a horizontal view of future and former presidents at the same time. Each year starts with a one- to two-page summary of the sitting president's activities, followed by an entry on each living predecessor and/or successor. For example, in 1799, the third year ofohn Adams' presidency, George Washington died. Thomasefferson, as vice president, was plotting his own election to the executive office;ames Monroe became governor of Virginia;ohn Quincy Adams was U.S. minister to Prussia; and 17-year-old Martin Van Buren was studying law. In 1992, the year George H. W. Bush lost his bid for a second term, former president Richard M. Nixon criticized Bush's foreign aid policy, Gerald R. Ford spoke at the Republican National Convention,immy Carter addressed the Democratic National Convention, and Ronald Reagan entertained Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev at his California ranch. Future president Bill Clinton won the presidency with only a 43 percent popular vote, and George W. Bush was running the Texas Rangers baseball team. The master index, repeated in each volume, helps pull together information on each president. Black-and-white illustrations are scattered throughout. Filled with personal, political, and professional details, the set not only provides valuable reference information but also is interesting to read. It is hoped that the author will continue this chronicle into the future. This resource would be an excellent addition to an academic or public library. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Historian Nelson presents an interesting time line, 1732 to 2000, of the lives of American Presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush. Readable and engaging, the short descriptive biographical entries portray what the current, former, and future Presidents did in a given year. For example, in 1888, when Grover Cleveland was President, Rutherford B. Hayes was the only living former President and six-year-old Franklin Delano Roosevelt and four-year-old Harry Truman were among the future Presidents. Volume 1 opens with George Washington's birth in 1732; Volume 2 spans 1861-1932; and Volume 3 covers 1933-2000. Each volume contains illustrations and an extensive name and subject index. This resource works well if the reader wants to know who did what in a certain year. However, it is neither a quick reference nor an exploration into political and ideological issues. It lacks useful enhancements, e.g., a selective bibliography, a table giving in one location basic data such as the President's birth and death years, spouse and children's names, education and occupational background, party affiliation, political offices other than the presidency, etc. Libraries would do better to purchase solid, proven, standard references like Alan Brinkley's The Reader's Companion to the American Presidency or Joseph Kane's Facts About the Presidents.-Charles L. Lumpkins, Pennsylvania State Univ., College State (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Nelson's stated purpose is to provide "snapshots frozen in time" as he traces each man's path to the White House in yearly entries from 1732 to 2000. Side-by-side entries note "old man in retirement and a baby in his mother's arms," giving readers a unique picture of the lives of our presidents. There is no listing of the leaders and their terms. Each volume includes an extensive index and scattered, average-quality, black-and-white reproductions. No sources are cited, which is perhaps the set's most significant flaw. Nonetheless, this unique resource will be useful for students looking for information on our presidents and those who must report on the events of specific years.-Karen Sutherland, Bartlett Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Nelson's unique reference work contributes a new perspective on the public and private lives of American presidents not only by documenting factual data but also exploring the personal decisions and life stories of each individual. Using chronological order, the author weaves together the personal life, policy initiatives, and political activities of each current, former, and future president for every year in order, from the birth of George Washington (1732) through the "election" of George W. Bush (2000). The work allows readers to follow a single president through his personal life and political career, or to review the actions of more than one president to explore how different presidents reacted to or influenced specific events in American history at key moments in their lives. For example, the chapter covering 1973 not only documents the actions of President Nixon during the Watergate scandal but reveals how this event influenced future President Bill Clinton's desire to pursue a career in Arkansas politics. Each chapter briefly surveys the year and highlights key issues and events faced by the incumbent president. Separate sections outline month by month the lives of former and future presidents in relation to historical developments in American society. Each volume has a comprehensive index, and illustrations are scattered throughout the text. The set's value for research is reduced by the absence of references to source material. Readers will have to look elsewhere--to personal memoirs, biographical works, presidential papers series, and other secondary sources--to verify statements made in the text or to obtain further information about a specific event or issue. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All libraries. R. V. Labaree University of Southern California