The Seven-Day Scholar: The Presidents follows the presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama using a unique format of one-page entries that bring to life unforgettable characters, scholarly debates, and crucial political decisions that changed the course of American history. The book includes chapters on: The Best Writers and Speakers; Most Controversial Elections; Scandals; Peacemaker Presidents; Protecting—and Surrendering—Civil Rights; Most Controversial Foreign Policy Decisions; Most Memorable Postpresidential Careers; and The Best and Worst Presidents.
One-page entries answer questions such as:
- Why do historians think it a myth that Washington chopped down the cherry tree?
- Why did Thomas Jefferson have a falling out with both George Washington and John Adams?
- How did the rumor that Jefferson fathered children through one of his slaves suddenly become assumed to be true in 1998?
- Why did Andrew Jackson kill a man in a duel?
- How was it that two men considered among the greatest U.S. presidents—Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson—so trampled on civil rights?
- Why did Dwight D. Eisenhower fight to contain the military budget in office?
- What was the civil rights speech by John F. Kennedy that Martin Luther King called the “most eloquent, passionate . . . plea for civil rights . . . ever made by any President”?
- How did Ronald Reagan’s quiet passion for nuclear disarmament express itself during his negotiations with the Soviet Union?
- Why was Bill Clinton’s biggest regret as president not doing anything for Rwanda?
- How does Barack Obama compare to other presidential writers and speakers?
The Civil War
This volume in the Seven-Day Scholar series brings to life significant moments in our nation’s heroic tragedy, the Civil War, and coincides with its 150th anniversary. The book is organized into fifty-two chapters, corresponding to the weeks in a year; and each week has a theme – what ignited the war, Antietam, soldiers’ food and drink, the 54th Massachusetts, the Gettysburg Address, Vicksburg, medical care, Lincoln’s assassination, why the North won, and many more. Each chapter includes seven related narrative entries, one for every day of the week. These one-page entries, which read like historical fiction, bring to life crucial political decisions, unforgettable people, key battlefield moments, scholarly debates, and struggles on the home front.
The book also explores many little-known episodes, answering questions such as:
- Why did Jefferson and Varina Davis take in a slave as a foster child during the war?
- What were the causes of riots in New York City and Richmond?
- Why was General William Sherman demoted for “insanity”?
- Why did the Union Army turn Robert E. Lee’s estate into a cemetery?
Entries also include follow-up resources where curious readers can learn more.
Readers can sweep through the book from beginning to end, or use it as a reference book, periodically dipping in and out of topics they want to explore. This is the perfect book for history buffs, and for those who missed out on learning about this captivating period in American history.