My favorite Presidential biography

In honor of President’s Day, my somewhat unconventional choice for favorite presidential biography: Truman, by David McCullough.

After my (Canadian) high school history classes, I could tell you the recipe for pemmican or arcana about Manitoban rebellions, but I would not have been able to name a single US President or major event. We ignored the US unless they invaded us, or us them, but even then we managed to ignore anything substantive about the country before 1985.

After living here ten years I realized I was no less ignorant of the past, and I decided that biographies were the least painful path to self-education. I concentrated on some of the usual greats–Lincoln and Jackson and Adams and Washington.  I think I liked Truman in the end because he surprised the most. Also, a window on mid-20th century events I had never seen.

Highly recommended.