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President's Day

President's Day, otherwise known as Washington's Birthday, falls on February 18 this year. This special federal holiday is meant to honor George Washington, the first President of the United States. Join us in exploring our nation's presidents and their histories by curling up with a good presidential book. Here are a few titles to help you get started!

book jacketGeorge Washington's Birthday: a mostly true tale by Margaret McNamara and Barry Blitt

From award-winning author Margaret McNamara and New Yorker artist Barry Blitt comes this partly true and completely funny story of George Washington's 7th birthday. In this clever approach to history, readers will discover the truths and myths about George Washington. Did George Washington wear a wig? No. Did George Washington cut down a cherry tree? Probably not. Readers young and old who are used to seeing George Washington as an old man, will get a new look at the first president--as a kid. Perfect for classrooms, Presidents' Day, or as a birthday gift.

book jacketChasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

New York Times bestselling author James Swanson delivers a riveting account of the chase for Abraham Lincoln's assassin. Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, Chasing Lincoln's Killer is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.

book jacketWhat Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven

Presidents are made of Big Eaters... and so much more! You get a portrait of former U. S. president Jimmy Carter, who builds houses for the homeless. See the presidents as never before -- made out of objects! Using everything from blue jeans to boxing gloves, Hanoch Piven "builds" the characters of our leaders. And with revealing anecdotes to go along with Piven's creations, you'll never forget what makes up George (Washington), George (Bush), or anyone else in between.

book jacketBloody Crimes: the chase for Jefferson Davis and the death pageant for Lincoln's corpse by James L. Swanson

The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Manhunt" brings to life the thrilling chase for Confederate president Jefferson Davis and the 14-day funeral train that took Abraham Lincoln's body home to Springfield.

The Rise of Theodore RooseveltThe Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

This is the story of seven men - a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a cowboy, a soldier, and a politician - who merged at the age of forty-two to become the youngest American president in history. Written by author and biographer Edmund Morris from Nairobi, Kenya.

book jacketJFK and the Unspeakable: why he died and why it matters by James W. Douglass

At the height of the Cold War, JFK risked committing the greatest crime in human history: starting a nuclear war. Horrified by the specter of nuclear annihilation, Kennedy gradually turned away from his long-held Cold Warrior beliefs and toward a policy of lasting peace. But to the military and intelligence agencies in the United States, who were committed to winning the Cold War at any cost, Kennedy's change of heart was a direct threat to their power and influence. Once these dark "Unspeakable" forces recognized that Kennedy's interests were in direct opposition to their own, they tagged him as a dangerous traitor, plotted his assassination, and orchestrated the subsequent cover-up.

book jacketThe Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners' minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called "the audacity of hope." The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama's call for a different brand of politics--a politics for those weary of bitter partisanshipand alienated by the "endless clash of armies" we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of "our improbable experiment in democracy." He explores those forces--from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media--that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment. At the heart of this book is Barack Obama's vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats--from terrorism to pandemic--that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy--where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus. A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes--"waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them."

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