It doesn't do much for your ego to read two books in a row filled with information that you didn't know. I have to admit, I'm addicted to Rick Beyer's books. His latest one is The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy. His earlier ones, The Greatest Stories Never Told and The Greatest War Stories Never Told are equally fascinating.
In conjunction with The History Channel, Beyer researched and compiled 100 short stories about presidential history. Each entry is two pages long, so the book can be read in one sitting, or enjoyed piece by piece. They're compiled in chronological order, beginning in 1620.
If John Howland hadn't been rescued when he washed off the deck of the Mayflower, he wouldn't have married and had numerous descendants that include Franklin D. Roosevelt and both George Bushes. Other descendants include Humphrey Bogart, Alec Baldwin, and Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
Richard Nixon, who was forced to leave office, in part because of the Watergate break-in, took part in an earlier break-in when he and two friends broke into the dean's office at Duke Law School to find out their grades. Had they been caught, there might not have been a later crisis in government.
These kind of anecdotes fill all of Rick Beyer's books. His latest, The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told, is a welcome addition to any history buff's library.
The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy by Rick Beyer. Collins, ©2007. ISBN 978-0060760182 (hardcover), 214p.