Exploring the American Presidency Through 50 Historic Treasures (Hardcover)
No person in the world is more recognizable than an American president. These men are larger than life, and as the leader of the free world they have the opportunity to shape history in ways that most of us cannot imagine. Some objects, such as the Resolute desk, Air Force One, or the presidential seal, are symbolic of the position itself, but each president has at least one artifact that largely defines his life and his presidency. For example, George Washington's ill-fitting dentures plagued him for most of his life, affecting the very image of his face that we have all come to recognize. Millions of Americans were comforted by Franklin D. Roosevelt's "fireside chats" as he spoke into a radio microphone during the Great Depression and World War II. John F. Kennedy memorialized a coconut husk, with a message he wrote after his PT boat was destroyed in the Pacific Ocean, into a paperweight he kept on his desk in the Oval Office. Bill Clinton appeared on late night television playing the saxophone to appeal to younger voters.
Exploring the American Presidency through 50 Historic Treasures brings together significant artifacts from the lives of the men who have led our nation through times of great prosperity and terrible tragedy. When we look at our presidents through the lens of the material culture they left behind, it humanizes them and creates relevance to our own lives. This book features full-color images of 50 artifacts that were chosen by the very people who work at presidential sites and historical museums, stewarding the legacies of our presidents.
About the Author
Kimberly A. Kenney became Curator of the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum in October 2001 and was promoted to Executive Director in 2019. She appeared on The Daily Show, First Ladies: Influence & Images, and Mysteries at the Museum. Her program "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic" was featured on C-SPAN's series American History TV. Kimberly lives in Canton, Ohio.