Presidents' Day Reading

"Lincoln's Boys" by Joshua Zeitz

If you celebrate Presidents' Day with history books, you are in luck. Two recent books about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln address lesser known aspects of the lives of our first and sixteenth presidents.

"Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's Image" by Joshua Zeitz focuses on Lincoln's personal secretaries during his presidency. Hay and Nicolay formed a close and trusting relationship with Lincoln and his family. After the assassination they were given exclusive access to Lincoln's personal papers in order to write his official biography. The multi-volume work that resulted helped to shape the popular view of Lincoln.

"George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution" by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger is a fast-paced book detailing the exploits of the spy ring developed at George Washington's request. The book argues that the work of the Culper Spy Ring was essential to the success of the American Revolution. The group managed to get the British naval codebook and exposed Benedict Arnold as a traitor. During five years of operation, only one member was exposed as a spy.

--Jennifer A., Headquarters

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