Not only do I read biographies on individual presidents, I also read studies about the presidency. A brand new book is out (over 500 pages) titled THE PRESIDENTS: Noted Historians Rank American’s Best – and Worst – Chief Executives.
Here are the Top Ten presidents of the United States.
- Abraham Lincoln
- George Washington
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Harry Truman
- Thomas Jefferson
- John F. Kennedy
- Ronald Reagan
- Lyndon B. Johnson
Barack Obama came in 12th, George H. W. Bush at number 20, and George W. Bush at number 33 (just keeping him out of the ten worst presidents).
When you look at the list of the WORST presidents, quite a few of them were the predecessors of Lincoln, and each one had major failures on the issues of slavery and the preservation of the union. I have read biographies on all the presidents up to Lincoln and frankly, it was appalling to read just how BAD many of them were.
This book is summer reading for me. I am also reading two books on the faith of American presidents: Religion in the Oval Office: The Religious Lives of American Presidents and Faith & the Presidency: From George Washington to George W. Bush, both written by Gary Scott Smith of Grove City College.
While America has not necessarily been a Christian nation, America has been a religious and spiritual nation, with many of its chief executives holding a deep faith, while others had little or no faith. Some were individuals of great virtue, while others were vice-ridden.
Our chief executives fall everywhere between the Old Testament extremes of King David to King Nebuchadnezzar.