Taught to Lead

Taught to Lead

The Education of the Presidents of the United States

Book - 2004
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Taught to Lead focuses on the education of the forty-two men who grew up to serve as president, from George Washington to George W. Bush. The education of each president is discussed in a lengthy essay, which details their childhood experiences, as well as primary, secondary, and college or university educations. But the sum of an education is more than the things learned in school, and the contributors to this volume -- including such award-winning historians as Robert Dallek and J.F. Watts -- try to explain how each president's background and educational experiences shaped his decisions once he reached the Oval Office. The aim of these 42 essays is to focus on the education of the presidents of the United States. More than 300 illustrations with detailed captions and lengthy sidebars are included. All illustrations elucidate an aspect of the particular president's education. Most of the illustrations are being published for the first time. As with other presidential comparisons, no clear pattern emerges from their varied educations. However, most presidents from Washington through Wilson had a form of classical education that included Bible study. Of the twenty-four men who served as president before 1900, sixteen experienced some form of higher education. Lincoln was self-educated as were Jackson, Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Grover Cleveland. William Henry Harrison attended medical school and James Garfield studied for the evangelic ministry. All eighteen presidents elected after 1901, with the exception of Harry Truman, attended college. These colleges vary from Harding's bankrupt Ohio Central and its three instructors to the prestigious schools of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Hoover majored in geology at Stanford and Lyndon Johnson studied elementary school teaching at a rural Texas college. Eisenhower graduated from West Point and Jimmy Carter from Annapolis. Woodrow Wilson is the only president to hold an earned doctorate degree. Many presidents were average students. Wilson and William Howard Taft were scholastic achievers, as were Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush. By contrast, Franklin D. Roosevelt received a "gentleman's C." John Adams and Lyndon Johnson were truants. George Washington did not attend college. And John F. Kennedy's report cards were not uniformly promising. Collectively, these essays and illustrations also are a microcosm of American education since the 1750s. Teachers, tutors, parents, relatives, textbooks, novels, nonfiction, and the Bible -- each had an important part in the education of the presidents and hence, in shaping American history. Book jacket.
Publisher: Philadelphia [Pa.] : Mason Crest, [2004]
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9781594820007
Branch Call Number: 973.099 T191
Characteristics: ix, 515 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Additional Contributors: Israel, Fred L.

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