Where They Stand

The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians

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About The Book

The author of the acclaimed biography of President James Polk offers a fresh, playful, and challenging way of playing America’s favorite game—by pitching historians’ views and subsequent experts’ polls against the judgment and votes of the presidents’ own contemporaries.

Robert W. Merry presents a fresh, playful, and challenging way of playing America’s favorite game, “Rating the Presidents,” by pitching historian’s views and experts’ polls against the judgment and votes of the presidents’ contemporaries.

About The Author

Photograph by Gregory Strom

Robert Merry is the editor of The National Interest. He has been a Washington correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and the executive editor of the Congressional Quarterly. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The American Spectator, and The National Interest. He has appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Newsmakers, and many other programs. The author of McKinley, he lives in McLean, Virginia.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (July 2013)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451625424

Raves and Reviews

“There is no better guide for evaluating our current presidential candidates than this remarkable book. Reporters, commentators and citizens alike should read Robert Merry’s illuminating journey into the past to discover what made our previous presidents succeed or fail. The history is lively; the writing is graceful; the analysis is brilliant.”

– Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

"A pleasant romp through the annals of American politics."

– The New York Times Book Review

“It is rare that such a breezy book exhibits both serious intent and skillful analysis…Such grounded reflections make this an unusually authoritative book. While likely to be catnip for aficionados of presidential studies, this will also quickly rank high among serious works on the presidency.”

– Publishers Weekly, starred review

“First-rate history….Where They Stand is both stimulating and refreshing, particularly in its take on presidents such as Andrew Jackson, Polk and Grant, whose legacies have been obscured by time and controversy…. Where They Stand is filled with almost flip-page observations about presidents that are shrewd and provocative.”

– The Dallas Morning News

“[A] shrewdly conceived and elegantly written short book….This is beach reading for wonks that expertly navigates 44 shades of gray.”

– History News Network

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