The Best Presidential Biographies For History Buffs

Dig into 46 top-notch biographies—one for each American president.

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1) George Washington

Buy Washington at Amazon

Washington

By James Thomas Flexner

2) John Adams

best_presidential_biographies

John Adams

By David McCullough

3) Thomas Jefferson

best_presidential_biographies

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

By Jon Meacham

4) James Madison

best_presidential_biographies

James Madison: A Life Reconsidered

By Lynne Cheney

5) James Monroe

best_presidential_biographies

The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness

By Harlow Giles Unger

6) John Quincy Adams

best_presidential_biographies

John Quincy Adams: American Visionary,

By Harlow Giles Unger

7) Andrew Jackson

best_presidential_biographies

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times

By H.W. Brands

8) Martin Van Buren

best_presidential_biographies

Martin Van Buren

By Ted Widmer

9) William Henry Harrison

best_presidential_biographies

Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time

By Freeman Cleaves

10) John Tyler

best_presidential_biographies

John Tyler

By Gary May

11) James K. Polk

best_presidential_biographies

Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America

By Walter R. Borneman

12) Zachary Taylor

best_presidential_biographies

Zachary Taylor: Soldier, Planter, Statesman of the Old Southwest

By K. Jack Bauer

13) Millard Fillmore

best_presidential_biographies

Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President

By Robert J. Rayback

14) Franklin Pierce

best_presidential_biographies

Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son and Franklin Pierce: Martyr for the Union

By Peter A. Wallner

15) James Buchanan

best_presidential_biographies

President James Buchanan: A Biography

By Philip S. Klein

16) Abraham Lincoln

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Lincoln Reconsidered

By David Herbert Donald

17) Andrew Johnson

best_presidential_biographies

Andrew Johnson

By Hans L. Trefousse

18) Ulysses S. Grant

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Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

By Ulysses Grant

19) Rutherford B. Hayes

best_presidential_biographies

Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President

By Ari Hoogenboom

20) James A. Garfield

best_presidential_biographies

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

By Candice Millard

21) Chester A. Arthur

best_presidential_biographies

Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur

By Thomas C. Reeves

22) Grover Cleveland

best_presidential_biographies

The Forgotten Conservative: Rediscovering Grover Cleveland

By John Pafford

23) Benjamin Harrison

best_presidential_biographies

Benjamin Harrison

By Charles W. Calhoun

24) Grover Cleveland

best_presidential_biographies

An Honest President: The Life and Times of Grover Cleveland

By H.P. Jeffers

25) William McKinley

best_presidential_biographies

The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century

By Scott Miller

26) Theodore Roosevelt

best_presidential_biographies

Theodore Roosevelt Series

By Edmund Morris

27) William Howard Taft

best_presidential_biographies

The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

By Doris Kearns Goodwin

28) Woodrow Wilson

best_presidential_biographies

Wilson

By A. Scott Berg

29) Warren G. Harding

best_presidential_biographies

Warren G. Harding

By John W. Dean and Arthur M. Schlesinger

30) Calvin Coolidge

best_presidential_biographies

Coolidge

By Amity Shlaes

31) Herbert Hoover

best_presidential_biographies

Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency

By Charles Rappleye

32) Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox

By James MacGregor Burns

33) Harry S. Truman

best_presidential_biographies

Truman

By David McCullough

34) Dwight D. Eisenhower

best_presidential_biographies

Eisenhower: A Life

By Paul Johnson

35) John F. Kennedy

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John Kennedy

By James MacGregor Burns

36) Lyndon Baines Johnson

Buy Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream at Amazon

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream

By Doris Kearns Goodwin

best_presidential_biographies

Being Nixon: A Man Divided

By Evan Thomas

38) Gerald R. Ford

best_presidential_biographies

Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life

By James Cannon and Scott Cannon

39) James Earl Carter

best_presidential_biographies

The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House

By Douglas Brinkley

40) Ronald Wilson Reagan

best_presidential_biographies

Reagan: The Life

By H.W. Brands

41) George H.W. Bush

best_presidential_biographies

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush

By Jon Meacham

42) William Jefferson Clinton

best_presidential_biographies

The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House

By John F. Harris

43) George W. Bush

best_presidential_biographies

Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House

By Peter Baker

44) Barack Obama

best_presidential_biographies

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

By David Remnick

45) Donald Trump

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TrumpNation

By Timothy L. O'Brien

46) Joseph Biden

joe biden presidential biography

Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now

By Evan Osnos