Citizen-in-Chief: The Second Lives of the American by Leonard Benardo

By Leonard Benardo

“[A] remarkably revealing history.…This well-researched, opinionated account does a great task of filling a shockingly empty ancient niche.”
Publishers Weekly


Citizen-in-Chief, The moment Lives of the yankee Presidents, is a smartly researched, marvelous, frequently witty, and regularly revealing examine former presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush. Authors Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss supply readers enjoyable precise tales of the unconventional turns, provocative rehabilitations, and tragic trajectories of presidential lives after the White residence. Washington submit columnist Richard Cohen calls Citizen-in-Chief, “an engrossing ebook, Benardo and Weiss inform a desirable tale,” and he appropriately states that the place our nation’s leaders went after major is usually “more attention-grabbing than the presidency itself.”

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Jefferson may have spent his retirement years chasing away creditors, but he remained committed to earthly pleasures, imbibing the wines (a “necessary of life”) and food (“we seldom repent of having eaten too little”) that deepened his economic plight. By contrast, Monroe’s half decade after the presidency was dominated by his pursuit of what he felt was just compensation for the diplomatic missions he had conducted on behalf of the government. Where Jefferson soothed his despair with the pleasures of the sweet life, Monroe was gripped by a single idée fixe: getting repaid.

Franklin wanted to diminish what he believed was human nature’s overriding passion: avarice. Two stays in England before the Revolution convinced him that corruption was inherent to English political life, and helped seed his “Utopian Idea” of a nonsalaried chief magistrate in America. “That we can never find men to serve us in the Executive department, without paying them well for their services,” he declared, was a false premise and one that risked creating institutional birth defects. Franklin’s advice went unheeded.

Getting Solvent / 49 After more than a century, Congress had finally begun picking up many of the operating costs of White House life. Sadly, Wilson had little opportunity to enjoy any such savings. Felled by a stroke in the fall of 1919, he never physically returned to form and spent his thousand days after the Oval Office in fragile health. Nevertheless, as in his unceasing quest to rally support for the League of Nations, Wilson soldiered on, forming a law partnership with Bainbridge Colby, his final secretary of state.

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