On January 20th, the incoming president delivers their inaugural address in a tradition that goes back to 1789, with the first inauguration of George Washington. The address tells our fellow Americans – and our neighbors around the world – that the best is yet to come and provides a roadmap on how to get there.
My Fellow Americans brings together all of the inaugural addresses – from George Washington's first in 1789, up until Donald Trump's in 2016 – with 63 essays from leading scholars, speechwriters, historians, biographers, and experts on the presidents and their era. Contributors have won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, have been New York Times Bestsellers, National Book Award winners, editors of the papers of the presidents, and are all-around experts on their subject.
What was a president going to be dealing with heading into the highest office in the land? What decisions did they make and how did they impact the trajectory of the United States? What has their legacy been in & out of office? And what did they want to do for the country? These questions, and more, are answered by the wisdom of some of the people that know these presidents best.
Contributors include: Stephen H. Browne, Kevin Butterfield, Rhonda Barlow, Peter S. Onuf, Annette Gordon-Reed, Stuart E. Leibiger, J.C.A Stagg, Daniel Preston, Sandra Moats, C. James Taylor, Harry L. Watson, Thomas Coens, Michael J. Gerhardt, Daniel Walker Howe, Christopher J. Leahy, Walter R. Borneman, Michael F. Holt, Claude E. Welch Jr., Peter Wallner, Jean H. Baker, David S. Reynolds, Richard Carwardine, Michael Les Benedict, Joan Waugh, John F. Marszalek, Dustin McLochlin, Charles Calhoun, Walter T. K. Nugent, Mark W. Summers, Allan B. Spetter, Matthew Algeo, Christopher Capozzola, Christopher McKnight Nichols, Jean M. Yarbrough, Jonathan Lurie, Robert A. Enholm, John Milton Cooper, James D. Robenalt, Amity Shlaes, Kendrick A. Clements, Cynthia M. Koch, David M. Kennedy, Michael Kazin, David B. Woolner, Andrew Busch, Michael J. Birkner, Louis Galambos, Barbara Ann Perry, Mark K. Updegrove, Ken Hughes, Thomas Alan Schwartz, John Robert Greene, Mark Atwood Lawrence, Gil Troy, Iwan W. Morgan, Mary Kate Cary, Steven M. Gillon, Russell L. Riley, James Mann, Mark J. Rozell, Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting, James T. Kloppenberg, and Nicholas F. Jacobs.
What kind of files will I get?
1. .epub – This works on almost all devices and apps, except Kindle.
2. .azw3 – This works on Kindles.
3. .kepub – This works on Kobo readers.
4. .pdf – Not recommended, but included just in case.
I thought there were only 46 presidents? Why are there 63 essays?
There are! Some presidents have been elected more than once, which means they've delivered more than one inaugural address. Others have died in office and someone else has had to take their place. While these presidents did not deliver an inaugural address proper, they often did give a speech upon assuming the office of the president. Where that's happened, I've used the speech that would be in closest proximity to the inaugural.
What about Joe Biden?
2021 will not be long enough to gauge how well he did. I plan to update this book in 2024 with a new essay. That, of course, will be a free update for everyone. I plan to do so for each president going forward at the end of each 4 year term.
What if I want to listen to the inaugural addresses?
You're in luck – you can listen to a podcast of all the addresses here:
Is this it?
I envision this as a sort of living book. There will certainly be updates to it going forward. All updates will be delivered to readers free of charge, no matter where you purchase this book.
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