A noteworthy review of Our Presidents from School Library Journal on September 1, 2005
Burgan covers his subject’s life mostly chronologically from boyhood in the 1940s through the 2004 election. Some brief mention is made of the Bush administration’s domestic agenda, and there is much information about the war on terrorism following the September 11 attacks in 2001. Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq are discussed. The controversy about attacking Iraq is mentioned, explaining how the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) were never found and Bush’s later argument that ‘Hussein had to be removed even if he did not have WMDs.’ Chapter titles are not necessarily apt. For example, the first chapter, ‘A Family of Service,’ shows a photograph of the Twin Towers on fire and begins with information about the September 11 attacks and how they would change Bush’s presidency. This opening does little to introduce the man or what the book will cover. Average-quality photos, mostly in full color, appear on nearly every page. The author uses highlighted glossary words like ‘conservative,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘hijacked,’ and ‘terrorist’ throughout the text. Overall, this is an accessible, if rather dull, addition that will be suitable for reports.
—Heather Ver Voort
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