Title

Looking Up From the Basement: New Biographies of Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan

Document Type

Review

Publication Date

10-2005

Department

History

Abstract

Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan inhabit a distinctive place in American presidential historiography. Along with Millard Fillmore and Ulysses Grant, they are usually held up as anti-models when discussions turn to presidential greatness. But each has rated more dismissive commentary than serious study, a point highlighted by the publication of these new biographies. [excerpt]