Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America, by Jared Cohen

Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America, by Jared Cohen

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The strength and prestige of the American presidency has waxed and waned since George Washington. Accidental Presidents looks at eight men who came to the office without being elected to it. It demonstrates how the character of the man in that powerful seat affects the nation and world.

Eight men have succeeded to the presidency when the incumbent died in office. In one way or another they vastly changed our history. Only Theodore Roosevelt would have been elected in his own right. Only TR, Truman, Coolidge, and LBJ were re-elected.


“What a delightful book and brilliant concept! Jared Cohen treats us to some of the most colorful and momentous episodes in our history when we unexpectedly got a new president. He reveals the historic importance of some lesser-known leaders, such as John Tyler and Millard Fillmore, and highlights the greatness of Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson. Through their fascinating tales we learn why America is such a resilient nation and our Constitution a living document—lessons very powerful for today.”—Walter Isaacson.