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The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia
Author: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN 13: 9781588343253
ISBN 10: 1588343253
Paperback Price: $12.95


The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia provides everything you ever wanted to know about the presidents and more, using the Smithsonian's collections to shed new light into the world of presidential trivia in ways that no one else can.

Which president rose early to practice piano? Who is the only president to hold a patent? Which presidents were speed readers? Is the story of George Washington and the cherry tree true or false? These questions and many more are answered in The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia. In addition to the canon of presidential information the pages are illustrated with more than 125 objects from the Smithsonian's presidential collection.


On sale date: 1/1/13

Paperback (9781588343253) and e-book (9781588343321) formats available




While many adults know Richard Nixon’s nickname (“Tricky Dick”) and the toy named after Theodore Roosevelt (the teddy bear), here students are offered much more, from the mundane (which president had the largest shoe size) to the more important (how many presidents have died while serving in office). With well-organized chapter headings (“Assassination, Death and National Mourning,” “Stumping,” “Home, Hotel, Parlor and Playground”), there are few aspects of the presidency overlooked–from illegitimate children and other controversies to spouses, pets, and even Facebook campaigns. A smattering of black-and-white photos lends accuracy and interest, allowing history buffs a peek at some of the Smithsonian’s presidential artifacts, including campaign buttons, clothing, medallions, and paper ephemera. While the institution is a reputable source of information, there are a few subtleties that could be debated in some of the answers listed. For example, one question asks, “Which president was accused of fathering an illegitimate child?” The answer listed is Grover Cleveland, and while it is is true that he has been accused, Thomas Jefferson has been too (although those indiscretions have been verified). Such potential oversights notwithstanding, this excellent introduction will interest even reluctant readers in these men by providing historic and often entertaining insights. It’s a great launching pad to a unit on the presidents.–Sharon Verbeten, All Write Creative Services, De Pere, WI

"You’re not likely to find a better source for fascinating and little-known details about U.S. presidents." The Star-Ledger

“The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia” by Amy Pastan, which provides copious ammo to start or settle a barroom wager or dinner table debate. The breezy guide is way more fun than Google, Bing or Yahoo! and, as befits a tome from America’s storied museum complex—aka “the nation’s attic”—it is long on White House esoterica.”  Annie Groer, The Washington Post

“The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia… is chock full of data sure to stump even the most knowledgeable presidential buff.”  Politico

“…an entertaining, enjoyable and informative look at the nation's 43 presidents (not 44 — see Cleveland, Grover) and every possible subtopic.”  Ken Rudin, NPR’s Political Junkie

“Highly Recommended.”  Taegan Goddard, Political Wire

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