David Rubel - Author, Historian, Speaker
To The Best of My Ability

Category: Adult
Publisher: DK
Pages: 480
Publication Date: August 2000
Current Edition: December 2004


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To the Best of My Ability
The American Presidents
Edited by James M. McPherson and David Rubel


Publisher’s Description
Every generation of historians reviews and revises the work of its predecessors. With this book, the best historical writers of today’s generation undertake such a task. Displaying wit and narrative flair, their elegant essays offer a fresh perspective on the most fascinating group of Americans: the American presidents. Who better to write a new assessment of the presidents than the most respected (and best-selling) historians of our time? In To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidents, members of the prestigious Society of American Historians deliver engaging, thoughtful analyses of the forty-two men who have led this country—some, of course, more successfully than others.


Download podcasts of brief presidential biographies that David created to support the publication of To the Best of My Ability.




Chicago Tribune
For a handy, one-volume encyclopedia of all the presidents, To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidents fits the bill. The book contains biographical sketches by more than 30 leading scholars. Well produced and richly illustrated, the book is an ideal introduction to the presidency.



Dallas Morning News
News stories, editorials, and opinion pages are full of factual errors and uninformed opinions about our presidents, and this outstanding collection of essays on chief executives should be read by every citizen. Written by leading experts on each president (Gordon Wood on George Washington, Robert V. Remini on Andrew Jackson, James M. McPherson on Lincoln, Robert Dallek on Lyndon Johnson, and so on), the essays present assessments and analyses of leaders revered and reviled—sometimes both at the same time—that just might correct those glaring mistakes. Lots of great illustrations, too.


Arizona Republic Review
Most of us don’t need to know everything about the 42 men who have been presidents of the United States, but it’s nice to grasp the basics. This handsome book offers an informative essay about each president, written by a member of the Society of American Historians. It’s a primer well worth its price.