"Jim Cullen has dared to write an old-fashioned book about the virtues of American presidents. But instead of wooden tales about cherry trees and log cabins, he has given us complex portraits of flawed men who performed acts of moral courage at critical moments in the nation's history. Imperfect Presidents invites us to admire these leaders--and even to find lessons in their stories--without indulging in hero-worship."--Steven Biel, Executive Director, Humanities Center, Harvard University, and author of American Gothic: A Life of America's Most Famous Painting
"Cullen, one of America's most versatile historians, displays his usual acumen with a topic that will never go out of fashion. The ways that our presidents invariably disappoint us, and the more interesting ways that they occasionally rebound from that disappointment, combine to make this a deeply satisfying read about the world's most powerful office. Great history for specialists and non-specialists alike." --Ted Widmer, former Clinton speech writer and Director and Librarian, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
"Wise and often moving." --Fredric Smoler, AmericanHeritage.com
"In Imperfect Presidents
, Jim Cullen offers a highly readable look at 11 commanders-in-chief and how they overcame major mistakes... With keen analysis and telling anecdotes culled from presidential biographies, Cullen proves that even the most revered presidents weren't saints... Cullen doesn't shy away from balanced appraisals of recent leaders and actions still deemed controversial."
--Gary Budzak, The Columbus Dispatch