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" After university, I taught secondary school for a while and opened a bookshop in Greenwich, just east of London. "
" President Gerald Ford was no intellectual, but he had served with distinction in combat as a naval gunnery officer and then as Congressman for a quarter century. "
" Both JFK and George W. Bush were the sons of wealthy U.S. ambassadors and thus privileged to meet distinguished figures, to travel, and to see the world and think about its problems if they chose. "
" I became an American on Nov. 4, 2010, at an elegant ceremony in Great Hall of Bullfinch's Faneuil Hall, Boston, beneath a vast painting of Daniel Webster debating the preservation of the Union with Robert Hayne of South Carolina, before the Civil War. "
" To be sure, administrations since Ronald Reagan had gone out of their way to massage and 'spin' news to the president's advantage, while the media did its best to un-spin it. "
" Since his inauguration in 2009, President Obama has upheld FDR's vision of America as a nation that keeps its word - a nation still committed to uphold the 'four freedoms' that President Roosevelt set down in the great Atlantic Charter of August 1941. "
" It must have been the fall of 1952 when my father returned to London sporting a neck tie emblazoned with the words 'I Like Ike.' "
" Selective memory is surely one of nature's most effective ways of ensuring the survival of our species. "
" I grew up and lived in a Britain in which strikes and the threat of strikes had become part of the social fabric - and it was not very nice. "
" I am all for charity in judging the men who have occupied the Oval Office over the past seventy years, given the huge responsibilities the president carries across the world. "
" We've sweated and torn out our hair trying to reconstruct our chosen lives, to fashion them like literary sculptures, at once monumental and yet human. We've applied all of our intelligence, our empathy, our critical faculties, our compassion - and we think, in our delusion, that it's still 1960, and our work is going to get noticed. "
" At times, the reader of World War II literature must think every American, from general to G.I., kept a war diary, later mined for memoirs of the conflict. Few diaries, however, were published in their own right. "
" That's the miracle of Amazon! It's like Internet dating. In the early days, you could get slimed as an author on Amazon by someone bearing a grudge, or jealous, or whatever. And because there were so few reviews posted, this stank. "
" I'm fascinated by the concept of what I call 'clusters of creativity': the Brontes, the Waughs, families with several geniuses. I'm one of four; competition among siblings has to be a factor. "
" Some of the History Channel's documentaries involve docudrama segments and are highly speculative - but there seems, on the part of the producers, to be a real determination to get at the history behind our past - not the sex, which is left to drama shows and entertainment channels. "
" Biography is, simply, the orphan of academia. "
" Looking back as an historian, I find myself having great respect for Ronald Reagan's consistency: his absolute conviction that the Soviet Union - the only competing world empire at the time - was bound to collapse! "
" The White House tapes, recording Nixon's nefarious doings from Watergate to the bombing of Vietnam, made frightening reading once made public on the orders of Congress. "
" Dwight D. Eisenhower, in my judgment, will go down in history as one of the four 'great' presidents since the U.S. reluctantly became an empire in World War II; Richard Nixon as the nearest to a sociopath by the time he was compelled to resign. "
" Listening to the stories my colleagues are researching and grappling with - in terms of access to documents, psychological understanding of their subjects, artful composition and determination to extrapolate from an individual's life lessons and insights that we can all learn from - I am each time overwhelmed by joy. "
" Traditionally Presidents Day was Washington's birthday. It was celebrated as a public holiday on February 22 each year, in peace or in war. "
" In daring to re-tell the stories of the last twelve American presidents, both public and private, I knew I would incur some outrage with 'American Caesars.' "
" I belong to the Boston Biographers Group - and get my monthly 'fix' from them. Where else can I sit down for two hours with people who understand the challenge I face, daily, as a life-chronicler? "
" The moral was, in time of anarchy, tough leadership is the only solution - even though the collateral damage may be heartbreaking. Mrs. Thatcher's strident, take-no prisoners approach was in some ways repugnant, but it was surely necessary. "
" For the serious biographer, history and the life story of a real individual are inseparably intertwined. Get the facts wrong, or distort them, and the life story gets distorted: becomes fiction. "
" I'm not promising to write 'JFK 2' - but one day, I might! "
" Republican isolationists had certainly tied the hands of every U.S. president, year after year - berating Franklin Roosevelt in particular and his attempts to ready the nation for inevitable attack. "
" I've never really understood the term 'Post-Impressionism' as more than a label for Cezanne, Gauguin and van Gogh. "
" In publishing 'JFK: Reckless Youth' almost twenty years ago, I had gotten into trouble myself with the Kennedys. Not because of my portrait of JFK - which was highly laudatory - but because I had described his parents, Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, in less-than-flattering terms. "
" As a student, I had stayed with Winston Churchill; later, I had lunched with Harold Macmillan - in fact, had met most of the post-war prime ministers of Great Britain from Douglas-Home to Tony Blair. "
" The story of FDR as U.S. Commander in Chief is a heroic war story of a president who had already overcome great adversity in facing polio but who went on to take the reins of our armed forces in the greatest conflagration in human history - on our behalf. "