An anecdotal history looks at the celebrations, fashions, ceremonies, and events that marked each presidential inauguration from Washington's election in 1789 to the 2001 gala.
Paul Boller's hugely admired anecdotal histories have consistently shown us new aspects and undiscovered sides to the lives of presidents and those around them. Presidential Inaugurations is no exception, as it illuminates the new life of the president from the moment he is elected to the moment he takes office. As might be expected from the most knowledgeable observer of American presidents, every chapter brings fresh delights that range from the sublime to, inevitably, the ridiculous. Boller accompanies Lincoln on his mysterious first entrance into Washington and renders the poignancy of FDR's last inauguration. There is the surprising appearance of Tallulah Bankhead at Truman's inauguration and the charming report on Eisenhower's 1953 inaugural by Jacqueline Bouvier. Highlighting inaugural moments from 1789 to 2001, Presidential Inaugurations presents the United States displaying its pride, its passions, and its prejudices as it greets a new leader.