Lincoln, Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan are the chief executives Sloane (management, U. of Delaware) picks out for treatment. He also surveys the effective use of humor by several unsuccessful presidential candidates. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
“I heard one [presidential] candidate say that what this country needed was a president for the ‘90s,” Ronald Reagan once said. “I was set to run again. I thought he said a president in his 90s.” Abraham Lincoln, in one instance, was able to put a serious injury in a humorous light; in response to a young woman’s question about where a soldier was wounded, Lincoln replied, “Ma’am, the bullet that wounded him would not have wounded you.” Presidents often bring a sense of humor to the White House with them, allowing the American public to catch a glimpse of their not-so-serious sides. This book examines how five of the nation's funniest chief executives—Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—used wit and humor to their advantage during their terms as president, and how their management of the Executive Branch was thereby enhanced. As a bonus, the effective use of humor by several unsuccessful presidential candidates is surveyed.