Close Calls: How Eleven US Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
288 0
Close Calls: How Eleven US Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death
Age Range
9+
Release Date
January 07, 2020
ISBN
978-1547600236
Buy This Book
      
Historians tell the stories of tragic and untimely presidential deaths, but often forgotten are the near misses. JFK and his fellow servicemen spent six days on a desert island with only coconuts to eat after a deadly attack during WWII. Abe Lincoln was forced to take a train trip in disguise while America's first female detective worked to foil an early assassination attempt. And when Andrew Jackson was attacked by an upset citizen who had been stalking him for months, frontiersman Davey Crockett was the one to save him. With pacy, immediate writing and including supplemental archival photographs and archival materials, this book chronicles thrilling undertold stories of U.S. presidents' moments of bravery.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Presidential resilience and determination
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
N/A
Learning Value 
 
5.0
There was a recent Jeopardy! champion who apparently got himself up to speed on many areas of knowledge by reading children's nonfiction books. This would have been an excellent one to consult for information about presidents and their lesser known brushes with death!

The most interesting thing about this is that it wasn't all information about assassination attempts that I've read before. Readers who like war stories will be drawn in by Kennedy's PT-109 story (instead of November of 1963), and Ford's service on the USS Monterey (instead of the two attempts on his life while in office), and Eisenhower's involvement in World War II. The spying that George Washington had to deal with while he was otherwise engaged in the Revolutionary War is something I didn't know about, and the sidebar about the Tories was informative as well. Andrew Jackson's temperament and demeanor are described in enough detail that I was almost sympathetic to Richard Lawrence and his malfunctioning, damp pistols. Harry Truman's would be assassins, however, were almost a comedy of errors, although I am very glad that Truman was saved because he was living at Blair House while the White House was being renovated.
Good Points
Each entry is less than ten pages long, and written in a particularly fast-paced, engaging way. The tone is a bit flippant at times (Page 4 of the E ARC: "The constant spying drove Washington batty"), but only when the person discussed is not in any real danger. The section on Lincoln, and his dealings with the Pinkerton Detective Agency, was particularly gripping, and had me holding my breath with the one line description of events. Theodore Roosevelt also gets a treatment worthy of a man willing to give a ninety minute speech after his notes saved him from getting a bullet to his lungs, even though he did get hit and was bleeding!

It would have been nice to have the presidential portraits of the leaders discussed, although many readers today would just look those up online.(https://www.whitehousehistory.org/galleries/presidential-portraits)

My only real problem with the book was that the E ARC was a bit slow to load, making it difficult to go back and list all of the presidents mentioned. The table of contents has clever titles, but does not list the subjects.

The short, high-interest discussions of various incidents might lead readers to further pursue longer books, like Swanson's Chasing Lincoln's Killer, Seiple's Death on the River of Doubt (Roosevelt), and Martin's In Harm's Way (Kennedy). This is a compelling, quotable book that is sure to interest readers who like history, danger, or who want to add some presidential anecdotes to their lunch table conversation!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Elysium Girls
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From a lush, dazzlingly original new voice in young adult...
The Lost Legends
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
A plague. A prophecy. A centuries-long curse. All her...
In the Hall with the Knife
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A murderer could be around every corner in this...
Girls With Razor Hearts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Make me a girl with a razor heart… It’s...
Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire's award-winning, bestselling Wayward...
When Wishes Bleed
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. The upheaval in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ali McMillian almost drowned. It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill accident either;...
Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling...
Moonscript
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"It is said that Darkness is empty and whatever vanishes...
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl...
Meet Me at Midnight
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
They have a love-hate relationship with summer. ...
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this epic sequel to Once & Future, to save...
11004295_10203571569113600_1962266189_n.jpg
 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
*****Best YA Book & Author of the Year***** The...
We Unleash the Merciless Storm
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Being a part of the resistance group La Voz...
The Everything I Have Lost
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
12-year-old Julia keeps a diary about her life growing...

Latest Member Reviews

Elysium Girls
 
4.3
"ELYSIUM GIRLS is an engaging YA historical fantasy/dystopian. In the 1930s, an area of Oklahoma suddenly got cut off from..."
Girls With Razor Hearts
 
5.0
"Now that Mena and the other girls have escaped Innovations Academy, they find their past hasn't left them. Mena vows..."
The Lucky Ones
 
5.0
"THE LUCKY ONES is quite an emotional ride. The book follows May and Zach in alternating first person points-of-view. May..."
 
4.0
"GIRL, SERPENT, THORN is a YA fairytale retelling by Melissa Bashardoust. The story follows Soraya, a princess who is cursed..."
Meet Me at Midnight
 
4.0
"MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT is a book that reminds readers of all the possibilities and freedom of summer vacation. We..."
Sword in the Stars (Once & Future, #2)
 
5.0
"SWORD IN THE STARS is a satisfying conclusion to a delightful YA fantasy retelling of King Arthur in space! Picking..."
The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)
 
4.0
"THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION by Kiersten White is the first book in a YA retelling of the classic Arthurian legend. Guinevere,..."
Crave
 
4.3
"CRAVE is a really engaging new YA fantasy/paranormal romance that follows Grace in the first person. Grace lost her parents..."
Golden Arm
 
5.0
"Lazarus Weathers lives in the Jet City trailer park in Seattle with his mother and half brother, Antonio. He has..."
Ember Queen (Ash Princess, #3)
 
4.3
"EMBER QUEEN is a great conclusion to the Ash Princess trilogy. Picking up right where book 2 left off, Theo..."
Kissing Lessons
 
5.0
"'Kissing Lessons' by Sophie Jordan is a well-written, entertaining story about a variety of main characters, including Hayden Vargas, Nolan..."
Lady Smoke (Ash Princess, #2)
 
5.0
"LADY SMOKE is every bit as addictive as the first in this engrossing trilogy. Picking up where the first book..."
The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret, #1)
 
4.0
"The Queen's Assassin is a fantasy romance geared toward the younger YA reader. It is told from the first person..."
Ash Princess (Ash Princess, #1)
 
5.0
"ASH PRINCESS is an engaging YA fantasy that takes us to the conquered land of Astrea. Theodosia's mother, the Fire..."
The Everything I Have Lost
 
4.3
"At age twelve, Julia starts writing in a diary. She writes about what she witnesses in her town of Juarez,..."
Sting
 
3.3
"STING is an intriguing YA dystopian retelling of THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO. The world has been ravaged by climate..."
The Paper Girl of Paris
 
4.0
"The Paper Girl of Paris is written by journalist Jordyn Taylor and is set in both historical 1940’s and nowadays..."
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
5.0
"THE MIDNIGHT LIE is a lush and atmospheric YA fantasy. The book transports us to another world, where people are..."
Defy the Sun (The Offering Series, #2)
 
4.7
"DEFY THE SUN is a fantastic conclusion to this YA fantasy duology. This book picks up right where the first..."
We Unleash the Merciless Storm
 
3.7
"Carmen Santos cover as a La Voz soldier has been exposed. She flees back to the La Voz's headquarters, leaving..."