The Best Biographies of Zachary Taylor

My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies

ZTaylorStampSo far on this journey of twelve presidents and fifty-six biographies I’ve been surprised at how interesting I have found the lives of our former presidents. From the most-revered (Washington and Jefferson) to the unsuccessful (John Tyler comes to mind) to the infamous (that’s you, Andrew Jackson) I have never been disappointed. Until now.

Unlike several earlier presidents such as John Quincy Adams and Old Hickory, Zachary Taylor’s life was not tailor-made for a great movie, or an exciting biography. I should have known something unsatisfying loomed when biographer K. Jack Bauer wrote in his introduction that “Taylor’s career…was not only unexciting, but mundane and boring.” That appears to be the understatement of the year.

Note-to-self: when an author warns that his subject’s life was boring…time to fertilize the lawn or re-caulk the bathtub.

Nevertheless, Taylor’s life is instructive for what it can mean to find one’s self in…

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