All Presidents Are Above Average
In biographies for children, presidents are great even before they become president.
Updated Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, at 7:22 AM
Adults, accustomed to the harsh truths about our presidents revealed in newspaper accounts and best-selling biographies, can no longer perceive the glory of George W. Bush's Vietnam military service or admire the "marriage" of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But children labor under no such disillusions. So long as they stick to the thin books with the fat type, students may safely study our illustrious leaders, protected from harmful references to Watergate, Iran-Contra, or a certain president's taste for threesomes. Children's biographies of presidents show our leaders as role models even as youngsters. For Presidents Day, we've culled some quotes from presidential biographies written for children—and then compared the quotes to see how much more inspiring these versions are than their adult counterparts.
Cate Plys is a former columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Robert Leighton, a New Yorker cartoonist and puzzle-writer, most recently co-authoredThe New Yorker Book of Cartoon Puzzles and Games.