I received a book from Whitman Publishing, LLC, after I ordered some coin supplies. The company titled the book Whitman Insider Guide: Collecting Presidential Dollars. Q. David Bowers wrote this Official Whitman Guidebook, the fifth volume in a small series, but knowing he was the author took some research on the Internet to find that out.
This small book takes only a few hours to read. Ironically, it does not tell how a collector can get presidential dollars; it mainly outlines the background of each American president and their contributions. It does show other coins, tokens, and commemorative coins that have been made in the past, but they take only a passing interest to the presidents’ biographies. The information gives quick summaries of political events, dates, and trivia. Although not a comprehensive reference book, it can help students in the grade school system to memorize names and dates. I would have wanted this book if it had been available to me in my AP American History class in high school. Particularly interesting are the names and dates of the first wives and children of these presidents. The biographies seem trustworthy and accurate until you come to the most recent presidents, and then they seem biased. I crack up when I read “unwise dalliance” in the 42nd President’s biography (120). The decorous wording may cause children to ask their parents for the meaning of the phrase, which may in turn create an awkward conversation.
Who are your favorite presidents? Mine are few. I include Washington only because he is an icon and the first. I admire Lincoln the most because of his perseverance during a bloody and horrible war. I remember Reagan as an approachable president throughout my childhood. If someone asks me which president I would like to invite to dinner, I will answer that I would invite John Quincy Adams, because of his “support of literature, art, and science” (20). I would like to know what his favorite books were and why. I doubt though that he would be interested in coins.