Worst. President. Ever.

  • by Robert Strauss
  • Narrated by Tom Perkins
  • 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Worst. President. Ever. flips the great presidential biography on its head, offering an enlightening - and highly entertaining - account of poor James Buchanan's presidency to prove once and for all that, well, few leaders could have done worse.
But author Robert Strauss does much more, leading listeners out of Buchanan's terrible term in office - meddling in the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, exacerbating the Panic of 1857, helping foment the John Brown uprisings and "Bloody Kansas", virtually inviting a half-dozen states to secede from the Union as a lame duck, and on and on - to explore with insight and humor his own obsession with presidents, and ultimately the entire notion of ranking our presidents. He guides us through the POTUS rating game of historians and others who have made their own Mount Rushmores - or Marianas Trenches - of presidential achievement, showing why Buchanan easily loses to any of the others, but also offering insights into presidential history buffs like himself, the forgotten "lesser" presidential sites, sex and the presidency, the presidency itself, and how and why it can often take the best measures out of even the most dedicated men.


What the Critics Say

"Strauss maintains a light tone, but doesn't sacrifice substance in offering solid historic detail and insights into American politics as the country careened toward civil war." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


James Buchanan (1791-1868) the 15th President was a Pennsylvanian and a Southern Democrat. According to author, Robert Strauss, he was the worst president ever. Strauss states he meddled in the Supreme Court decision in the matter of a runaway slave Dred Scott. Strauss states Buchanan managed to trash almost everything he touched most of all setting the Civil War into motion.

Strauss states Buchanan was arrogant, misaligned, indecisive, misread current events and was a self-styled strict constructionist. Apparently, he also refused to listen to or seek good counsel. Strauss states his two closes rivals for the worst president are Warren G. Harding and Franklin Pierce.

The writing is average but the book is well researched. The book is written in an entertaining and humorous fashion. This is not a scholarly academic book. The author has overstated and simplified situations to make his point. The factors leading to the Civil War were years in the making and far more complex than indicated by the author. But the book was fun to read and highlighted a lesser known president.

Tom Perkins did a good job narrating the book. Perkins is an award-winning audiobook narrator.
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- Jean

Begging to be updated for 45

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, if only to provide further documentation that there was, and was only ever one, cause of the Civil War... slavery. The book does a decent job in detailing Buchanan's significant role in exacerbating the conflict.

If you’ve listened to books by Robert Strauss before, how does this one compare?

This is the only book by Robert Strauss I've seen or read. He has a deliberate style, punctuated by some unnecessarily florid prose.... "the time had almost come for the fat lady's quavering warble."

Have you listened to any of Tom Perkins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Good performance, but it's first time I've had to listen at 1.5x. Not for the content, but 1x seemed painfully slow.

Could you see Worst. President. Ever. being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Not unless it was a sitcom of a satirical nature.

Any additional comments?

It seems like the author would prefer Buchanan to be remembered as the worst President ever, rather than gay, not that those would be mutually exclusive.

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- Buretto

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-27-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio