The president of the United States is a highly visible public figure, a bearer of immense responsibility, and the subject of intense scrutiny. He is accountable for war, economic depression, domestic strife, national security, partisan politics, and overseas conflict. Presidents, Second Edition closely examines the hopes and disappointments, the victories and defeats, and the integrity and perfidy of the men who have held this office. With current information through the January 2005 inauguration, Presidents, Second Edition is an expertly written, detailed reference that narrates and explains the lives and careers of America's presidents. It is an essential guide for anyone seeking a complete understanding of the development and workings of the United States government and a great read for those who are fascinated by the interplay of politics and power and interested in an analysis of career and legacy. Comprehensive and accessible, this edition contains biographies and portraits of all presidents, a detailed chronology of the political history of the United States from the Revolution to the present, and suggested further reading about each president.