US President Bios

23: Benjamin Harrison

Recommended Book

The Presidency of Benjamin Harrison (The American Presidents Series)
by Homer E. Socolofsky and Allan B. Spetter
A factoid: Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President, was a grandson of William Henry Harrison, the 9th President. I had to triple check that this is true. Fourteen presidents in the space of the one generation that separates this grandfather-grandson duo sounds unrealistic at first, but makes sense seeing how the Harrison family had their children late and how short-lived some of the presidencies of the time were. With this digression out of the way, on to my book recommendation!

Harrison's presidency is, uh, not the most exciting and, hence, not many biographers have chosen Harrison as their subject. The most significant event of his term might have been the passing of the Sherman Antitrust Act (of Planet Money fame) and his wife putting up the first ever White House Christmas Tree. And personality-wise, Harrison must have been a rather quiet fellow, or some might say uninspiring. This is where the University of Kansas' series of presidential biographies shines: Short and to the point, factful, and skipping past other parts of the person's life to focus on the presidency. While I wouldn't recommend such a terse book for most other presidents, Socolofsky and Spetter's book is my recommendation as the most efficient way to check Benjamin Harrison of your reading list.

280 pages, published 1987

Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier President (Vol 3)

by Harry J. Sievers

320 pages, published 1968

Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier Statesman (Vol 2)

by Harry J. Sievers

502 pages, published 1959

Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier Warrior (Vol 1)

by Harry J. Sievers

344 pages, published 1952

Benjamin Harrison

by Charles W. Calhoun

224 pages, published 2005

Mr. President: A Life of Benjamin Harrison

by Ray E. Boomhower

224 pages, published 2018