Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles & Scrawls from the Oval Office

Front Cover
Basic Books, 2006 - History - 223 pages
18 Reviews
What were the leaders of the free world really doing during all those meetings? As the creators of Cabinet magazine reveal here for the first time, they were doodling. Our Founding Fathers doodled, and so did Andrew Jackson. Benjamin Harrison accomplished almost nothing during his time in the White House, but he left behind some impressive doodles. During the twentieth century--as the federal bureaucracy grew and meetings got longer--the presidential doodle truly came into its own. Theodore Roosevelt doodled animals and children, while Dwight Eisenhower doodled weapons and self-portraits. FDR doodled gunboats, and JFK doodled sailboats. Ronald Reagan doodled cowboys and football players and lots of hearts for Nancy. The nation went wild for Herbert Hoover's doodles: A line of children's clothing was patterned on his geometric designs. The creators of Cabinet magazine have spent years scouring archives and libraries across America. They have unearthed hundreds of presidential doodles, and here they present the finest examples of the genre. Historian David Greenberg sets these images in context and explains what they reveal about the inner lives of our commanders in chief. Are Kennedy's dominoes merely squiggles, or do they reflect deeper anxieties about the Cold War? Why did LBJ and his cabinet spend so much time doodling caricatures of one another? Smart, revealing, and hilarious -- Presidential Doodles is the ideal gift for anyone interested in politics or history. And for anyone that doodles!

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thatotter - LibraryThing

Sort of what you'd expect. Some of the doodles are funny/noteworthy, and a few of the captions put them in interesting context. Most of the time, though, I felt the authors were overreaching in their interpretations of why particular things may have been drawn--sometimes a doodle is just a doodle! Read full review

Review: Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles, and Scrawls from the Oval Office squiggles & scrawls from the Oval Office

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

The intro to the book made it pretty clear that doodles don't provide much insight into what's going on in a persons head. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining glimpse into what mindless things different people drew. Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Sasha Archibald is the former Associate Editor and Sina Najafi the current Editor-in-Chief of Cabinet magazine. Described by the New York Times as voracious, omnivorous, and playful, Cabinet is a nonprofit quarterly dedicated to creating a new culture of curiosity about the world.

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