Monday, February 16, 2004

Speaking of Good Ol' George Washington

Here is some of what our public school history books left out.

Not to mention the fact that a few other men have a legitimate claim to being the father of the country.

An enlightening new book by Cormac O'Brien sheds some new light on our "Imperfect G*d" and others who have held this nation's highest office.

"They're not only presidents but also human beings — flawed, neurotic, hapless, bizarre, frightened and sometimes depraved."

O'Brien states that George Washington spent 7 percent of his presidential salary on booze; John Quincy Adams liked to skinny dip in the Potomac; and Warren G. Harding once lost a box of White House china in a poker game.

A number of the men elected to the highest office in the land were uncharismatic cold fish, difficult owlish pills or lacking in interpersonal skills, according to O'Brien. Furthermore, lots were skirt chasers, while others were hard drinkers.

O'Brien's book, "Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the Men of the White House" (Quirk Books, $16.95), details, among other things, how many homely, lazy or weird men have made it to the Oval Office.

The 'Secret Lives' of U.S. Presidents from the Pioneer Press

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