"God bless my mother, all I am or ever hope to be I owe to her." -- Abraham Lincoln What are the family circumstances that have created our presidents? How did their upbring-ing shape their future and ours? New York Times bestselling author Doug Wead answers these questions in one of the most comprehensive studies of presidential families to date. When one thinks about the leadership qualities of George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt or the intellectual prowess of John Adams and Abraham Lincoln, it is hard to imagine them as children. It is even more difficult to envision the parents of our leaders, especially the larger-than-life idols of our political past. Our greatest presidents have entered the Oval Office armed with overwhelming ambition, intellect, and political savvy. But were these characteristics evident in childhood? The Raising of a President is a groundbreaking look at the parents of the American presidents, full of never-before-seen facts and anecdotes, as well as psychological profiles based on Wead's findings. He analyzes the types of families into which our presidents were born, and sheds a fascinating light on how their destinies were shaped during childhood. Using countless presidential correspondences and letters, as well as notes from hours of his own private conversations and interviews with six presidents and first ladies, Wead focuses specifically on the early life of our first president, George Washington; John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and the making of our nation's first political empire; the humble beginnings of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln; the privileged upbringing of Franklin Delano Roosevelt; the ambitious rise of John Fitzgerald Kennedy; and the "quiet dynasty" led by George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush. Throughout The Raising of a President, readers will find that the circumstances and events that would destroy most children were often the very things that sparked greatness in our nation's future leaders. These are the stories of the presidents' parents, but in a truer sense, they are the stories of the presidents themselves, from a perspective that is long overdue.
Doug Wead is a former special assistant to President George H. W. Bush and is now a prominent corporate and university campus speaker. A cofounder of the relief organization Mercy Corps and author of twenty-seven books, including the New York Times bestseller All the Presidents' Children, he lives near Washington, D.C., with his family. Visit his websites at www.dougwead.com and www.mercycorps.com.