List of autobiographies by presidents of the United States

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Ulysses S. Grant, working on his memoirs in 1885. His Personal Memoirs is considered by historians to be among the best by a U.S. President.

Many presidents of the United States have written autobiographies about their presidencies and/or (some periods of) their life before their time in office. Some 19th-century U.S. presidents who wrote autobiographies are James Buchanan and Ulysses S. Grant, though Grant's autobiography is about his time as General during the U.S. Civil War and not about his presidency. Some of the more recent U.S. presidential autobiographies, such as Bill Clinton's, George W. Bush's, and Barack Obama's (written and published before he was elected president) sold well enough to earn them millions of dollars.[1][2]

Autobiographies covering the period of their presidency[edit]

Note: Only publication information for the first edition is given.
Title President Publisher Date ISBN
The Autobiography of Martin Van Buren Martin Van Buren U.S. Government Printing Office 1920
Posthumously compiled and edited from Van Buren's manuscript materials by John C. Fitzpatrick.
Mr. Buchanan's Administration on the Eve of Rebellion James Buchanan D. Appleton and Company 1866
Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography Theodore Roosevelt Macmillan 1913
The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge Calvin Coolidge Cosmopolitan Book Corporation 1929
Previously published serially in the periodical Cosmopolitan.
The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover Herbert Hoover Macmillan 1951
Published in three volumes: Volume 1: Years of Adventure 1874-1920; Volume 2: The Cabinet and the Presidency 1920-1933; Volume 3: The Great Depression 1929-1941.
Memoirs: Year of Decisions Harry S. Truman Doubleday 1955
Memoirs: Years of Trial and Hope Harry S. Truman Doubleday 1956
The Autobiography of Harry S Truman Harry S. Truman Colorado Associated University Press 1980 ISBN 978-0-870-81090-9
Posthumously compiled and edited from Truman's manuscript materials by historian Robert Ferrell.
White House Years: Mandate for Change Dwight D. Eisenhower Doubleday 1963
White House Years: Waging Peace Dwight D. Eisenhower Doubleday
At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends Dwight D. Eisenhower Doubleday 1969 ISBN 978-0-915-99204-1
The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency 1963-1969 Lyndon B. Johnson Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1971 ISBN 978-0-030-84492-8
RN - The Memoirs of Richard Nixon Richard Nixon Grosset & Dunlap 1978 ISBN 978-0-448-14374-3
In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal Richard Nixon Simon & Schuster 1990 ISBN 978-0-671-70096-6
A Time to Heal Gerald Ford Harper & Row 1979 ISBN 978-0-060-11297-4
Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President Jimmy Carter Bantam Books 1982 ISBN 978-0-553-05023-3
A Full Life: Reflections at 90 Jimmy Carter Simon & Schuster 2015 ISBN 978-1-501-11563-9
An American Life Ronald Reagan Simon & Schuster 1990 ISBN 978-1-451-62839-5
A World Transformed George H. W. Bush Knopf Publishing Group 1998 ISBN 978-0-679-43248-7
My Life Bill Clinton Knopf Publishing Group 2004 ISBN 978-0-375-41457-2
Decision Points George W. Bush Crown Publishers 2010 ISBN 978-0-307-59061-9

Autobiographies not covering the period of their presidency[edit]

Title President Publisher Date ISBN
The Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson 1821
Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant Charles L. Webster & Company 1885–86
The Rough Riders Theodore Roosevelt Charles Scribner's Sons 1899
Mr. Citizen Harry S. Truman Independence Press 1960 ISBN 978-0830900954
Crusade in Europe Dwight D. Eisenhower Doubleday 1948 ISBN 978-0-8018-5668-6
Six Crises Richard Nixon Doubleday 1962 ISBN 978-0-385-00125-0
Where's the Rest of Me? Ronald Reagan Duell, Sloan and Pearce 1965 ISBN 978-0-918294-16-6
Why Not the Best?: The First Fifty Years Jimmy Carter Broadman Press 1975 ISBN 978-0-8054-5582-3
Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age Jimmy Carter Three Rivers Press 1993 ISBN 978-0-8129-2299-8
An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood Jimmy Carter Simon & Schuster 2001 ISBN 978-0-7432-1199-4
Looking Forward George H. W. Bush Doubleday 1987 ISBN 978-0-385-14181-9
A Charge to Keep George W. Bush William Morrow & Company 1999 ISBN 978-0-688-17441-5
Dreams from My Father Barack Obama Times Books 1995 ISBN 978-1-4000-8277-3
The Audacity of Hope Barack Obama Crown/Three Rivers Press 2006 ISBN 978-0-307-23769-9
Trump: The Art of the Deal Donald Trump Random House 1987 ISBN 978-0-446-35325-0
Trump: Surviving at the Top Donald Trump Random House 1990 ISBN 978-0-394-57597-1
Trump: The Art of the Comeback Donald Trump Times Books 1997 ISBN 978-0812929645

Published diaries and papers[edit]

Title President Editor Publisher Date ISBN
The Diary of James K. Polk James K. Polk
The Diary of James A. Garfield James A. Garfield
The Eisenhower Diaries Dwight D. Eisenhower Robert Ferrell W W Norton & Co Inc 1976 ISBN 978-0-393-33180-6
Prelude to Leadership: The European Diary of John F. Kennedy: Summer 1945 John F. Kennedy Regnery Publishing 1995 ISBN 978-0-89526-459-6
The Letters of John F. Kennedy John F. Kennedy Martin W. Sandler Bloomsbury Press 2013 ISBN 978-1-60819-271-7
Richard Nixon: Speeches, Writings, Documents Richard Nixon Rick Perlstein Princeton University Press 2010 ISBN 978-1-4008-3568-3
White House Diary Jimmy Carter Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2010 ISBN 978-0-374-28099-4
The Reagan Diaries Ronald Reagan Douglas Brinkley Harper Collins 2007 ISBN 978-0-06-087600-5
All the Best George H. W. Bush Scribner 1999 ISBN 978-0-684-83958-5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Americas | Clintons' earnings exceed $100m". BBC News. 2008-04-05. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  2. ^ Simon Mann, Washington. "'Man of Steel' barely rates a mention in Bush memoirs". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-04-08.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]