I've been fascinated by the Presidents and the Presidency of the United States for my entire life. I remember thinking that, if I found out what traits all the Presidents shared, and how they differed from their opponents, I might be able to figure out how to become President.
In 2007, I turned that fascination into actual research using concrete measures: height, age, fertility, and so on. And I wrote the book: The Presidential Book of Lists: From Most to Least, Elected to Rejected, Worst to Cursed—Fascinating Facts About Our Chief Executives. Random House rushed it into print in time for the election of 2008.
While I was doing that research, I also discovered fascinating facts about those closest to the Presidents: their Vice Presidents and First Ladies. In the midst of my research into the Presidents, I learned that William Rufus DeVane King wasn't just a name on the list of Vice Presidents, and I discovered why he was inaugurated in Cuba, and just how close he was to President Buchanan. I discovered unusual facts, such as that the thirty-sixth Vice President became the thirty-seventh President, while the thirty-seventh Vice President became the thirty-sixth President.
I tracked the remarkable accomplishments of famous First Ladies, such as Hillary Clinton, who became Secretary of State; Eleanor Roosevelt, who was her husband's eyes and ears across the country; and Edith Wilson, who may have been acting President. And there are those less famous, though still important, First Ladies, such as Frances Cleveland, who became First Lady at the age of twenty-one; Louisa Adams, who was the only foreign-born First Lady; and Rachel Jackson, who almost cost her husband the election, then died before his inauguration.
In short, I realized there is enough fascinating material to write a companion volume to The Presidential Book of Lists.
So I'm coming to you, the Kickstarter community, to help fund the completion of Ranking the Powers Behind the Oval Office: Vice Presidents, First Ladies, and Presidential Appointees.
Ranking the Powers... will share its format with the first book: a series of top-five lists comparing and contrasting the people closest to the President. It will be divided into sections covering the Vice Presidents, the First Ladies, other family members, members of the Presidential Cabinets, and the Supreme Court justices. There will also be general sections giving information on all the Vice Presidents and First Ladies, and my determination of the characteristics of the average Vice President and average First Lady.
My research is completed, and the writing is nearly finished. Now I turn to you for the financial help to turn this labor of love into a finished, presentable, readable book.
Thank you for your consideration, and for your help.