My Fellow Americans
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My Fellow Americans

Assessing Each Presidents Inaugural Address

About the Book

On January 20th, the incoming president delivers their inaugural address in a tradition that goes back to 1789, with the first inauguration of George Washington. The address tells our fellow Americans – and our neighbors around the world – that the best is yet to come and provides a roadmap on how to get there.

My Fellow Americans brings together all of the inaugural addresses – from George Washington's first in 1789, up until Donald Trump's in 2016 – with 63 essays from leading scholars, speechwriters, historians, biographers, and experts on the presidents and their era. Contributors have won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, have been New York Times Bestsellers, National Book Award winners, editors of the papers of the presidents, and are all-around experts on their subject.

What was a president going to be dealing with heading into the highest office in the land? What decisions did they make and how did they impact the trajectory of the United States? What has their legacy been in & out of office? And what did they want to do for the country? These questions, and more, are answered by the wisdom of some of the people that know these presidents best.

Who are the contributors?

  1. George Washington’s 1st Inaugural Address – Stephen H. Browne @ Penn State University
  2. George Washington’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Kevin Butterfield @ Mt. Vernon
  3. John Adams Inaugural Address – Dr. R. M. Barlow @ The Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society
  4. Thomas Jefferson’s 1st Inaugural Address – Peter S. Onuf @ University of Virginia
  5. Thomas Jefferson’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Annette Gordon-Reed @ Harvard University
  6. James Madison’s 1st Inaugural Address – Stuart Leibiger @ La Salle University
  7. James Madison’s 2nd Inaugural Address – J. C. A. Stagg @ University of Virginia
  8. James Monroe’s 1st Inaugural Address– Daniel Preston @ The Papers of James Monroe, University of Mary Washington
  9. James Monroe’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Sandra Moats @ UW–Parkside
  10. John Quincy Adams – Dr. C. James Taylor @ The Digital Diary of John Quincy Adams, Massachusetts Historical Society
  11. Andrew Jackson’s 1st Inaugural Address – Harry L. Watson @ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  12. Andrew Jackson’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Thomas Coens @ The Papers of Andrew Jackson, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  13. Martin Van Buren’s Inaugural Address – Michael J. Gerhardt @ University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill
  14. William Henry Harrison’s Inaugural Address – Daniel Walker Howe @ UCLA
  15. John Tyler’s Address Upon Assuming the Presidency – Christopher J. Leahy @ Keuka College
  16. James K. Polk’s Inaugural Address – Walter R. Borneman, Historian & Lawyer
  17. Zachary Taylor’s Inaugural Address – Michael F. Holt @ University of Virginia
  18. Millard Fillmore’s Message Upon the Death of Zachary Taylor – Claude E. Welch Jr. @ SUNY—Buffalo
  19. Franklin Pierce’s Inaugural Address – Peter A. Wallner, Historian
  20. James Buchanan’s Inaugural Address – Jean H. Baker @ Goucher College
  21. Abraham Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address – David S. Reynolds @ Graduate Center, CUNY
  22. Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Richard Carwardine @ University of Oxford
  23. Andrew Johnson’s Message Upon the Death of Abraham Lincoln – Michael Les Benedict @ Ohio State University
  24. Ulysses S. Grant’s 1st Inaugural Address – Joan Waugh @ UCLA
  25. Ulysses S. Grant’s 2nd Inaugural Address – John F. Marszalek @ Ulysses S. Grant Association’s U. S. Grant Presidential Library
  26. Rutherford B. Hayes Inaugural Address – Dustin McLochlin @ Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
  27. James A. Garfield’s Inaugural Address – Charles W. Calhoun @ East Carolina University
  28. Chester A. Arthur’s Address Upon Assuming the Presidency – Walter T. K. Nugent @ University of Notre Dame
  29. Grover Cleveland’s 1st Inaugural Address – Mark W. Summers @ University of Kentucky
  30. Benjamin Harrison’s Inaugural Address – Allan B. Spetter @ Wright State University
  31. Grover Cleveland’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Matthew Algeo, Journalist & Author
  32. William McKinley’s 1st Inaugural Address – Christopher Capozzola @ MIT
  33. William McKinley’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Christopher McKnight Nichols @ Oregon State University
  34. Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address – Jean Yarbrough @ Bowdoin College
  35. William Howard Taft’s Inaugural Address – Jonathan Lurie @ Rutgers University
  36. Woodrow Wilson’s 1st Inaugural Address – Robert Enholm @ The Wilson Center
  37. Woodrow Wilson’s 2nd Inaugural Address – John Milton Cooper @ University of Wisconsin—Madison
  38. Warren G. Harding’s Inaugural Address – James Robenalt, Historian & Lawyer
  39. Calvin Coolidge’s Inaugural Address – Amity Shlaes @ Coolidge Foundation
  40. Herbert Hoover’s Inaugural Address – Kendrick A. Clements @ University of South Carolina
  41. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1st Inaugural Address – Cynthia M. Koch @ FDR Foundation
  42. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 2nd Inaugural Address – David M. Kennedy @ Stanford University
  43. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 3rd Inaugural Address – Michael Kazin @ Georgetown University
  44. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 4th Inaugural Address – David B. Woolner @ Marist College
  45. Harry S. Truman’s Inaugural Address – Andrew E. Busch @ Claremont McKenna College
  46. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Inaugural Address – Michael J. Birkner @ Gettysburg College
  47. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Inaugural Address – Louis Galambos @ The Papers of Dwight Eisenhower, Johns Hopkins
  48. John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address – Barbara Ann Perry @ University of Virginia
  49. Lyndon B. Johnson’s Inaugural Address – Mark K. Updegrove @ LBJ Foundation
  50. Richard Nixon’s 1st Inaugural Address – Ken Hughes @ University of Virginia
  51. Richard Nixon’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Thomas Schwartz @ Vanderbilt University
  52. Gerald Ford’s Address Upon Assuming the Presidency – John Robert Greene @ Cazenovia College
  53. Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Address – Mark Atwood Lawrence @ University of Texas at Austin
  54. Ronald Reagan’s 1st Inaugural Address – Gil Troy @ McGill University
  55. Ronald Reagan’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Iwan Morgan @ University College London
  56. George H. W. Bush’s Inaugural Address – Mary Kate Cary @ University of Virginia
  57. Bill Clinton’s 1st Inaugural Address – Steven M. Gillon @ University of Oklahoma
  58. Bill Clinton’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Russell Riley @ University of Virginia
  59. George W. Bush’s 1st Inaugural Address – James Mann @ Scholar in Residence, Johns Hopkins
  60. George W. Bush’s 2nd Inaugural Address – Mark J. Rozell @ George Mason University
  61. Barack Obama’s 1st Inaugural Address – Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting @ Vanderbilt University
  62. Barack Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Address – James T. Kloppenberg @ Harvard University
  63. Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address – Nicholas F. Jacobs @ Colby College

About the Author

Causes Supported

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defending your civil liberties in a digital world.

Based in San Francisco, EFF is a donor-supported membership organization working to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology.

From the Internet to the iPod, technologies are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.

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