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Sunday, November 17 2013

Historical researcher Pierce Word spent two-and-a-half years delving into American history to produce his new book Wisdom from the Oval Office. This remarkable compilation captures and highlights important, insightful and sometimes humorous observations of over 235 years of American history and 44 U.S. Presidents.

The character-revealing quotes—taken from prepared speeches, interviews, articles, personal letters, diaries, and informal conversations—are categorized into 40 topics. They reveal how the presidents weighed in on various aspects of government as well as on common issues such as education, friendship, happiness, life, love, and truth.

Despite dramatic political and social changes throughout our country’s history, most quotes are as relevant today as they were at the time they were made. For example:

“The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”  -  The Federalist, January 29, 1788."

James Madison

“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”  -  Independence Day address, July 4, 1821.

John Q. Adams

“There is a power in public opinion in this country, and I thank God for it.”  - 

Martin Van Buren
Speech at the U.S. Senate. December 5, 1837

“Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.”

Andrew Jackson
Quoted by Randy Okray in Crew Resource Management for the Fire Service (2004).

Overall, this collection of quotes conveys a comforting sense that wise and thoughtful men have held the highest in the land, and more than a few of them made the points with humor—sometimes not intentionally.

“Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.”

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.” 

Ronald Reagan

“I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it.”  -  Toast to Princess Margaret, November 17, 1965.

Lyndon Johnson

“Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government, too.”  -  Quoted by Maurice Charney in Comedy High and Low (1978)

Richard Nixon

“For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex...uh...setbacks.”  -  Address at the College of Southern Idaho, May 6, 1988.

George H. W. Bush

Many of the quotes are offered under more than one topic, so that readers can use them for a variety of references. Such cross-referencing gives the reader ease and flexibility in locating and using these fascinating insights into America's past and present heads of state.

About the author

Pierce Word studied at the College of DuPage in Illinois and later earned a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies with honors from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and an M.S. in Project Management from Boxton University.  He spent two years touring europe and the middle East. While in Cairo, he taught U.S. History and Englis as a second language. Over a 2 1/2 year period, he researched and cross-referenced speeches, letters and diaries of the American presidents, and compiled a collection of presidential quotations, the largest published collection to date. He lives with his wife in his native Chicago.

Wisdom from the Oval Office (Paperback, 303 pages) was published by the History Publishing Company.  It is available at Barnes and Noble booksellers and in fine bookstores nationally.  It may be purchased online at, and other internet sites globally.

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