Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tall, Slim & Erect

One summer day while browsing at a flea market, writer and photographer Alex Forman came across a small wooden box containing thirty-seven 2" plastic miniatures of presidents Washington through Nixon. Intrigued by the stately, almost anonymous bearing of these figures, Forman decided to research the lives of the presidents contained in the box to learn more about the real men behind these models.

Eschewing the kind of patriotic biography that often characterizes and colors our perceptions of the presidents, Forman collected an assortment enlightening, endearing, and sometimes odd facts and gossip. These humorous and myth-busting thumbnail biographies have just been published in the Tall, Slim & Erect (Les Figues Press).

Some of my favorites are below.

"Benjamin Harrison's handshake was like a wilted petunia"

"Franklin Pierce was the most unambitious man ever to run for office."
"Truman always drove too fast."
"Poll, [Andrew] Jackson's parrot who could speak in Spanish and English, reportedly had to be removed from Jackson's funeral because the bird was cursing in both languages."

Tall, Slim & Erect is a delightful book and will certainly appeal to anyone who takes pleasure in American history and/or the absurdity found in the gulf between public and private personas. 

N.B.- Tall, Slim & Erect is not yet listed on our website. Please call the store at 415-387-2272 or stop by to get a copy.

No comments: