How To Fight Presidents by Daniel O’Brien | Audiobook Review

How To Fight Presidents by Daniel O’Brien | Audiobook ReviewHow to Fight Presidents by Daniel O'Brien
Narrator: Richard McGonagle
Length: 6 Hours 1 Minute
Published by Crown Publishing Group on 2014
Genres: Form, History, Humor, Political, Topic, Trivia, United States
Pages: 272
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

Make no mistake: Our founding fathers were more bandanas-and-muscles than powdered-wigs-and-tea.   As a prisoner of war, Andrew Jackson walked several miles barefoot across state lines while suffering from smallpox and a serious head wound received when he refused to polish the boots of the soldiers who had taken him captive. He was thirteen years old. A few decades later, he became the first popularly elected president and served the nation, pausing briefly only to beat a would-be assassin with a cane to within an inch of his life. Theodore Roosevelt had asthma, was blind in one eye, survived multiple gunshot wounds, had only one regret (that there were no wars to fight under his presidency), and was the first U.S. president to win the Medal of Honor, which he did after he died. Faced with the choice, George Washington actually preferred the sound of bullets whizzing by his head in battle over the sound of silence.   And now these men--these hallowed leaders of the free world--want to kick your ass.   Plenty of historians can tell you which president had the most effective economic strategies, and which president helped shape our current political parties, but can any of them tell you what to do if you encounter Chester A. Arthur in a bare-knuckled boxing fight? This book will teach you how to be better, stronger, faster, and more deadly than the most powerful (and craziest) men in history. You're welcome.

Why Did I Listen To This Audiobook?

I never would have known How To Fight Presidents by Daniel O’Brien even existed if I had not read Christina’s review. And the truth is, I don’t even think I would have needed a review to convince me to read the book, all I would need to know is that this book exists because it’s such an April kind of book. That said, reading Christina’s review pushed me over the edge and into PURCHASE THIS BOOK NOW TERRITORY. Let’s be real for a minute here, I am a total history dork and will the heck out of any pop history book, especially when that book is one that is humorous and tongue in cheek and fun. So, yeah, I had to rush out, purchase the audiobook of How To Fight Presidents and listen to it IMMEDIATELY.

What’s How To Fight Presidents About?

O’Brien’s book begins with him talking about a professor who said he would never be president which prompted O’Brien to read like every book about American presidents ever written. He sort of writes this book as revenge. From that introduction, the book is divided into chapters about each president of the United States going in chronological order with some interesting factoids about the President in question and then strategies that you can use to beat that President if they ever come back to life and decide to fight you. Basically this is the perfect coffee table and entertainment book for people like me.

What Did I Learn From How To Fight Presidents?

First, that Daniel O’Brien and I share something in common – we both love the shit out of Theodore Roosevelt. Seriously, I am so sad he is not alive today because he’s my favorite president ever. Also, that in a fight you do not want to take on Theodore Roosevelt. It’s good to have him on your team though, because he’ll go berzerk, it’s awesome. Also that Millard Fillmore has nothing interesting about him. Oh and that Andrew Jackson was a total badass, minus his terrible policies towards Native Americans. Also, that all my favorite presidents had pretty interesting chapters. What else? Oh there’s this really awesome passage on the Monroe Doctrine that for once made it something that I was interested in. See — I was the history person who liked the stories and learning about cultures and people, but I hated learning about documents. Like treaties and such really bored me. Oh what else! Abraham Lincoln will kick all our asses in a fight. Really, I just loved this book.

How’s The Narration?

The audiobook of How To Fight Presidents opens with O’Brien narrating why he wrote the book. Then the narration switches over to Richard McGonagle who has this very official sounding voice. Like, his voice reminds me of that commercial where James Earl Jones and William Shattner read Facebook messages. But yeah, McGonagle’s voice is so serious and studious sounding and it’s hilarious in conjunction with O’Brien’s text. I thought the narration really worked and I feel like this is totally an audiobook I would listen to again. Also, it’s produced by Listening Library and takes 6 hours and 1 minute to listen to.

Who Would I Recommend This Audiobook To?

Essentially this book should be given to history fans with a sense of humor. Do not give this book to someone who does not know the meaning of the word JOKE. I kind of wish this book could be in school libraries even though it’s probably wildly inappropriate because it’s hilarious and interesting and could just potentially spark an interest in the past.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This made me laugh so hard. I love history so much but also hate when people take things too seriously. Perfect GIF.