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By: Nigel Hamilton

Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars became a classic of classical times: a virtuoso literary imperial portrait gallery by an already distinguished author, not only remarkable for its frank dissections (in contrast to contemporary commemorations) of Rome's great emperors, but also because the twelve men whom he chose were the embodiment - both good and bad - of Rome's greatest century.

The twentieth century has been called 'the American century', given its economic and military rise to superpower status in World War II, as well as its seemingly irresistible influence over global popular culture , politics and language ever since.

The time is ripe for a new work on the U.S. presidents of our own lifetime: from FDR to George W. Bush.

In what will become an essential book for our times, eminent biographer Nigel Hamilton offers an informative but intensely readable gallery of historical portraits that will encapsulate the age of American empire through the lives of its chief executives and the women they loved.