Hottest Heads of State

A scientific and unbiased ranking of world leaders in order of hotness.

JD and Kate Visit…

JD and Kate Visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

Even though we’ve finished writing our book, can we still deduct the cost of visiting presidential museums from our taxes? There’s only one way to find out!

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

Independence, MO
Adults: $8 | Children (age 6-15): $3 | Children (5 and under): Free

Kate: I have never been more sleepy than on the day we visited the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, MO.

JD: Same. Sometimes, I get an idea in the middle of the night and write it down, but in the morning it makes no sense. That is what my notes from this visit are like. “How does this lettering get eroded.” “Black out parts of a love letter.” OK, JD, whatever you say!

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JD and Kate Visit the John Tyler Presidential Museum and Swamp Lair

We hope you enjoy this special Halloween edition of our presidential museum reviews. If you’d like to learn more misinformation about John Tyler, we humbly recommend this.

John Tyler museum entrance

The walkway to the museum entrance has a warning sign urging visitors to make sure they’re back over dry land by dark.

The John Tyler Presidential Museum and Swamp Lair

Great Dismal Swamp, VA
Adults: $10 | Children under 12: $5

Kate: To reach the John Tyler Presidential Museum and Swamp Lair, you have to drive 60 miles off the main highway into the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge that straddles the Virginia/North Carolina border.

JD: I like that they call it a swamp instead of a “forested wetland.” It is a swamp. You can smell it for a mile before you get there. If you had to pick one word to describe it, it would be “slimy.”

Kate: If I had to pick one word, it would be “swampy.”

JD: And, appropriately, it’s the home of the only swamp monster to serve as U.S. president: John Tyler.

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JD and Kate Visit the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

If you like Ulysses S. Grant, you will love our upcoming book, Hottest Heads of State: The American Presidents. You can just read the chapter on Ulysses S. Grant and throw the rest away!

The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Grantwood Village, MO
Adults: Free! | Children: Also free!

Kate: Our visit to the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site began by J.D. making me sit in the car and wait while he drank a huge cup of coffee.

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JD and Kate Visit the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

We visited a bunch of presidential museums while researching our book, Hottest Heads of State: The American Presidents. And you can come along with us—virtually!—by reading our review of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential museum exterior

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Grand Rapids, MI
Adults: $8 | Children (ages 6-18): $4

Kate: When I woke up that morning, I was so pumped to look at photos of a young, hot Gerald Ford.

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JD and Kate Visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Are you as excited as we are for the release of our book Hottest Heads of State: The American Presidents, on January 30, 2018? Probably not. But that’s OK. Healthy, even.


Exterior of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
Atlanta, GA
Adults: $8 | Children (16 and under): Free

JD: For a while we were wandering around a big park, lost, looking for the museum. When we finally stumbled upon it, I said, “The Carter Library sneaks up on you…just like the real Jimmy Carter!”

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J.D. and Kate Visit Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

As part of the research for our upcoming book,* we’ve been traveling around the country visiting presidential libraries and historical sites. And you can travel along with us—virtually!—by reading a review of each place we visit.

*It’s true! Hottest Heads of State: The American Presidents, is coming out from Henry Holt & Co. in January or February 2018. (We honestly don’t know whether it is January or February. Maybe we should ask someone!)


Born for a Storm

If you think no one in real life would ever use the #BornForAStorm hashtag, then you are wrong. In fact, it is a good way to get a counterpoint to our overbearingly sanctimonious view of Andrew Jackson and The Hermitage.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Nashville, TN
Adults: $20 | Students (ages 13-18): $15 | Children (ages 6-12): $10

JD: We visited The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s historical site, on November 9, 2016, the day after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. If you’re looking for something to help take your mind off a presidential election, I do not recommend visiting a presidential museum.

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J.D. and Kate Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

As part of the research for our upcoming book,* we’ve been traveling around the country visiting presidential libraries and historical sites. And you can travel along with us—virtually!—by reading our review of each place we visit. (Note that in this first installment, you’ll also be traveling through time, because we visited the Lincoln Presidential Library on Labor Day and are only now getting around to posting this. A terrifying insight into our work process!)

*It’s true! Hottest Heads of State: The American Presidents, coming out from Henry Holt & Co. Look for it in early 2018! Or go ahead and start looking for it now, and by the time it comes out, you’ll feel like you’ve really earned it.


Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Photo credit: Lee Adalf (because ugh we forgot to take a photo.)

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Springfield, IL
Adults: $15 | Children (ages 5-15): $6

Kate: As we pulled up to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, it occurred to me that it is not a great place to begin this series, because after this every other presidential library is going to be a huge letdown. We should have started with Herbert Hoover.

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