The American historian Henry Adams has gone on record as saying that the president "resembles the commander of a ship at sea. He must have a helm to grasp, a course to steer, a port to seek." And it is true that every incumbent of the White House has put his own individual mark on the course of American history. This course, of course, has always been dependent on how each president viewed the exalted office he held. There have been monumental hits and equally monumental misses. There have been presidents who redefined America in a remarkably positive way; there have also been ones who the nation could probably have done without. Most unfortunately, there have been presidents who came with a bang and disappeared with a whimper. Be that as it may, none of their manifestos and proclamations could be faulted to begin with - which is why they rose to the presidency in the first place. Most of their speeches, debates and even offhand remarks have been carefully transcribed, recorded and interpreted for between-the-lines meaning (especially from the historical perspective). It is therefore always refreshing and enlightening, for a variety of reasons, to watch them in verbal action. On these grounds, I can highly commend this fascinating set of DVDs from A2ZCDS - this is live presidential history, and depicts some of our more notable Chief Executives as they were - or hoped to be.