Eight times in American history vice presidents have ascended to the presidency as a result of the death in office of the president; four times by assassination. The job of vice president tended to be irrelevant and those selected to run on the ticket were back room accommodations to resolve party factions or an attempt to win a particular state. While Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson are quite familiar to us, much of the book’s interest lies in the lesser known, less successful “accidents”: John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur and Calvin Coolidge. The first book we will be reading is Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America by Jared Cohen (Simon & Schuster, 2019). As a bonus we will read about Gerald Ford, who became President when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. The book is Gerald Ford by Douglas Brinkley (Presidential series: Times Books, Henry Holt & Company, 2007). These “accidental’’ presidents are all part of the history of presidential succession, the question being whether they were any better or worse than our non-accidental, duly elected presidents.