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Mr. Hannaford’s summaries of the high and low points of each president’s tenure are brief, but helpful. His biases occasionally come through, and he usually has more favorable things to say about Republicans than about Democrats.

These minor shortcomings don’t detract much from the overall caliber of “Presidential Retreats: Where They Went and Why They Went There.” It’s an enjoyable and insightful look at an often overlooked topic.

• Claude R. Marx, an award-winning journalist, regularly reviews books for publications such as the Boston Globe and the Weekly Standard. He is writing a biography of William Howard Taft.