President’s Day with ChatGPT and 3 Alternatives

In honor of President’s Day, I put four large language models to a simple test. So simple that a web search would have done just as well. Actually, a web search would have been better as you’ll see below.

Testing 4 of the 80+ Productivity AI Tools

Photosonic created an AI image using the prompt: President Chester Arthur being a boss
Chester Arthur, created by Photosonic (part of Writesonic, as is Chatsonic)

In previous posts I’ve compared four models: ChatGPT, Chatsonic, Perplexity, and Playground. I’ll do the same here. I fed the same prompt into each of the models.

Prompt: What are the best books written about President Chester Arthur?

I’ll provide the results below in order of accuracy, from best to worst.

1st Place! Chatsonic

President Chester Arthur is a fascinating but often overlooked figure in American history, and there are many books that have been written about his life and times. 

  • Thomas C. Reeves’ “Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur” is considered to be the most comprehensive biography of Arthur, giving an in-depth look at his life and presidency [1]. 
  • Scott Greenberger’s “The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur” is another excellent biography of Arthur, telling the story of his rise to the presidency and how his background shaped his time in office [2]. 
  • Zachary Karabell’s “Chester Alan Arthur” is a shorter but equally powerful biography, which provides an excellent summary of Arthur’s life and legacy [3]. 

These books are all essential reads for anyone who wants to understand more about this important figure in American history.


[1] The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester …

[2] The Best Biographies of Chester Arthur

[3] By the Book: Chester Arthur | Miller Center

A second image of Chester Arthur as imagined by Photosonic
Another Photosonic rendition of Chester Arthur

2nd Place! Perplexity

Thomas Reeves’s “Gentleman Boss: The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur” is widely considered to be one of the best books written about President Chester Arthur[1][2].

Other recommended books include The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur by Michael Greenberger[3][4] and Essential Books on Chester A. Arthur[5].

(NOTE: this last citation is not for one book, but a link to a website with a compilation of the five “best” books about Arthur, three of which are not listed by any of the other three chatbots.)

3rd: ChatGPT

Here are some highly rated books about Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States:

  1. “Chester Alan Arthur” by Zachary Karabell
  2. “Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur” by Thomas C. Reeves
  3. “The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur” by Scott S. Greenberger
  4. “Chester A. Arthur: A Quarter-Century of Machine Politics” by Thomas J. Zelizer
    • #4 was actually written by George Frederick Howe
  5. “Chester A. Arthur: America’s 21st President” by Kendrick A. Clements
    • This “book” is a total fabrication; it doesn’t exist at all. Kendrick Clements did write books about Woodrow Wilson and others, but not about Arthur.

These books offer in-depth biographical information and historical analysis of Arthur’s life and presidency.

Last: Playground

  1. Chester A. Arthur: A Quarter-Century of Machine Politics by Thomas C. Reeves
    • Right title, wrong author.
  2. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller
    • WINNER!
  3. The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur by Thomas J. Osborne 
    • Right title, wrong author
  4. Mr. President: A Life of Chester Alan Arthur by Zachary Karabell
    • Doesn’t exist, see next line
  5. Chester Arthur: The American Presidents Series by Zachary Karabell
    • Only one book by Karabell, this one
  6. Chester A. Arthur: The Twenty-First President of the United States by Montrew Dunham 
    • A real author, not a real book
  7. Chester A. Arthur: His Life and Legacy by Zachary Karabell
    • Not a real book
  8. The Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester A. Arthur by Thomas C. Reeves
    • WINNER!
  9. Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur by Irwin F. Gellman 
    • Written by Reeves, not Gellman, see line above
  10. Citizen Arthur: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur by Thomas J. Osborne 
    • Not a real book

Part of this test was based on my assumption that it will do better with more popular parts of history, and not so great on more obscure history. Not sure that Chester Arthur is all that obscure, but certainly not as well known as the guys on Mount Rushmore, for example.

Also notice that the prompt did NOT ask for any certain number of books to be listed. Not sure why Playground wanted to go with a top ten (and had to make up more than half of them), but Chatsonic and Perplexity probably chose a wise course by only listing three books.

Lastly, I asked the same question regarding books about Abraham Lincoln. According to a simple web search, over 16,000 books and articles have been written about Lincoln. You’ll find several compilations of the Best 100 books about Lincoln. ChatGPT gave me a list of five books about Lincoln, but it included this book in that list:

“The Lincoln Lawyer” by Michael Connelly – This novel follows a defense attorney named Mickey Haller who uses a Lincoln Town Car as his office, and who takes on a case that involves defending a man accused of attempted murder. Although it is a work of fiction, the book has become a best-seller and has been adapted into a movie starring Matthew McConaughey.

1 of the 5 Abe Lincoln books recommended by ChatGPT

This book has nothing to do with Abraham Lincoln. Fail.

And finally, I asked Photosonic to create an image of Abraham Lincoln driving a Lincoln Continental. This was the result.

An AI image of Abe Lincoln sitting in a very old open automobile

Previous posts about ChatGPT and other AI models