president

  John Quincy Adams was the last of his kind—a Puritan from the age of the Founders who despised party and compromise, yet dedicated himself to politics and government. The son of John Adams, he was a brilliant ambassador and secretary of state, a frustrated president at a historic turning point in American politics, and a dedicated congressman who literally died in office—at the age of 80, in the House of Representatives, in the midst of an impassioned political debate.

In John Quincy Adams, scholar and journalist James Traub draws on Adams’ diary, letters, and writings to evoke a diplomat and president whose ideas remain with us today.

  History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s.

In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.

  Herbert Clark Hoover was the thirty-first President of the United States. He served one term, from 1929 to 1933. Often considered placid, passive, unsympathetic, and even paralyzed by national events, Hoover faced an uphill battle in the face of the Great Depression.

Many historians dismiss him as merely ineffective. But in Herbert Hoover in the White House,Charles Rappleye draws on rare and intimate sources—memoirs and diaries and thousands of documents kept by members of his cabinet and close advisors—to reveal a very different figure than the one often portrayed. The real Hoover, argues Rappleye, just lacked the tools of leadership.

  Our government is failing us. From health care to immigration, from the tax code to climate change, our political institutions cannot deal effectively with the challenges of modern society. Why the dysfunction? Contemporary reformers single out the usual suspects, including polarization and the rise in campaign spending. But what if the roots go much deeper, to the nation’s founding?

In Relic, William Howell and Terry Moe point to the Constitution as the main culprit. The framers designed the Constitution some 225 years ago for a simple agrarian society. But the form of government they settled upon, a separation of powers system with a parochial Congress at its center, is entirely ill-equipped to address the serious social problems that arise in a complex, post-industrial nation. We are prisoners of the past, burdened with an antiquated government that cannot make effective policy, and often cannot do anything at all.

The solution is to update the Constitution for modern times.

  More than a century has passed since Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House, but he still continues to fascinate. Never has a more exuberant man been our nation's leader. He became a war hero, reformed the NYPD, busted the largest railroad and oil trusts, passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, created national parks and forests, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and built the Panama Canal―to name just a few.

Yet it was the cause he championed the hardest―America's entry in to WWI―that would ultimately divide and destroy him. His youngest son, Quentin, his favorite, would die in an air fight. How does looking at Theodore's relationship with his son, and understanding him as a father, tell us something new about this larger-than-life-man?

Eric Burns explores the story and relationship in his book, The Golden Lad: The Haunting Story of Quentin and Theodore Roosevelt.

A child of wealth and privilege possessing unlimited will and ambition, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, seemed destined for the presidency. The nation he lead was large in population, rich in resources, committed to a universal ideology of liberal democracy, and destined for grand geopolitical power. A man and a nation were each poised on the brink of greatness. FDR's twelve years in The White House culminated in what can justly be called an 'American century'. This convergence of individual and national destinies created a large and complex story that remains essential to our understanding the world in which we live in today. 

In his new book The Age of Clinton: America In The 1990s, historian Gil Troy, asks us to look past our prejudices about William Jefferson Clinton's Presidency and instead focus on the way in which his time in office shaped the culture of the 1990's. The book also of course sheds light on Hillary Clinton's Political career as we approach the 2016 Presidential Election.

  What drove a painfully shy outcast in elite Washington society—a man so self-conscious he refused to make eye contact during meetings—to pursue power and public office? How did a president so attuned to the American political id that he won reelection in a historic landslide lack the self-awareness to recognize the gaping character flaws that would drive him from office and forever taint his legacy?

In Being Nixon, Evan Thomas peels away the layers of the complex, confounding figure who became America’s thirty-seventh president.

    In Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America, Jonathan Darman tells the story of two giants of American politics, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, and shows how, from 1963 to 1966, these two men—the same age, and driven by the same heroic ambitions—changed American politics forever.

  All the tapes and documentation of the high crimes that led to his resignation of President Richard Nixon are all on the record. Now, Journalist Tim Weiner draws on the millions of words from the tapes and top-secret documents from the Nixon administration that have been released in the past three years, some in just the past few months.

Weiner says it’s clear that many of these tapes and documents- purportedly kept secret to protect America’s national security - have been hidden to protect the ex-president from additional disgrace. His new book is One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon.

First Ladies

Apr 29, 2015

  C-SPAN’s yearlong history series, First Ladies: Influence and Image, featured interviews with more than fifty preeminent historians and biographers. In the resulting book, First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women, these experts paint intimate portraits of all forty-five first ladies—their lives, ambitions, and unique partnerships with their presidential spouses.

Susan Swain and the C-SPAN team elicit the details that made these women who they were: how Martha Washington intentionally set the standards followed by first ladies for the next century; how Edith Wilson was complicit in the cover-up when President Wilson became incapacitated after a stroke; and how Mamie Eisenhower used the new medium of television to reinforce her, and her husband’s, positive public images.

  Every American president, when faced with a crisis, longs to take bold and decisive action. When American lives or vital interests are at stake, the public—and especially the news media and political opponents—expect aggressive leadership. But, contrary to the dramatizations of Hollywood, rarely does a president have that option.

  George Washington was famously unknowable, a man of deep passions hidden behind a facade of rigid self-control. Yet before he was a great general and president, Washington was a young man prone to peevishness and a volcanic temper. His greatness as a leader evolved over time, the product of experience and maturity but also a willed effort to restrain his wilder impulses.

Robert Middlekauff focuses on Washington’s early years in his new book, Washington's Revolution: The Making of America's First Leader.

  Scott Berg, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author of Lindbergh, Kate Remembered, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, and Goldwyn, received remarkable acclaim this past year for Wilson, his first book published in more than ten years.

Wilson is a biography of Berg’s boyhood hero Woodrow Wilson, the enormously important and influential but enigmatic and often mischaracterized twenty-eighth President of the United States. 

Audio Pending...

  Col. Ray "Frenchy" L'Heureux always dreamed of bring a pilot. It wasn't until he was running low on college funds and saw a recruiter at his college that he joined the Marines and began the journey towards his dream from Parris Island to Bravo Company and, then, officer training school. One day at an airfield when President Reagan landed on this way to a fundraiser, Frenchy's life changed forever when encountered HMX1, the squadron that flies the President in Marine One. When he saw the white-topped Sea King and White Hawk helicopters, he was determined to become part of that elite group.

Inside Marine One is Col. L'Heureux's inspiring story of a young man who dreamed of flying, trained, studied and worked hard to become the pilot who ended up serving four US Presidents - George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

    One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. 

And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson--the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th President.

  Former President Jimmy Carter has written his 28th book: A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.

He writes about his concern that for political or religious reasons, more females have been murdered worldwide than all of the people who have died in every war during that same span of time.

In an article March 6th in the left-leaning magazine The Nation, Vermont Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders told interviewer John Nichols that he is “prepared to run for president of the United States.” What does his home state think about that? 

    Renowned artist Maira Kalman sheds light on the fascinating life and interests of the Renaissance man who was our third president.

Thomas Jefferson is perhaps best known for writing the Declaration of Independence—but there’s so much more to discover. This energetic man was interested in everything. He played violin, spoke seven languages and was a scientist, naturalist, botanist, mathematician and architect. He designed his magnificent home, Monticello, which is full of objects he collected from around the world.

  In a Fox News poll in December 2013, 28% responded that Obama was one of the worst presidents while a similar number—22% -- rated him as great or the greatest.

What makes a bad president? Who else is in the running? And how can a sitting president be viewed by roughly equal amounts of people simultaneously as the best and the worst? Rich Honen joins us to discuss these questions.

  Fifty years after his assassination, President John F. Kennedy’s legend endures. Now author and historian Thurston Clark argues that the heart of that legend is what might have been.

Thurston Clarke is the author or the new book JFK’s Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President.  His articles have appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and the Washington Post.

A recent poll indicated that more than 70% of Americans believed that President John F. Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy and that officials concealed the truth of what really happened.

In the 1980s Anthony Summers wrote his book Not in Your Lifetime: The Definitive Book on the JFK Assassination - which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

He has now reworked his originally published book updating the text with new information, interviews, and access to thousands of previously unavailable documents.

The last great campaign of John F. Kennedy’s life was not the battle for reelection that he did not live to wage, but the struggle for sustainable peace with the Soviet Union.

A struggle written about in the new book To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace - it is written by Jeffrey Sachs a world renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, and a senior UN advisor.

A 2010 Gallup poll asking Americans to assess the last nine presidents gave John F. Kennedy the highest ranking and highest approval rating at 85 percent.

Historian Robert Dallek- who the New York Times called Kennedy’s leading biographer, whose JFK biography An Unfinished Life was a number 1 New York Times best seller- was somewhat amused by this appraisal. For while he admired Kennedy tenured, Dallek’s own in depth study of the man and his presidency offered him a new assessment of his achievements and flaws.

The poll rekindled his interest in Kennedy’s leadership and he decided to revisit the subject in his new book Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House.

Before JFK became the man who led America through the days of Camelot, there was John F. Kennedy - junior senator from Massachusetts. The senate is, after all, where JFK's leadership and presidential ambitions truly began.

JFK in the Senate: Pathway to the Presidency, is a new book that deals exclusively with JFK’s years in the senate and how they helped catapult him towards the presidency.

John Shaw is a Senior Correspondent and Vice President for Market News International, and a contributing writer to the Washington Diplomat.

Political consultant and strategist, Roger Stone, has gathered documents and used first hand knowledge to look to compelling prove that Lyndon Baines Johnson was not only involved in JFK’s assassination, but was -in fact- the mastermind.

In his new book The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, Stone brings to light revelations demonstrating that LBJ had the motive, means, and opportunity to murder President John F. Kennedy.

Roger Stone is a longtime US political insider who worked as an aid to President Nixon, President Reagan, and Senator Bob Dole.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy- who is still regarded as one of the most popular notable presidents in US history.

To commemorate the man and his time in office, the newspaper of record has authorized a book, The Kennedy Years: From the Pages of the New York Times. It is edited by presidential historian, Richard Reeves with a forward by the paper’s executive editor, Jill Abramson.

With the country poised to mark the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, a new round of memorials, conspiracy theories and national temperature-taking has commenced.

In the early 1960s Dallas, Texas was brewing with political passions-a city crammed with larger than life characters dead set against the Kennedy Presidency.

Bill Minutaglio and Steven Davis now provide an account of the city that would become infamous for the assassination of a president of the United States. In their new history Dallas 1963, they explore the city and the years leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

John F. Kennedy died almost a half a century ago- yet because of his extraordinary promise and untimely death, his star still resonates strongly. On the anniversary of his assassination, University of Virginia’s Political Scientist and analyst, Larry Sabato, explores the influence JFK has had over 5 decades on the media, the general public, and especially his 9 presidential successors.

In his new book, The Kennedy Half-Century, Sabato reexamines Kennedy’s assassination using new and unseen information-to which he has had unique access. He then documents the affect the assassination has had on Americans of every modern generation through the most extensive survey ever undertaken on the public's view on a historical figure.

Larry is also the founder and director of the renowned center for politics at the University of Virginia.

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