A Project of Boston College Magazine


Date: November 20, 2004

Location: Robsham Theater, Boston College

Sponsor(s): ;

URL: http://frontrow.bc.edu/program/presidents2/

The information on this page is accurate as of November 2004

Program Notes

By Michelle Baildon
Scholarly Communications Reference Librarian
O'Neill Library, Boston College

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The American President


The University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs sponsors this site, offering "two perspectives on the presidency: the Presidency in History, and the Presidency in Action." The former provides information about the 43 historical presidents, and the latter provides "information on the function, responsibilities, and organization of the modern presidency."

Presidential Libraries


This page from the National Archives and Records Administration links to the websites of the eleven presidential libraries.

The Presidents


From the website for PBS's program The American Experience, this page links to sites created for episodes about several U.S. presidents.

The American President


This site accompanied a ten-part series about the first 41 presidents, broadcast by PBS in 2000. It includes multi-media profiles of presidents, archives of online discussions, and links to other resources.

Mr. President: Profiles of Our Nation's Leaders


Five galleries offer brief biographies of American presidents through Clinton on this site from the Smithsonian Institution.

Character Above All: An Exploration of Presidential Leadership


The companion site to a book edited by Robert A. Wilson and a PBS broadcast hosted by Jim Lehrer, this website offers essays excerpted from the book, a transcript of the television episode, a Q&A with historian Michael Beschloss, and links to related sites.

Finding Precedent: The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson


Rancor between Congress and Andrew Johnson over the shape of Reconstruction led to the president's 1868 impeachment. This HarpWeek website provides explanations of issues relevant to the impeachment debate, biographical information, and 19th-century articles, illustrations, editorials, and cartoons from Harper's Weekly magazine.

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Online Articles

"American Sphinx: The Contradictions of Thomas Jefferson"


Celebrated Jefferson historian Joseph J. Ellis of Mt. Holyoke College discusses the surge in popular interest in Jefferson and the complexities of his character. The essay was originally published in 1994 in Civilization: The Magazine of the Library of Congress.

"Richard M. Nixon"


Excerpted from an essay by "U.S. Presidents in Perspective" panelist Tom Wicker, a former political reporter and columnist, this piece reflects on Nixon's character and its effects on his political career.

"Nearly Impossible to Repeal"


James M. Banner, Jr., discusses the complicated and ever-controversial Electoral College in the July 2002 Common-place.

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Online Texts

American Memory: Presidents


Part of the Library of Congress's American Memory site, this page includes links to twelve online collections relating to U.S. presidents, including the George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln papers.

Avalon Project: Papers of the Presidents of the United States


Papers of thirteen presidential administrations are offered on this site, sponsored by Yale Law School. It includes transcripts of inaugural and other addresses, executive orders, proclamations, messages to Congress, and other documents.

America Votes: Presidential Campaign Memorabilia


This online exhibition from the Duke University Special Collections Library includes letters, sheet music, leaflets, buttons, and bumper stickers dating from Adams's 1796 run to the 2000 presidential elections.

FDR Library Digital Archives


Material includes 6,500 pages of documents, 1,000 photographs, a few audio and video clips, and transcripts of the Fireside Chats, all from the holdings of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.

Theodore Roosevelt Electronic Texts


An extensive set of texts by and about Teddy Roosevelt are available on this page from Bartleby.com.

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Book Picks

The Modern American Presidency

Covering the evolution of the U.S. presidency beginning at the turn of the 20th century, this introductory text by Lewis L. Gould makes the argument that the presidency "has outlived its usefulness and has become a liability to the person who holds the post and to the nation that the president of the United States is supposed to serve." Karl Rove-watchers will be interested to learn that William McKinley (a figure of fascination for George W. Bush's political architect) was the first modern American president, according to Gould.

The Evolving Presidency: Addresses, Cases, Essays, Letters, Reports, Resolutions, Transcripts, and Other Landmark Documents, 1787-2004

Michael Nelson's reader offers 50 excerpts from documents illustrating changes to the American presidency, from provisions in the Constitution designing the office of the presidency to the 2002 announcement outlining the "Bush Doctrine."

The Imperial Presidency

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s, classic study—written in the context of Watergate—examines the growth of presidential power in the United States. This revised volume brings the analysis forward to the George W. Bush administration.

The Presidents

Sponsored by American Heritage magazine and edited by Michael R. Beschloss, this book gathers profiles of every president from George Washington to George W. Bush.

Feeding the Beast: The White House Versus the Press

Kenneth T. Walsh, a Washington reporter for U.S. News and World Report, criticizes the relationship between the media and the White House. Political spin and press negativism work to the detriment of the electorate, he argues.

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Selected Books by the Panelists

Thomas Jefferson

By Joyce Oldham Appleby

Pols: Great Writers on American Politicians from Bryan to Reagan

By Jack Beatty

Transforming Leadership: A New Pursuit of Happiness

By James MacGregor Burns

Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life

By Kathleen Dalton

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

By John W. Dean

Jefferson's Second Revolution: The Election Crisis of 1800 and the Triumph of Republicanism

By Susan Dunn

Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton

By David Gergen

War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals

By David Halberstam

Tabloids, Talk Radio, and the Future of News: Technology's Impacts on Journalism

By Ellen Hume

Black Presidential Politics in America: A Strategic Approach

By Ronald W. W. Walters

JFK and LBJ: The Influence of Personality upon Politics

By Tom Wicker

Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln

By Douglas L. Wilson