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In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft were such great friends, TR personally campaigned for Taft to succeed him to the presidency. Four years later, that relationship was so irrevocably damaged that TR split the GOP in half to deny Taft's reelection. There's no way around, Taft's presidency was made by Roosevelt, and then it was unmade by Roosevelt. But there's far more to Taft's legacy than just his four years in the White House.Follow along as Taft pursues a career in the judiciary, gets dragged into politics by President William McKinley, is tasked with rebuilding the Philippines in the midst of a bloody and horrific insurgency, gets put in the White House by his bff Theodore Roosevelt, gets kicked out of the White House by his former bff Theodore Roosevelt, and then becomes the only person in U.S. history to serve as both president of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Bibliography1. William Howard Taft – Jeffrey Rosen2. T.R. the last Romantic – H.R. Brands3. The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made – Patricia O’Toole4. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century – Scott Miller5. Warren G Harding – John W. DeanSupport the show
Theodore Roosevelt is the youngest American to become president. He's also the youngest American to become a former president, which means the hyper-energetic TR had plenty of time to do whatever he wanted with the rest of his life. In Roosevelt's case, that meant going on a bunch of suicidally dangerous adventures in search of death or glory.  Join me as I interview presidential historian David Pietrusza, author of TR's Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, the Great War, and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy, to discuss Roosevelt's African safari, near-miss assassination attempt, near-death experience exploring the amazon, and his multiple attempts to get deployed to the battlefields of World War 1.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
When Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in to replace the assassinated William McKinley, he was well aware that almost every previous accidental president had been a failure, and none had won reelection.He had a plan to buck the trend, and it started with winning over McKinley's cabinet. Join me as I interview presidential scholar Lindsay M. Chervinsky, author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, and cohost of the SMU Center for Presidential History podcast The Past, The Promise, The Presidency , in a conversation about Roosevelt, the cabinet, and his doomed bromance with Secretary of War and presidential successor William Howard Taft.  Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
When you hear the name Theodore Roosevelt, a face, personality, and image all pop into mind - Just the way Roosevelt wanted. Presidents have always dealt with and nurtured the press, but Teddy was a quantum leap forward in presidential PR, and he used the media to advance his career, his policies, and to create an image of himself that has lasted 100 years. Join me as I interview Harold Holzer, director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York City,  Chairman of the Lincoln Forum, and author of The presidents vs. the Press: The endless battle between the white house and the media, from the founding fathers to Fake News on how Roosevelt mastered the media and built the bully pulpit.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
Theodore Roosevelt is one of the biggest personalities to ever inhabit the presidency, so of course he was born in New York City. Roosevelt was  heir to one of the city's oldest families and a civil servant at nearly every level - state assemblyman, police commissioner, and governor of the Empire State. Join me as I talk with Ted Kohn, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norwich University and author of Heir to the Empire City: New York and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt, on how Roosevelt's years in New York shaped him into the President we know.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most unlikely champions of progressive reform. Yet there he is, ushering in the American progressive era, promising a "square deal" to all.Join me as I talk with Alycia, host of the excellent Civics and Coffee podcast, about the origins and impact of TR's environment, economic, and civil service progressivism. How does one of the most privileged presidents in American history become its first champion of labor and the common man?Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt was a pencil-pushing desk jockey with no clear political future. Six months later, he was the war-hero governor-elect of New York and well on his way to the presidential ticket. How'd he do it?Follow along as Roosevelt pushes the nation toward war with Spain, quits the safety of his Washington desk job to fight in Cuba, comes home a war hero with a bright political future, rises to the white house, then father's the modern progressive movement and overcomes treaties, disease, jungles, and international intrigue to build the Panama Canal.Bibliography1. T.R. the last Romantic – H.R. Brands2. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century – Scott Miller3. William Howard Taft – Jeffrey Rosen 4. The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made – Patricia O’Toole5. Grover Cleveland – Henry F. Graff6. Rutherford B. Hayes – Hans. L. Trefousse7. The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur – Scott S. GreenbergerSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
How did a country founded by anti-imperial revolutionaries come to own an empire of its own? The answer starts with William McKinley, whose administration exploded onto the international stage by carrying the American flag to Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, Hawaii, and China.Join me as I talk with Robert Merry, a 40-year veteran of Washington journalism and author of five books, including President McKinley: Architect of the American Century, about the arguments for and against McKinley's international actions and the legacy those decisions left behind.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
When William McKinley ran for president in 1896, he out-raised his opponent 7-to-1, printed more campaign literature than all previous GOP presidential candidates combined, and organized what is often called the first modern presidential campaign. How'd he do it?Join me as I talk with professor Christopher McKnight Nichols, director of the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities; an expert on the Gilded Age, Progressive Era, World War I, and the 1918 flu pandemic; and author of Promise and Peril, America at the Dawn of the global age, to discuss what made McKinley's 1896 campaign such a game changer and how he pulled it off.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
Once upon a time, the United States stuck to its shores and big business largely stayed out of politics.Then came William McKinley.William McKinley took the United States international in a big way, carrying the American flag to Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and China; he revolutionized political campaigning by leveraging the power of big business against a progressive populist threat and building a national campaign that was a quantum leap forward in political organization; and he crafted a international Chinese policy that is a big part of the reason we still have a China on the map, and not some carved up mess of former European colonies like we have in the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas.Follow along as McKinley serves in the Civil War, enters politics, becomes a champion of big business, rewrites the political playbook in a successful campaign for the presidency, and dives head-first into the modern era of American overseas imperialism, only for his life to be cut short by an assassin driven by the one looming problem McKinley had not solved - the rampant economic inequality of the Gilded Age.Bibliography1. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century – Scott Miller2. T.R. the last Romantic – H.R. Brands3. Grover Cleveland – Henry F. Graff4. Benjamin Harrison – Charles W. Calhoun5. William Howard Taft – Jeffrey Rosen Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
What was Grover Cleveland hiding in 1893? When the famously honest president was diagnosed with mouth cancer, he decided to keep it from the public at all costs - even if that meant hatching a hair-brained scheme to surgically remove the tumor on a yacht at sea.Join me as I talk with award-winning journalist and author Matthew Algeo, author of All This Marvelous Potential: Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Tour of Appalachia; Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip; and The President Is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth, to discuss how far Cleveland was willing to go to take his secret to the grave.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
In 1892, the rich were getting richer, the poor were getting poorer, and a former president decided to run again against the rival who had defeated him. How similar is the Gilded Age to our modern political and economic moment?Join me as I talk with University Kentucky professor Mark Summers, a historian of the Gilded Age and author of numerous books, including The Era of Good Stealings; The Gilded Age; and Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion: The Making of a President, 1884, to discuss how Grover Cleveland won his revenge campaign against Benjamin Harrison and whether we currently live in another Gilded Age.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
On the final day of Grover Cleveland's first term in office, his wife turned to a member of the white house staff and said.  "I want you to take good care of all the furniture and ornaments in the house, for I want everything just as it is now when we come back again. We are coming back. Just four years from today."Four years later, she was right. Follow along as Cleveland graciously accepts defeat in 1888 only to become convinced he must run again, wins the white house, and them stumbles into one of the greatest economic depressions of the 19th century.  By the time he leaves office, the party will be done with him and his brand of small-government politics forever.Bibliography1. Grover Cleveland – Henry F. Graff2. Benjamin Harrison – Charles W. Calhoun3. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century – Scott Miller4. T.R. the last Romantic – H.R. Brands5. The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made – Patricia O’TooleSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
Benjamin Harrison presidential accomplishments range from obtaining America's first overseas possession to signing an anti-trust bill that is still the law of the land, but he's hardly known today. Why?Join me as I talk with Charles Hyde, the President and CEO of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis, Indiana, on why Benjamin Harrison should be better known and what we should remember him for.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
Is it possible to win your way to defeat? Benjamin Harrison and the 51st Congress might say so. After passing almost all the legislation they had campaigned on in 1889, American voters dealt them crippling defeats in 1891 and 1893. What went wrong?Join me as I interview Charles Calhoun, a retired distinguished professor of History at East Carolina University, a past president of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and the author of Benjamin Harrison, on how Benjamin Harrison and the Republican Party won their way to defeat.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
When it comes to politicians, promises made + promises kept is supposed to = reelection, right? For Benjamin Harrison and the 51st GOP Congress, this common sense equation failed in a major way. After passing more legislation than almost any Congress in U.S. history, Harrison and the GOP majority were sent packing in one of the most lopsided congressional wipeouts ever. Why?Follow along as Harrison serves in the Civil War, enters politics, wins the White House, and passes a raft of major legislation - some of which we still live under today - only for the voters to reward him by punching his pink slip. Oh, and he'll acquire the country's first overseas territory, too. Imperialism, here we come!Bibliography1. Benjamin Harrison – Charles W. Calhoun2. Grover Cleveland – Henry F. Graff3. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century – Scott Miller4. T.R. the last Romantic – H.R. BrandsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
How do you break a 28-year losing streak? It takes good strategy, a bit of luck, and sometimes whatever the heck a mugwump is.Join me as I interview Ted Kohn, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norwich University and a historian of the Gilded Age in American History, on how the Democrats ended an era of Republican rule. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
What do you do when your party hasn't won a presidential election in 28 years? You find an outsider and roll the dice. Grover Cleveland's political career was less than three years old when the Democratic party nominated him for president in 1884, but that guaranteed a candidate with a clean record - or so they thought. Get ready for a sex scandal that will have Republicans famously taunting, "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa?" and ultimately victorious Democrats rejoining, "Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!" Follow along as Cleveland buys his way out of serving in the civil war, jumps into law in politics, and rockets from Buffalo Mayor, to New York Governor, to U.S. President in three short years. He'll lose reelection in 1888, but don't worry, we'll see him again four years later.Bibliography1. Grover Cleveland – Henry F. Graff2. Benjamin Harrison – Charles W. Calhoun3. The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century – Scott Miller4. T.R. the last Romantic – H.R. BrandsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
Chester A. Arthur is a 19th-century American politics version of Breaking Bad mashed with Darth Vader's redemption story.Ok. There's no meth or space sorcery. But there is a seemingly noble man who jettisons his values when they get in the way of making a buck. (Ok, a LOT of bucks). And then,  after a lifetime of proving himself a good-for-nothing scoundrel, he turns into a redemption story when thrust into the presidency with the future of the nation on the line.Join me as I interview Scott Greenberger, executive editor of Stateline, the daily news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and author of The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur, on why Arthur fell from grace, and the factors that inspired his redemption at a time when the entire country had given up on him.Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
Chester A. Arthur is the most corrupt politician to ever become president. For years, he made a fortune making sure enough money disappeared from the New York City customs house to keep his patron in power. When a backroom deal made him vice president and an assassin's bullet ended James Garfield's presidency and began Arthur's, the nation despaired. But then he got an unexpected letter. One woman - a woman he'd never met - believed he was capable of change. Could Arthur complete the most unexpected transformation in presidential history? Or was American democracy about to be sold to the highest bidder?Follow along as Arthur goes from inspiring Civil Rights lawyer to not-so-inspiring corrupt political crony, to Vice President, to the White House and ponder the age old question - can people change?Bibliography1. The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur – Scott S. Greenberger2. Destiny of the Republic – Candice Millard3. Rutherford B. Hayes – Hans. L. Trefousse4. Grover Cleveland – Henry F. Graff5. T.R. the last Romantic – H.R. BrandsSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/AbridgedPresidentialHistories)
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