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presidential history


  • Ghosts of Neshoba: Why Trump Can't Dog Whistle His Way Back to the White House

    by Rick Perlstein

    Ronald Reagan's notorious "states' rights" pledge in Mississippi in 1980 was actually damaging to his campaign. The Gipper needed all his political skill and actor's discipline to rebuild his standing with moderates while still appealing to resentful white voters. Donald Trump lacks the skill to pull off the same trick.


  • What if Trump Refuses to Leave?

    by Richard Striner

    History offers few guidelines for how to handle the increasingly plausible scenario of a defeated president refusing to leave office. 



  • Donald Trump May Not Be Herbert Hoover

    by Tom Engelhardt

    Trump, unlike President Herbert Hoover, may usher us into a true Great Depression and possibly not suffer a staggering defeat at the polls in November, as that president did in 1932.



  • This Election Isn't 1968 or 1992 or 2016

    Richard Nixon won by portraying himself as a unifier against an out-of-control left; Bill Clinton won reelection by carefully navigating the politics of crime and unrest. There is nothing very careful, yet, about what we've seen from this president.


  • JFK at 103: What We Miss

    by Joseph A. Esposito

    John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917. Although much of the Camelot ideal was mythical, Kennedy's optimism and purposefulness are nevertheless missed today.



  • The Corrupt Bargain (Review Essay)

    by Eric Foner

    Eric Foner argues that reasons both strategic and idealistic informed the establishment of the Electoral College, and recent books support the case for its abolition. 



  • ‘How Did We Get Here?’ Review: Why Presidents Win

    In reviewing Robert Dallek's recent book, Robert Merry argues that the writer short-changes the agency of voters and the significance of the basic political and economic conditions in determining who wins a presidential election.