American Conversations - H.W. Brands: What Makes A President Great?

March 7, 2013


H.W. Brands came back to West Michigan to discuss the idea of presidential greatness. It turns out that America’s greatest presidents served either during war or economic depression. Drawing from his past research on Franklin Roosevelt and his current work on Ronald Reagan, Brands examined what makes a president great – that is, what allows a president to reshape the course of American life. Roosevelt and Reagan espoused decidedly different policies, but their leadership styles revealed some striking similarities. The lessons of their presidencies hold value for all their successors – and for the citizens who choose those successors.

Ronald Reagan Bibliography


Watch the lecture here.

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