Presidents

Abraham Lincoln is remembered for his skill as an orator, but the president also utilized other tools to better connect with voters. His use of photography, which was a cutting-edge technology in his day and age, helped him to victory in the tough 1860 election. 

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Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham's new book on the first President Bush is generating attention for what he had to say about Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, advisers to his son President George W. Bush. But there's a lot more inside the biography about the man Meacham describes as "the last moderate Republican."

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has written about  some of the the most powerful people in the world. She shares with Steve Kraske leadership lessons from the White House. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak with Bill Moyers at 6 p.m. Saturday, November 14 at Unity Temple on the Plaza as part of an event sponsored by the Truman Library Institute. General admission is sold out.

She's been written about as an afterthought to her husband's presidency, but Lady Bird Johnson was a true political partner to Lyndon Johnson. Author Betty Boyd Caroli discusses Lady Bird's marriage to one of the most mercurial presidents this country has ever known.

We live in Lyndon Johnson’s America. So says Joseph Califano, Johnson's top domestic adviser. We learn about the complex president and the long list of groundbreaking legislation he signed during his tenure.

Joseph Califano speaks about his book,  "The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson" at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library Wednesday, July 15 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit kclibrary.org.

James Madison is an oft-forgotten American President, but his ability to build relationships laid the foundation for the America we know today. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with historian David Stewart about the life and contributions of America's fourth president. 

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Regnery History

Presidents have been forced to calculate whether they want to be men of the people...or men of somewhat higher understanding.

On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske sits down with author Tevi Troy for a look at how popular culture has shaped the presidency. From Jefferson’s grounding in philosophy to Obama’s mastery of Internet culture, they examine who was best, or worst, at navigating a president's need to connect with the average citizen through the culture of the day.

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During his presidency, Warren G. Harding was generally well liked among Americans. In contemporary times however, Harding's cronyism and corruption have sent him to the bottom of favorite president lists.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Phillip Payne about Harding's upbringing, his ascendancy to power, and the scandals that still plague his image to this day.

It was an odd couple who won the 1952 presidential race: Likable Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower and tricky Richard "Dick" Nixon. 

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we’ll take a look at the complicated relationship between the two men with Jeffrey Frank, author of Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage.

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Robert Dallek: Why Some Presidents Succeed

Mar 6, 2012

We’ve had 45 of them on the job, but only 16 were able to come back.  It’s something Thomas Jefferson once deemed a “splendid misery” …  the U.S. Presidency.

What are the factors that play into the reputation as a strong or weak leader?  How does a president hold onto the public’s imagination?

Barack Obama isn't the first President in conflict with a Congress run by the opposing party. However, being in that position doesn't mean nothing gets accomplished. Take it from Historian of the U.S. Senate Donald Richie.