Episodes

Reviews

Analytics

Clips

June 29, 2017
Introducing Constitutional
If you loved ‘Presidential,' check out our new podcast launching July 24. Listen to a preview and subscribe now by going to washingtonpost.com/constitutional or searching on Apple Podcasts.
More info...
4 min
November 9, 2016
Donald Trump: Division and union
In this final episode of the podcast, Library of Congress historians Michelle Krowl and Julie Miller return--along with Washington Post journalist Dan Balz--to reflect on the changing nature of the American presidency.
More info...
56 min
October 30, 2016
Barack Obama: The pursuit of identity
Political strategist David Axelrod and biographer David Maraniss discuss Barack Obama's search for identity -- and how that quest has paralleled America's own complex reckoning with race.
More info...
56 min
October 23, 2016
George W. Bush: Changing course
Peter Baker, author of "Days of Fire" and a journalist with the New York Times, joins historian Mark Updegrove to examine how George W. Bush's presidency marked the beginning of a new era in American history.
More info...
46 min
October 16, 2016
Bill Clinton: The good and the bad
David Maraniss, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Bill Clinton, explores how Clinton's core character traits had both a bright and a dark side. And Post reporter Jim Tankersley examines a similar duality in his policy legacy.
More info...
48 min
October 9, 2016
George H. W. Bush: Restraint
Historians Jon Meacham and Jeffrey Engel discuss President Bush's unique form of presidential leadership--a vintage combination of public service, conservatism and emotional restraint--and examine why his legacy has grown more positive over time.
More info...
51 min
October 2, 2016
Ronald Reagan: Myths and truths
Lou Cannon, biographer and senior White House correspondent for The Washington Post during President Reagan's administration, helps us separate the fact from fiction about who Ronald Reagan really was.
More info...
43 min
September 25, 2016
Jimmy Carter: Keeping the faith
Longtime Carter political adviser Pat Caddell, theologian and biographer Randall Balmer, and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa examine how Jimmy Carter's faith has shaped his leadership in and out of the White House.
More info...
57 min
September 18, 2016
Gerald Ford: It's personal
The president's son Steven Ford joins White House photographer David Hume Kennerly and Berkeley professor Daniel Sargent to talk about how Gerald Ford's experience working across the aisle in Congress affected his leadership style as president.
More info...
55 min
September 11, 2016
Richard Nixon: Looking inward
Bob Woodward, one of the Washington Post investigative reporters who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, examines what was at the heart of Richard Nixon's presidential downfall. The Washington Post's current executive editor, Marty Baron, joins as well.
More info...
42 min
September 4, 2016
Lyndon B. Johnson: Power
The LBJ Presidential Library's director, Mark Updegrove, helps us examine how Johnson worked his will--at times darkly--to get some of the most transformative legislation of the 20th century through Congress.
More info...
39 min
August 28, 2016
John F. Kennedy: We are all mortal
Robert Dallek, Michael Beschloss and Fredrik Logevall--three major Kennedy historians and biographers--join us on this week's episode to talk about JFK and death. But not his assassination...
More info...
47 min
August 21, 2016
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Covert action
Stephen Kinzer, author of "The Brothers," and historian Will Hitchcock explore President Eisenhower's predilection for covert action--both in foreign affairs and in his own leadership style.
More info...
51 min
August 15, 2016
Harry S. Truman: Trying to make the right call
Biographer David McCullough looks at some of the most difficult decisions President Truman made during his time in the White House, and Washington Post polling manager Scott Clement examines the biggest polling failure in presidential history.
More info...
36 min
August 7, 2016
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Through Eleanor's eyes
Allida Black, editor of the Eleanor Roosevelt papers, along with FDR Library Director Paul Sparrow and White House speechwriter Sarada Peri, examine Franklin Roosevelt's leadership through the lens of the first lady's own contributions to his presidency.
More info...
53 min
July 31, 2016
Herbert Hoover: Dealing with disaster
Herbert Hoover entered the White House with an array of high-profile experiences leading disaster relief. So why was his handling of the Great Depression considered a failure? Biographer Charles Rappleye guest stars.
More info...
39 min
July 25, 2016
Calvin Coolidge: A tale of two Coolidges
Former politician Michael Dukakis, biographer Amity Shlaes and political scientist Robert Gilbert join Washington Post economics reporter Steven Pearlstein to offer a version of Calvin Coolidge's legacy that doesn't follow the standard story.
More info...
46 min
July 18, 2016
Warren G. Harding: Love and scandal
Steamy love letters. Jazz. Scandal. Psychics. Newspapers. The Hope Diamond. Historian Nicole Hemmer helps guide us through the wild life and presidency of Warren G. Harding.
More info...
42 min
July 11, 2016
Woodrow Wilson: A complicated legacy
Racism, diplomacy, women's suffrage...historian John Milton Cooper and Woodrow Wilson House executive director Robert Enholm lead us through Wilson's complicated personal and presidential legacy.
More info...
45 min
July 3, 2016
William Howard Taft: This chief, not that chief
Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of 'The Bully Pulpit,' along with historian Michelle Krowl and Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes discuss why President Taft made a better chief justice than commander-in-chief.
More info...
37 min
June 26, 2016
Theodore Roosevelt: Exuberance
Biographer David McCullough and historian Michelle Krowl take us inside the wild, unstoppable dynamism of Teddy Roosevelt, whose energy and activism redefined the role of American president.
More info...
42 min
June 20, 2016
William McKinley: The modern campaign
Republican political strategist Karl Rove dissects what was so transformative about William McKinley's 1896 presidential campaign. And Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig discusses how his assassination modernized the Secret Service.
More info...
39 min
June 12, 2016
Benjamin Harrison: The president as conservationist
Benjamin Harrison was the first U.S. president to use his position to try to save a species, the fur seal. He also set aside more than 13 million acres of forest reserves. This episode looks at the roots of conservation as a presidential responsibility.
More info...
39 min
June 5, 2016
Grover Cleveland: Tell the truth
Known for his forthrightness, Cleveland came clean when news broke that he had fathered an illegitimate child; yet he later covered up a cancer surgery at sea. Guests Matthew Algeo, Michelle Krowl and Roman Mars explore candor and the presidency.
More info...
39 min
May 29, 2016
Chester A. Arthur: Redemption
How does one of the greatest beneficiaries of the spoils system end up being the president who passes civil service reform? Post reporter David Fahrenthold and Stateline editor Scott Greenberger tell the amazing story of Arthur's personal transformation.
More info...
41 min
May 23, 2016
James A. Garfield: Shot down
Only 100 days into office, President Garfield was shot down in a train station by a disturbed office seeker. 'Destiny of the Republic' author Candice Millard, along with Michelle Krowl of the Library of Congress, examine the life cut short.
More info...
42 min
May 15, 2016
Rutherford B. Hayes: The most contested election
How does a vicious, close and disputed election spill over into a presidency? We examine the razor-thin election results for Rutherford B. Hayes, and the equally fine line he then had to tread as president during the end of Reconstruction.
More info...
43 min
May 8, 2016
Ulysses S. Grant: Lover, fighter, writer
Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs are considered the best ever written by a president. In this episode, Washington Post nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada and biographer David Maraniss discuss what they found funny, touching and illuminating about the work.
More info...
43 min
May 2, 2016
Andrew Johnson: Stitching up a torn country
What kind of president can repair America's deepest divisions? Michelle Krowl of the Library of Congress walks us through Andrew Johnson's time in office right after the Civil War and sheds light on why he struggled to bring the country together.
More info...
36 min
April 24, 2016
Abraham Lincoln: His hand and his pen
Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of 'Team of Rivals,' and Michelle Krowl of the Library of Congress guide us through Lincoln's love for language--and how his gift for writing and oratory became one of his greatest presidential leadership tools.
More info...
55 min
April 18, 2016
James Buchanan: The bachelor and the bloodshed
America is on the eve of civil war, and James Buchanan is alone in the White House as our first and only bachelor president. Historians Jean Baker and Jim Loewen, and The Washington Post's Jim Tankersley, explore the lack of personal and political union.
More info...
39 min
April 10, 2016
Franklin Pierce: Rolling off the tracks
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer James McPherson and historian Edna Greene Medford discuss Franklin Pierce's role in the country's progression toward civil war, as well as the personal tragedy that unfolded right before he took office.
More info...
31 min
April 3, 2016
Millard Fillmore: Teaching the obscure presidents
Should we teach the presidency of Millard Fillmore? What do we lose if we don't? Historians Jean Baker and James McPherson, along with Washington Post education reporter T. Rees Shapiro, tackle these questions in our 13th episode.
More info...
39 min
March 27, 2016
Zachary Taylor: War heroes and conspiracy theory
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank joins historians Catherine Clinton and Joseph Uscinski to talk about military hero Zachary Taylor and the assassination theories that swirled around his death in the White House.
More info...
29 min
March 20, 2016
James K. Polk: Getting it done
They Might Be Giants singer John Linnell and historian Amy Greenberg are guests on this episode. Through hard work and strategic lying, the 11th president managed to accomplish everything on his agenda. But is being effective the same as being great?
More info...
36 min
March 13, 2016
John Tyler: Ghosts and the vice presidency
When Vice President Tyler took over the White House, he set a precedent that would forever shape the office. This episode features experts Barbara Bair and Joel Goldstein, as well as descendants who talk about the ghost who haunts the Tyler home.
More info...
32 min
March 6, 2016
William Henry Harrison: Great song, horrible death
Washington Post humor columnist Alexandra Petri, along with Barbara Bair and Dr. Philip Mackowiak, deconstruct Harrison's transformative presidential campaign and debunk the myth of what killed him after only 32 days in office.
More info...
30 min
February 29, 2016
Martin Van Buren: The story of our two-party system
Martin Van Buren did much to create the political party establishments we have today. Experts Barbara Bair and Mark Cheathem, along with Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza, examine his mark on modern politics.
More info...
39 min
February 21, 2016
Andrew Jackson: The violence, the fight
Barbara Bair, Steve Inskeep and Jon Meacham examine the tragedy of Andrew Jackson's personal life, the brutality of his battles and his policies against Native Americans, and the conflict that makes up a dynamic democracy.
More info...
46 min
February 14, 2016
John Quincy Adams: The trait that broke a presidency
We're about to witness how the inability to compromise can tank any hope of being an effective president.
More info...
45 min
February 7, 2016
James Monroe: The Forrest Gump of presidents
In the latest episode of Presidential, we look at our fifth president's knack for being present at famous moments in history.
More info...
40 min
January 31, 2016
James Madison: Burning down the house
Though he's our first wartime president, James Madison is usually better remembered for his work on the Constitution rather than his time as commander-in-chief while the White House went up in flames. But maybe that's the wrong way to look at it.
More info...
38 min
January 25, 2016
Thomas Jefferson: On food and freedom
Jon Meacham and Annette Gordon-Reed are among the experts who take us through the best and worst of our third president's complex and controversial legacy.
More info...
43 min
January 18, 2016
John Adams: The case of the missing monument
In the second episode of Presidential, biographer David McCullough as well as noted art and architecture experts explore why there's no monument to John Adams in Washington, DC -- and how that omission shapes our sense of his legacy.
More info...
33 min
January 10, 2016
George Washington: The man, the myth, the legend
Who exactly was our first president? Bob Woodward, Joel Achenbach and Julie Miller kick off our first episode of Presidential.
More info...
49 min
January 5, 2016
Introduction: Welcome to Presidential
Preview the Washington Post podcast, with clips from upcoming episodes and an overview of the series by host Lillian Cunningham.
More info...
3 min
Feedback on the new Podbay?
    1x
    15
    15
    00:00:00
      00:00:00