[Abridged] Presidential Histories

History Podcasts

From Yorktown to the Civil War, Pearl Harbor to 9/11, discover the pivotal moments that defined each president's life and legacy and the lessons we can draw from them. New episodes available the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month.


United States


From Yorktown to the Civil War, Pearl Harbor to 9/11, discover the pivotal moments that defined each president's life and legacy and the lessons we can draw from them. New episodes available the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month.




31.B) Herbert Hoover, the first businessman president, an interview with David Hamilton

"It simply comes to this: men hate me more after they work for me than before. They don't need think they are coming to a snap. They're coming to a perfect hell and I am the devil." - Herbert Hoover, 1897, written from the gold fields of Australia. The United States had seen generals, publishers, history professors, and lawyers - oh so many lawyers - become president. But it had never had a businessman president before Herbert Hoover. David E. Hamilton, a history professor at the University...


31.A.) The political evolution of Herbert Hoover, an interview with Thomas Schwartz

"My country owes me nothing. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor.” - Herbert Hoover Herbert Hoover entered government a self-described progressive. But by the time the end of his life, his opposition to the New Deal had some calling him a father of modern conservativism. What's the truth of the matter? Join me as I talk to Thomas Schwartz, director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential...


31.) Herbert Hoover 1929-1933

"In America today, we are nearer a final triumph over poverty than is any other land." - Herbert Hoover. ~~~ Herbert Hoover made his fortune as a mining engineer, made his name as a humanitarian leader, and lost his reputation as a president. Nobody knew the great Depression was coming when they elected Hoover, but the great irony of his presidency is that, after savings millions of lives as a humanitarian during national and global emergencies, he's the first guy most Americans would have...


30.A.) Calvin Coolidge turns PR into Presidential Relations, an interview with David Greenberg

History remembers Calvin Coolidge as "Silent Cal," but the notoriously quiet president was also an early adopter of emerging forms of mass media, such as radio and motion picture. Join me as I talk to historian David Greenberg, author of Calvin Coolidge and Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency, about how Coolidge quietly became one of the more effective image manipulators of the early 20th century. Support the show


30.) Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929

"The business of America is business." - Calvin Coolidge. ~~~ Calvin Coolidge had a saying: When you see 10 problems coming down the road, nine will probably go into the ditch on their own. Translation? Don't do anything. But what happens when the one problem that doesn't go into the ditch is the Great Depression? Follow along as Coolidge works his way up the government food chain to VP, becomes president when Harding dies, introduces new tools like radio and motion picture to the...


History Podcast Friendsgiving Spectacular

On a late summer day in September, four podcasters got together to record the first ever History Podcast Friendsgiving Spectacular! Tune in as three respected podcasters join me for a round table discussion of American and presidential history. The other podcasters are: Presidencies of the United StatesCivics & CoffeePlodding through the PresidentsIf you enjoy the format, let us know and we'll look for more collaborative opportunities in the future. Happy Thanksgiving! Support the show


29.A.) Warren Harding's affairs & legacy, an interview with James Robenalt

Politicians having affairs is nothing new in the history of the world. But what happens when they're sleeping with an enemy spy? Join me as I talk to author and lawyer James Robenalt, author of The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War, about Warren Harding's 15-year affair with Carrie Fulton Phillips, who became an Imperial German spy during World War I; whether we should be concerned about politicians having affairs; and whether Harding deserves a better shake than...


29.) Warren Harding 1921-1923

First, Warren G Harding was a beloved president. Then, he became synonymous with government corruption. But today, we know him for his sex scandals - scandals that took more than 90 years to fully come to light. Follow along as Harding jumps from the newspaper business to politics, sleeps with a potential german spy, fathers a child out of wedlock with another mistress, wins the presidency at a time of great national turmoil, presides over two of the largest corruption scandals in...


APH Mailbag Episode!

"Who was the biggest presidential bust?" "Do any of our presidents have an unvarnished legacy on race?" "Which 19th century president would fail under the media scrutiny of today?" You've all been submitting some great questions this summer and today I take some time to answer them. Thank you everyone who participated. Enjoy the show! Support the show


28.E.) Wilson's Wives, an interview with Paul Brandus

Woodrow Wilson's wives had a tremendous impact on his presidency. His first wife, Ellen Axson Wilson, died the week World War I broke out in Europe, leaving the president so depressed at a moment of crisis that he told aids he wished someone would shoot him. Less than a year later, he was over it, and instead obsessed with his courtship of Edith Bolling Galt, sometimes writing her three letters a day. When a stroke crippled Wilson in the final years of his presidency, it was Edith who cared...


28.D.) Woodrow Wilson, WW1, and the new world order; an interview with Thomas Knock

For the first 128 years of American history, the United States followed the parting advice of its first president, George Washington, to stay out of European wars. That all changed with Woodrow Wilson. Wilson wielded the power of rhetoric to change not just the country's course, but the way Americans thought of themselves - They had a destiny to make the world safe for democracy. But even as Americans embarked on this quest, the ideals Wilson gave life to began to flicker and dim as he...


28.C.) Woodrow Wilson's legacy on race; an interview with Eric S. Yellin

No 20th century president did more to set back racial equality in the United States than Woodrow Wilson. His administration introduced a silent policy of segregating the federal government, and when he finally spoke out about it, he gave weight to a philosophy that was used to rationalize continued segregation for decades more. Join me as I talk with Eric S. Yellin, an associate professor of History and American Studies at the University of Richmond and author of Racism in the Nation’s...


28.B.) Woodrow Wilson's progressive legacy; an interview with John Milton Cooper

Woodrow Wilson is one of the most legislatively accomplished progressive presidents in American history. His list of achievements ranges from the first progressive income tax to the creation of the Federal Reserve, an inheritance tax, a child labor law, and more. But a list doesn't do justice to the effort it took to get these laws passed or the impact they had on the Americans' lives. Join me as I talk with John Milton Cooper, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and...


28.A.) Woodrow Wilson & the Spanish flu pandemic; an interview with John Barry

The Spanish flu of 1918 wasn't from Spain and it didn't start or end with 1918. It lasted for years, killed millions around the world, and it infected President Woodrow Wilson himself, right as he was negotiating the treaty that would end World War I. The costs of that infection may have been the values and world order he'd taken the United States into the war to achieve. Join me as I talk with John Barry, Distinguished Scholar at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical...


28.) Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921

Woodrow Wilson was once regarded as one of the great progressive presidents of the 20th century. Then historians took another look at his record on race. Today, he's a bit of a mixed bag. But one thing you can't argue is the years he was president changed the world. Follow along as Wilson gives up on politics to become an academic, only to unexpectedly rise from Princeton president to New Jersey Governor to American President in two short years! Wilson's presidency will witness a raft of...


27.B.) William Howard Taft, the presidential Chief Justice; an interview with Kevin Burns

William Howard Taft is the only American in history to serve as both president of the United States and chief justice of the Supreme Court. But how did his experience as president shape his leadership as chief justice? What role did it play in his nomination process, and how good of a chief justice was he, anyway? Join me as I talk with Kevin Burns, an assistant professor of political science and economics at Christendom College and author of William Howard Taft’s Constitutional...


Intelligent Speech Trailer

I'll be speaking at the 2022 Intelligent Speech conference on Saturday, June 25. Tickets can be purchased at the link below. Use the code "abridged" to save 10%! https://www.intelligentspeechconference.com/ Support the show


27.A.) The rise and presidency of William Howard Taft; an interview with Peri Arnold

To hear William Howard Taft tell it, all he ever wanted to do is be a federal judge. But people don't just accidentally become president. Join me as I talk with Peri Arnold, a professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, a consultant to New York Times in Education, and author of several books, including Remaking the Presidency: Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson; about the role ambition, luck, and family played in Taft's rise to the nation's highest...


27.) William Howard Taft 1909-1913

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...


26.E.) Theodore Roosevelt's post-presidential quest for death and glory; an interview with David Pietrusza

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...