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This American President

68 EpisodesProduced by Parthenon Podcast NetworkWebsite

This American President delves into the lives and legacies of U.S. presidents through long form stories and interviews. It will challenge the way you look at American history. Hosted by Richard Lim and produced by Michael Neal. Art by

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The Triumph of Nancy Reagan with Karen Tumulty

January 21st, 2022


The made-in-Hollywood marriage of Ronald and Nancy Reagan is more than a love story—it’s the partnership that made him president. Of the pair, Nancy …

Parthenon Roundtable: Which Person Would You Eliminate From History? (And You Can’t Choose Hitler)

January 5th, 2022


Today is a group discussion in which the four guys that make up Parthenon Podcast Network (Steve Guerra from Beyond the Big Screen, Richard Lim from This American President, James Early from Key Battles of American …

Ronald Reagan's Address at Moscow State University | May 31, 1988

December 23rd, 2021


On May 31, 1988, President Ronald Reagan delivered a speech to students at Moscow State University. While standing in the heart of a Soviet Union he once described as the "Evil Empire," President Reagan spoke about his …

Cold War | Ronald Reagan: The Voice in the Wilderness Part 3

December 16th, 2021


After entering office in 1981, Ronald Reagan insisted he wanted to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. His critics scoffed at him, not believing he was sincere. In 1987, he stunned them by signing the INF Treaty with …

Rebroadcast | George Washington: The First American Action Hero

December 1st, 2021


He might look like an old man on the one-dollar bill, but George Washington was once a bona fide action hero. This episode explores our first …

The Last King of America with Andrew Roberts

November 19th, 2021


George III is known to history as the mad, tyrannical British king whose stubbornness and incompetence led to a humiliating defeat in the American …

Fighting Misinformation with Sharon McMahon, America’s Government Teacher

November 10th, 2021


How do you combat political misinformation in the era of fake news and hyper-partisanship? With non-partisan facts according to Sharon McMahon. In …

The Man Who Saved Ronald Reagan with Carolyn Parr

November 5th, 2021


On March 30, 1981, Secret Service agent Jerry Parr saved President Ronald Reagan's life during an assassination attempt in Washington, DC. By sheer …

Ronald Reagan's Address on the Reykjavik Summit with Mikhail Gorbachev | October 13, 1986

October 27th, 2021


On October 13, 1986, President Ronald Reagan spoke to the American people on his recent summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland. During the speech, he discussed how close he and Gorbachev came …

Cold War | Ronald Reagan: The Voice in the Wilderness Part 2

October 21st, 2021


When Ronald Reagan was elected president, his critics worried he would escalate the Cold War--maybe even provoke World War III. Reagan, however, was …

The Making of Ronald Reagan with Paul Kengor

September 21st, 2021


When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, he brought with him a mix of old-fashioned Midwestern values with the glitz and glamour of Golden Age …

Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" Speech | October 27, 1964

September 16th, 2021


On October 27, 1964, in a speech supporting the Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan speaks of big government, high …

The Disaster in Afghanistan: How We Got Here with Christopher Paul Meyer

August 30th, 2021


Over the past week, the world has seen and heard about horrible things coming out of Afghanistan. Decisions that were made in the White House over the past few administrations are now being scrutinized in light of these …

Cold War | Ronald Reagan: The Voice in the Wilderness Part 1

August 24th, 2021


“Ronald Reagan, the actor?!” exclaimed Doc Brown in the film Back to the Future when he learned that Ronald Reagan was President of the United States in 1985. Indeed, to many, the idea of the former B-movie actor as …

In the Arena: American Presidential Hopefuls with Peter Shea and Tom Maday

July 29th, 2021


Every four years, someone loses the election for president of the United States. What is it like to suffer such an epic defeat? What do you do with yourself after suffering heartbreak on the world stage? In this …

Richard Nixon's Address to the Nation Announcing His Resignation | August 8, 1974

July 8th, 2021


On August 8, 1974, President Nixon addressed the country to announce his resignation as President of the United States. In his address he concludes …

King Richard: Nixon and Watergate with Michael Dobbs

June 24th, 2021


In 1972, Richard Nixon was reelected as the 37th president in one of the greatest landslides in American history. Nixon had reached the pinnacle of his career yet this record breaking campaign had also planted the seeds …

Richard Nixon's Remarks upon Returning from People's Republic of China | February 28, 1972

June 15th, 2021


On February 28, 1972, President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon were welcomed home by Vice President Spiro Agnew after landing at Andrews Air …

Cold War | Richard Nixon: His Own Worst Enemy Part 3

June 7th, 2021


When Richard Nixon took office in 1969, he sought nothing less than to remake American foreign policy. He sought to forge a new balance of power and …

Photographic Presidents with Cara A. Finnegan

May 18th, 2021


Photography plays an indelible role in how we remember and define American presidents. Throughout history, presidents have actively participated in …

Richard Nixon's "Silent Majority" Speech on the Vietnam War | November 3, 1969

May 12th, 2021


On November 3, 1969, Richard Nixon delivered this address to the nation on the war in Vietnam. In this speech he assures the American people that he is taking all necessary measures to push towards peace and end the …

Cold War | Richard Nixon: His Own Worst Enemy Part 2

May 6th, 2021


Richard Nixon entered office during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. And he had a bold agenda to remake his country’s foreign …

Fan in Chief: Richard Nixon and American Sports with Nicholas Sarantakes

April 26th, 2021


Sports are as American as apple pie, yet even they have become a part of the political landscape. For decades, presidents have appeared at sporting …

Richard Nixon's First Inaugural Address | January 20, 1969

April 21st, 2021


On January 20, 1969, Richard Nixon delivered his first inaugural address—the culmination of one of the greatest comebacks in American political …

Cold War | Richard Nixon: His Own Worst Enemy Part 1

April 12th, 2021


Richard M. Nixon is one of the country's most vilified presidents, and yet the American people entrusted him twice as vice president and twice as president. In this episode, we cover the highs and lows of Nixon‘s …

Joseph Stalin's Formative Years with Ronald G. Suny

March 18th, 2021


He was one of the most ruthless tyrants who has ever lived. He is an icon of totalitarian oppression--and yet, he was also as human as you and me. In this episode, we interview Ronald G. Suny on his new book about the …

The History of WWII Podcast | 316-FDR: The Man with No Fear [Preview]

March 8th, 2021


Ray Harris Jr of The History of WWII Podcast is joined by Richard Lim to discuss Franklin D. Roosevelt. Now that the Japanese have struck at Pearl Harbor, FDR must lead the U.S. to victory. But what kind of man and …

James Garfield: The Last Lincoln Republican with Todd Arrington

March 3rd, 2021


When he was shot by assassin Charles Guiteau, President James Garfield was robbed of his place in history. He would forever be relegated to …

Abraham Lincoln in His Times with David S. Reynolds

February 16th, 2021


An enduring theme of Abraham Lincoln's life was his genius for striking a balance between opposing forces. Lacking formal schooling but with an …

Cold War | John F. Kennedy: The Price of Ambition Part 3

February 5th, 2021


John F. Kennedy often gets high marks for his leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but he agonized over what to do in Southeast Asia. This episode covers the origins of America's disastrous intervention in …

John F. Kennedy's Early Years with Fredrik Logevall

January 19th, 2021


John F. Kennedy's early years were formative for his knowledge of international relations, and provided him the ability to steer the nation through …

Cold War | John F. Kennedy: The Price of Ambition Part 2

January 5th, 2021


In October of 1962, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev went to the brink of nuclear armageddon. In this episode, we cover how they managed the most dangerous moment in human history, the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Washington's Cabinet with Lindsay Chervinsky

December 16th, 2020


Now that the 2020 election is over, attention is focusing on the new president's cabinet. We take the president’s cabinet for granted but it’s creation wasn’t a foregone conclusion. In this episode, we interview …

Jackie Kennedy Onassis with Paul Brandus

December 1st, 2020


Jackie Kennedy was widowed at the age of 34, forever traumatized by her husband’s assassination. In this episode, we interview Paul Brandus on how …

Cold War | John F. Kennedy: The Price of Ambition Part 1

November 17th, 2020


John F. Kennedy entered office amid great expectations and high ambitions. But his idealism would soon crash into the realities of the Cold War. This …

The World According to Vladimir Putin with Brian Taylor

November 3rd, 2020


Vladimir Putin remains one of the world’s most enigmatic leaders, but Professor Brian Taylor has spent years studying what makes the Russian president tick. In this episode, Dr. Taylor discusses his book, The Code of …

Abraham Lincoln: The Master of Fake News with Elizabeth Mitchell

October 30th, 2020


They called him Honest Abe, but according to author Elizabeth Mitchell, Abraham Lincoln wasn't always honest. In fact, few presidents have more …

Confirming Supreme Court Justices In An Election Year with David Greenberg

October 26th, 2020


GOP senators are moving to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In light of their 2016 refusal to give Merrick Garland a hearing, is this historically sound or hypocrisy? Historian …

The Blueprint: Washington’s Farewell Address and His Advice for Every American [Preview]

October 20th, 2020


In 1796, George Washington decided to retire after decades of public service, but he was worried for his nation’s future. This episode explores his …

What Happens if the President is Incapacitated?

October 7th, 2020


President Trump’s COVID diagnosis raises questions about what happens when the president is incapacitated. Jane Hampton Cook and our host Richard Lim discuss what history has to say about presidential illnesses.

The History of Presidential Elections with Jarrett Stepman

September 15th, 2020


In the middle of a heated presidential election, historian Jarrett Stepman explains what lessons history has to offer about the electoral college, …

America’s Suffragists: 100 Years Later with Jane Hampton Cook

August 18th, 2020


100 years after the 19th amendment, Jane Hampton Cook’s book Resilience on Parade recounts the long struggle to secure women the right to vote nationwide. In this episode, Jane discusses the key figures and moments in …

Dwight D. Eisenhower's Legacy with Merrill Eisenhower Atwater

August 8th, 2020


The grandson of the 34th president, Merrill Eisenhower Atwater continues his family’s tradition of public service as CEO of People to People International. In this episode, Merrill discusses his grandfather’s towering …

Cold War | Dwight D. Eisenhower: On the Edge of Armageddon Part 2

July 8th, 2020


Some remember Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency as a time of peace and prosperity, but in reality, it was an era of constant global crises. This …

Cold War | Dwight D. Eisenhower: On the Edge of Armageddon Part 1

April 16th, 2020


Few men entered the presidency as prepared as Dwight D. Eisenhower, but the Cold War required exquisite statesmanship. This episode explores …

Presidents, Pandemics, and Prophets

April 15th, 2020


Our host Richard and Joey Brown discuss the smallpox pandemic during the American Revolution and the Spanish Flu and the lessons those events have to …

Cold War | Harry S. Truman: The Power of the Universe Part 2

February 29th, 2020


Harry S. Truman, a former haberdasher from Missouri, presided over the final victory in World War II, but a new conflict emerged: the Cold War. This …

State of the Podcast + Kickstarter Project

February 3rd, 2020


Richard and Michael answer questions from listeners including the origin story of the podcast and what goes into making an episode. They also announce a Kickstarter Project to fund a podcast studio.
Listen …

Cold War | Harry S. Truman: The Power of the Universe Part 1

October 24th, 2019


In 1945, Harry S. Truman made one of the most fateful decisions any president has ever had to make: to use the atomic bomb as a weapon of war. This …

FDR's Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta with Nigel Hamilton

September 28th, 2019


Nigel Hamilton is the author of an epic-three part biography on Franklin D. Roosevelt. In this episode, Hamilton discusses his new book, War and Peace: FDR's Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945.
Listen …

Apollo 11 Splashdown with Navy Frogman John Wolfram

July 18th, 2019


When John Wolfram joined the US Navy in 1967, he did not know he would become the first person to see the Apollo 11 astronauts after the moon …

George Washington: A Gulf of Civil Horror

June 15th, 2019


George Washington is known as the “Indispensable Man” of the American Revolution. That was never truer than in 1783, when a mysterious conspiracy in …

Presidential Fight Club with Scott Rank

May 9th, 2019


Scott Rank discusses his podcast "Presidential Fight Club", which seeks to answer the question "If all of the presidents fought each other …

Gen. Michael Hayden, Director of the NSA and CIA under George W. Bush

March 31st, 2019


General Michael V. Hayden was on the front lines during President Bush’s War on Terror. In this episode, the former NSA and CIA director discusses the dilemmas presidents face in defending America from attack.

US Expansion | McKinley and Roosevelt: Will and Ted’s Imperial Adventure Part 2

February 11th, 2019


William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt succeeded in building an American empire, but they found themselves in an unexpected war against the Philippines. This episode explores the horrors of America’s most forgotten war.

US Expansion | McKinley and Roosevelt: Will and Ted’s Imperial Adventure Part 1

October 17th, 2018


The unlikely pair of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt transformed their nation from an isolationist republic to a global empire. This episode …

US Expansion | James K. Polk: The Great American Conqueror Part 2

June 11th, 2018


When James K. Polk left the presidency, he was exhausted with just months to live—but he left his nation a continental giant. This episode explores …

US Expansion | James K. Polk: The Great American Conqueror Part 1

March 21st, 2018


Politicians are known for breaking promises, but not James K. Polk. He entered the presidency promising to fulfill his nation’s “Manifest Destiny” …

US Expansion | Thomas Jefferson: The Art of the Steal

December 5th, 2017


It took America a little bit of luck and the collective genius of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe to secure the Louisiana Purchase from France. This …

The Women Who Would Be President

September 26th, 2017


No woman has ever served as president, but it isn’t for lack of trying. This episode examines the women who sought to shatter the ultimate glass …

Photographing the President with Bob Knudsen

August 15th, 2017


As a White House photographer for six presidents, Bob Knudsen had a front row seat for some of the most important events in modern history. In this episode, his son (also Bob Knudsen) shares anecdotes about the private …

Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Inscrutable Man Part 2

July 19th, 2017


Franklin D. Roosevelt spent his last years as president winning one world war while trying to prevent another. But one man stood in the way: Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. This episode explores FDR’s efforts to secure …

Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Inscrutable Man Part 1

June 27th, 2017


In 1944, Americans elected Franklin D. Roosevelt to an unprecedented fourth term as president, but few knew that he was a dying man. This episode …

Ronald Reagan's Life After Presidency with Peggy Grande

June 6th, 2017


In 1989, Peggy Grande got the opportunity of a lifetime when she became the executive assistant to former President Ronald Reagan. In this episode, Mrs. Grande discusses her experience with one of America’s most …

Fake News and Nasty Men: The 1876 Election

May 16th, 2017


Before Bush v Gore and Trump v Biden, there was Hayes v Tilden, the nastiest presidential race in American history. This episode explores in 1876 …

Andrew Johnson: Smile of the Demagogue

April 26th, 2017


Fate put Andrew Johnson in the White House during a critical time in American history—a unique opportunity that he completely squandered. This episode examines America’s obscure 17th president and how his failures …

George Washington: The First American Action Hero

April 4th, 2017


He might look like an old man on the one-dollar bill, but George Washington was once a bona fide action hero. This episode explores our first …

Introducing This American President

March 1st, 2017


This American President delves into the lives and legacies of U.S. presidents through long form stories and interviews. It will challenge the way you look at American history.
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