In case you’ve been living in some sort of media-deprived isolation–an isolation so intense that it would make the Amish elders and Carthusian hermits feel sorry for you–it has probably come to your attention that we are living through a period of strange, yet exciting, political campaigns.
In recent years, historians seem to be called upon by TV hosts predominantly to rate presidents, compare presidents, or explain how a bill becomes a law. While we at Historically Thinking obviously believe that historians can do a lot more than that, from time to time we like to do that whole Doris Kearns Goodwin/Michael Beschloss thing. (The old-fashioned verb for this was “slumming.”)
With us to look at campaigns past, and to explain all the ways we’ve chosen presidents in days gone by is Professor Michael Connolly who studies 19th century political culture, and has forgotten more about obscure presidents than many of us would ever want to know. He joined us in Episode 2 for a conversation about presidents and their legacies. Today he’s here to explain all sorts of things we didn’t know but should have … such as why primaries are no more found in the Constitution than mandatory beard length. Enjoy!