Our greatest presidents – in the eyes of academics, journalists, and popular historians – are those who confronted a national crisis and mobilized the entire nation to face it. The Chief Executives placed in the top echelon of surveys of such experts are the bold leaders – the Woodrow Wilsons and Franklin Roosevelts – who reshaped the United States in line with their grand vision for America. Unfortunately, along the way, these great presidents inevitably expanded government at the expense of our liberties.
Historian and celebrated Reagan biographer Steven F. Hayward reminds us that the Founders had an entirely different idea of greatness in the presidential office. The modern presidency has grown far beyond the bounds they envisioned. The Founders, in contrast to today’s historians, expected great presidents to be champions of the limited government established by the Constitution.
Working from that almost forgotten standard, Hayward offers a fascinating off–the–beaten–track tour through the modern presidency, from the Progressive Era’s Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. Along the way, he offers fresh historical insights, recalls forgotten anecdotes, celebrates undervalued presidents who took important stands in defense of the Constitution – and points the way to a revival of truly constitutional government in America.
More About the Speakers
Author and Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Edwin Meese III
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus