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18:00 - 19:30 8 March 2017

Rating the American Presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump: A UK Perspective


Lecture Theatre | UCL Institute of Archaeology (link Map)
31–34 Gordon Square | London | WC1 | United Kingdom

Open to: Alumni | Public | Academic | Student
Admission: 0
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Dr Michael P Cullinane, Reader in Modern US History, Roehampton University, Michael Patrick Cullinane is Reader in Modern US History at Roehampton University, London. He is the author of a number of articles and books on the American presidency and presidential legacies including Perspectives in Presidential Leadership: An International View of the White House (ed.), and Theodore Roosevelt’s Ghost. Dr. Cullinane co-founded the Presidential History Network with Prof. Iwan Morgan in 2012, and is currently producing an AHRC-funded documentary about presidential memorials in Washington, D.C.
Professor Iwan Morgan, Professor of US Studies, UCL, Iwan Morgan is Professor of US Studies and Commonwealth Fund Professor of American History, University College London. He has written extensively on the US Presidency, including: Nixon; The Age of Deficits: Presidents and Unbalanced Budgets from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush; and the recently published Reagan American Icon.
Dr Simon Rofe, Senior Lecturer in Diplomacy and International Sts, SOAS, Simon Rofe is Senior Lecturer in Diplomacy and International Studies in the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. His research interests focus on US foreign relations in the twentieth century. He has authored numerous studies, including Franklin Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy and the Welles Mission and (with Alison Holmes) The Embassy in Grosvenor Square: American Ambassadors to the United Kingdom 1938–2008. Simon is also co-series editor of Key Studies in Diplomacy and serves on the editorial board of Diplomatic History.

This event unveils the results of a poll of 71 UK scholars specializing in American history and US politics. The survey rated the performance of American presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama in five categories: vision/agenda setting; domestic leadership; foreign policy leadership; moral authority; and the positive historical significance of their legacy.

Presidential surveys are controversial. They inherently involve unscientific evaluations that often reflect political bias. It is also difficult to choose the right standards of measurement and allocate credit or blame to a president operating in a separated system of government. And, yet, presidential surveys tend to produce similar results. There is near unanimity about the best presidents and the worst, which might suggest we share a common assessment of quality leadership and presidential greatness.


Oscar Martinez
+44 (0)2031089721 | ucl-ia@ucl.ac.uk


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