Tricky Questions

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Richard Nixon was a bad man but an effective conservative – a conservative not in the ideological sense (cutting taxes, throwing bums off welfare) but in the sense of a statesman who tries to navigate his country through choppy waters and bring it out the other side afloat. The Watergate Scandal eclipsed his achievements, but […]

Art of the Deal

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Few democratic leaders in the 20th century have attracted as much attention as the handful of notorious dictators who helped to shape its course. One notable exception is the American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose long career in politics climaxed with the defeat of the Axis and the inauguration of the United States as a […]

Warrior in the White House

Posted on by Tom Fleming

The ranking of American presidents by historians and political scientists is a much-loved exercise. Part of the fun is watching reputations rise and fall over time. Currently, even those who have long occupied the lowest places are on the move, since the 45th president, Donald J Trump, lifts all boats: the lamentable Civil War-era presidents James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson are each likely to rise a place, and so too the egregious Warren G Harding, who presided over a notoriously corrupt administration in the early 1920s. In recent years, no case of advance has been more striking than that of Ulysses S Grant, a two-term president who served from 1869 to 1877. After a century

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