A Group of Historians Walk into a Bar

Great American historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. formed a panelof 30 historians and two politicians to rank the Presidents, Washington-Clinton.  The Presidents were categorized as Great, near-great, high average, average, below average, and failure.  Academic historians tend to be Liberal in their politics and Presidents with progressive agendas fared quite well on the list.

Mr. Polk’s home, circa 1846

Great- Lincoln, Washington, F. Roosevelt

Near Great- Jefferson, Jackson, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, Truman , Polk

High Average- Eisenhower, J. Adams, Kennedy, Cleveland, L. Johnson, Monroe, McKinley

Average- Madison, JQ Adams, B. Harrison, Clinton, Van Buren, Taft, Hayes, GHW Bush, Reagan, Arthur, Carter, Ford

Below Average- Taylor, Coolidge, Fillmore, Tyler

Failure- Pierce, Grant, Hoover, Nixon, A. Johnson, Buchanan, Harding

** William Henry Harrison and James Garfield were excluded due to lack of data. 

Tippecanoe and that guy….


Ranking Presidents is highly subjective and this list does not represent the opinions of PracticallyHistorical.net


More to come….



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3 responses to “A Group of Historians Walk into a Bar

  1. Lyndon Johnson may have high rank for Civil Rights and Great Society(perhaps not successful with help of Everett Dirkson getting enough republican votes) but I will curse him beyond my grave for the Vietnam debacle. Rate him the worst.

    Reading recent biographies of Grant make me more sympathetic to his quality as he tried so very hard to protect the freed slaves, let it be known any continued pocket rebellion would be crushed and had no connections with the crooks.

    Rate Carter a notch lower but sympathetic to uncooperative democrats a la T Kennedy but 20% inflation a killer.

    If nothing else Tyler kept presidency secure(JFK Profiles in Courage).

    Agree Clinton mere average but very disingenuous for his claim and media’s claim he balanced budget. I though Newt Gingrinch and freshmen republicans did that.

    Truman grows in stature for the top as we realize his post WW 2 leadership.

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