The leaders you thought you knew.

This American President is a history podcast that delves into the lives and legacies of the men who have occupied the White House. Each episode immerses you in an era of history by examining the life of a U.S. President. Hosted by Richard Lim and produced by Michael Neal.

All Episodes

The Voice in the Wilderness Part 2 | Ronald Reagan

This American President
Ronald Reagan's audacious plan to work with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and abolish nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.
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The Making of Ronald Reagan with Paul Kengor

This American President
Reagan brought with him a mix of old-fashioned Midwestern values with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
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Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" Speech | October 27, 1964

This American President
In 1964, Ronald Reagan delivered a speech that changed his life, establishing him as a rising star in the emerging conservative movement.
Listen to Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" Speech | October 27, 1964

The Disaster in Afghanistan: How We Got Here with Christopher Paul Meyer

This American President
What led to the present crisis unfolding in Afghanistan?
Listen to The Disaster in Afghanistan: How We Got Here with Christopher Paul Meyer

The Voice in the Wilderness Part 1 | Ronald Reagan

This American President
Ronald Reagan’s rise to power and how he sought to do the unthinkable: win the Cold War and destroy Soviet communism forever.
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In the Arena: American Presidential Hopefuls with Peter Shea and Tom Maday

This American President | E:46
Every four years, someone loses the election for president of the United States. What is it like to suffer such an epic defeat?
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BONUS: Richard Nixon's Address to the Nation Announcing His Resignation | August 8, 1974

This American President
On August 8, 1974, President Nixon addressed the country to announce his resignation as President of the United States.
Listen to BONUS: Richard Nixon's Address to the Nation Announcing His Resignation | August 8, 1974

King Richard: Nixon and Watergate with Michael Dobbs

This American President
In 1972, Richard Nixon was reelected as the 37th president in one of the greatest landslides in American history.
Listen to King Richard: Nixon and Watergate with Michael Dobbs

BONUS: Richard Nixon's Remarks upon Returning from People's Republic of China | February 28, 1972

This American President
On February 28, 1972, President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon were welcomed home by Vice President Spiro Agnew after landing at Andrews Air Force
Listen to BONUS: Richard Nixon's Remarks upon Returning from People's Republic of China | February 28, 1972

His Own Worst Enemy Part 3 | Richard Nixon

This American President | E:44
When Richard Nixon took office in 1969, he sought nothing less than to remake American foreign policy.
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Photographic Presidents with Cara A. Finnegan

This American President
Photography plays an indelible role in how we remember and define American presidents.
Listen to Photographic Presidents with Cara A. Finnegan

BONUS: Richard Nixon's "Silent Majority" Speech on the Vietnam War | November 3, 1969

This American President
On November 3, 1969, Richard Nixon delivered this address to the nation on the war in Vietnam.
Listen to BONUS: Richard Nixon's "Silent Majority" Speech on the Vietnam War | November 3, 1969

His Own Worst Enemy Part 2 | Richard Nixon

This American President | E:42
Richard Nixon entered office during one of the most tumultuous times in American history. And he had a bold agenda to remake his country’s foreign policy.
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Fan in Chief: Richard Nixon and American Sports

This American President
Sports are as American as apple pie, yet even they have become a part of the political landscape.
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BONUS: Richard Nixon's First Inaugural Address (January 20, 1969)

This American President
On January 20, 1969, Richard Nixon delivered his first inaugural address—the culmination of one of the greatest comebacks in American political history.
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His Own Worst Enemy Part I (Richard Nixon)

This American President
Richard M. Nixon is one of the country's most vilified presidents and yet the American people entrusted him twice as vice president and twice as president
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Ronald G. Suny on Joseph Stalin

This American President | E:39
He was one of the most ruthless tyrants who has ever lived. He is an icon of totalitarian oppression--and yet, he was also as human as you and me
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Todd Arrington on James Garfield

This American President
When he was shot by assassin Charles Guiteau, President James Garfield was robbed of his place in history. He would forever be relegated to obscurity.
Listen to Todd Arrington on James Garfield

David S. Reynolds on Abraham Lincoln

This American President
How was Abraham Lincoln influenced by the culture and everyday life in pre-civil war America? David S. Reynolds explores this in his new book, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times.
Listen to David S. Reynolds on Abraham Lincoln

The Price of Ambition Part III (John F. Kennedy)

This American President | E:36
John F. Kennedy often gets high marks for his leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but he agonized over what to do in Southeast Asia.
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Fredrik Logevall on John F. Kennedy

This American President | E:35
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall has written a new biography about the 35th president, titled JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century.
Listen to Fredrik Logevall on John F. Kennedy

The Price of Ambition Part II (John F. Kennedy)

This American President | E:34
In October of 1962, John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev went to the brink of nuclear armageddon.
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Lindsay Chervinsky on Washington's Cabinet

This American President | E:33
Now that the election is over, attention is focusing on what the new cabinet will look like.
Listen to Lindsay Chervinsky on Washington's Cabinet

Paul Brandus on Jackie Kennedy Onassis

This American President | E:32
Jackie Kennedy was widowed at the age of 34, forever traumatized by her husband’s assassination.
Listen to Paul Brandus on Jackie Kennedy Onassis

The Price of Ambition Part I (John F. Kennedy)

This American President | E:31
John F. Kennedy entered office amid great expectations and high ambitions. But his idealism would soon crash into the realities of the Cold War.
Listen to The Price of Ambition Part I (John F. Kennedy)

The World According to Vladimir Putin

This American President | S:30
Vladimir Putin remains one of the world’s most enigmatic leaders, but Professor Brian Taylor has spent years studying what makes the Russian president tick.
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Abraham Lincoln: The Master of Fake News

This American President | E:29
They called him Honest Abe, but according to author Elizabeth Mitchell, Abraham Lincoln wasn't always honest.
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Confirming a Supreme Court Justice In An Election Year: Historically Sound or Rank Hypocrisy?

This American President | E:28
GOP senators are moving to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
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The Blueprint: Washington’s Farewell Address and His Advice for Every American (Preview)

This American President | E:27
n 1796, George Washington decided to retire after decades of public service, but he was worried for his nation’s future.
Listen to The Blueprint: Washington’s Farewell Address and His Advice for Every American (Preview)

What Happens if the President is Incapacitated?

This American President | E:26
President Trump’s COVID diagnosis raises questions about what happens when the president is incapacitated.
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The History of Presidential Elections with Jarrett Stepman

This American President | E:25
Richard and Jarrett discuss the history of presidential elections: campaigns, primaries, Vice Presidents, debates, the electoral college, and crazy elections.
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Jane Hampton Cook on America’s Suffragists: 100 Years Later

This American President | E:24
Author Jane Hampton Cook discusses her book, Resilience on Parade: Short Stories from Suffragists and Women’s Battle for the Vote.
Listen to Jane Hampton Cook on America’s Suffragists: 100 Years Later

Merrill Eisenhower Atwater on President Eisenhower

This American President | E:23
Merrill Eisenhower Atwater, great-grandson of Dwight D. Eisenhower, on the life and legacy of the 34th president.
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On the Edge of Armageddon Part II (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

This American President | E:22
Dwight D. Eisenhower, hardened by years of war, now seeks to lead American a decade of peace.
Listen to On the Edge of Armageddon Part II (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

On the Edge of Armageddon Part I (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

This American President | E:21
How Eisenhower maintained peace and avoided Armageddon is the subject of this episode of This American President.
Listen to On the Edge of Armageddon Part I (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

Pandemics, Presidents, and Prophets

This American President
Richard Lim and Joey Brown talk about the coronavirus pandemic, the 1918 flu, and life under lockdown.
Listen to Pandemics, Presidents, and Prophets

The Power of the Universe Part II (Harry S. Truman)

This American President | E:20
On this episode, how President Truman handled the challenges of World War II ending, what a new world order should look like, and the potential of a WWIII.
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State of the Podcast + Kickstarter Project

This American President
Richard and Michael answer questions from listeners including the origin story of the podcast and what goes into making an episode. They also announce a Kickstarter Project to fund a podcast studio.
Listen to State of the Podcast + Kickstarter Project

The Power of the Universe Part I (Harry S. Truman)

This American President | E:19
How did a haberdasher from Missouri end up changing the world? Upon FDR’s death, Harry Truman was thrust into the presidency in the middle of WWII. Soon he would face the hard decision of how to use the atomic bombs.
Listen to The Power of the Universe Part I (Harry S. Truman)

Perspectives: Nigel Hamilton on FDR

This American President | E:18
Interview with Nigel Hamilton regarding his new FDR book, War and Peace: FDR’s Final Odyssey: D-Day to Yalta, 1943–1945.
Listen to Perspectives: Nigel Hamilton on FDR

Apollo 11 Splashdown with Navy Frogman John Wolfram

This American President | E:17
When John Wolfram joined the US Navy in 1967, he didn’t imagine he would become the first frogman in the water to rescue the Apollo 11 astronauts after the moon landing. John tells us about the Apollo 11 rescue, serving in Vietnam, and his incredible life.
Listen to Apollo 11 Splashdown with Navy Frogman John Wolfram

A Gulf of Civil Horror (George Washington)

This American President | E:16
For over 200 years, the US military has subordinated itself to civilian authority. But in 1783, that authority was challenged. This is the story of how George Washington restored that civilian rule and saved the young republic.
Listen to A Gulf of Civil Horror (George Washington)

Presidential Fight Club with Scott Rank

This American President | E:15
Scott Rank visits to discuss his podcast Presidential Fight Club, which seeks to answer the question “If all of the presidents fought each other one-on-one, who would win?”
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Perspectives: Gen. Michael Hayden, Director of the NSA and CIA under George W. Bush

This American President | E:14
Interview with General Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA and CIA, on the dilemmas the Bush Administration faced in the War on Terror.
Listen to Perspectives: Gen. Michael Hayden, Director of the NSA and CIA under George W. Bush

Will and Ted’s Imperial Adventure Part II (William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt)

This American President | E:13
The Spanish-American War is at hand and America faces even more temptations towards imperialism in the Philippine-American War.
Listen to Will and Ted’s Imperial Adventure Part II (William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt)

Will and Ted’s Imperial Adventure Part I (William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt)

This American President | E:12
Should republics build empires? William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and the path to the Spanish–American War.
Listen to Will and Ted’s Imperial Adventure Part I (William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt)

The Great American Conqueror Part II (James K. Polk)

This American President | E:11
The story of Polk and the Mexican-American war and its legacy for our nation is the subject of this episode of This American President, The Great American Conqueror Part II.
Listen to The Great American Conqueror Part II (James K. Polk)

The Great American Conqueror Part I (James K. Polk)

This American President | E:10
In this episode we continue the theme of expansion in early America, telling the story of the Mexican-American War and the president who, though largely forgotten and little understood, remains a giant in the annals of American history.v
Listen to The Great American Conqueror Part I (James K. Polk)

The Art of the Steal (Thomas Jefferson)

This American President | E:9
Today, we wonder if the republic will survive the problems we have today—terrorism, racial divisions, massive debt, crumbling infrastructure, failing schools, the list goes on. We worry that this could be it… that the path we are on now could lead to the ultimate demise of the country.
Listen to The Art of the Steal (Thomas Jefferson)

The Women Who Would Be President

This American President | E:8
This episode is not a comprehensive history of every woman candidate, but it will focus on those who made the biggest strides to put a woman in the White House: Victoria Woodhull, Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Chisholm, and Edith Wilson.
Listen to The Women Who Would Be President

Perspectives: Bob Knudsen on Photographing the President

This American President | E:7
Bob Knudsen has taken thousands of photographs over the years of many prominent people. And his father, Robert Knudsen, was one of the first official White House photographers, serving six presidents and capturing many iconic moments. We will explore his and his father’s stories on this episode of This American President.
Listen to Perspectives: Bob Knudsen on Photographing the President

The Inscrutable Man Part II (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

This American President | E:6
In the first episode of this two-part series on FDR, we explored the man, his times, and the unusual circumstances surrounding the 1944 Democratic Convention. We will explore the answers to some big questions surrounding the previous episode.
Listen to The Inscrutable Man Part II (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

The Inscrutable Man Part I (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

This American President | E:5
If we were to do an episode on the entire life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it would have to be at least a 12 hour series. Instead, we will focus on a short period of his life that is one of the most fascinating—the end of it.
Listen to The Inscrutable Man Part I (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Perspectives: Peggy Grande on President Reagan

This American President | E:4
This week on This American President we interview author, public speaker, and former executive assistant to President Ronald Reagan, Peggy Grande.
Listen to Perspectives: Peggy Grande on President Reagan

Fake News and Nasty Men (1876 Election)

This American President | E:3
The election of 1876 would prove to be one of the greatest tests of American democracy. Learn about this pivotal moment in American history in this episode of This American President.
Listen to Fake News and Nasty Men (1876 Election)

Smile of the Demagogue (Andrew Johnson)

This American President | E:2
Andrew Johnson is universally regarded as one of the worst and most hated presidents in American history. How is this possible? You’ll find out in this episode of This American President.
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The First American Action Hero (George Washington)

This American President | E:1
This episode takes a closer look at the real George Washington; you may be surprised to find that he consistently plunged himself headlong into battle, making him the first American action hero.
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