Presidential Historians blog

by Henry Farrell on August 12, 2005

Ralph Luker writes to tell me that 15 other US presidential historians “have joined”: Rick Shenkman’s blog, to form a presidential history conglomerate. A nice addition to the academic blogosphere.



JP 08.12.05 at 11:37 am

What? No Michael Beschloss? My understanding after years of watching American news programming was that he was the only presidential historian in the whole world.


Ben Alpers 08.12.05 at 2:39 pm

I’m fascinated by the growth of the term “presidential historian.” Yes, there are certainly historians, many of them excellent historians, who work on presidents and the presidency. But the term “presidential historian” sounds like an honorofic, like “Presidential Medal of Freedom.” And it’s a peculiar term because, for whatever reason, it simply has not been a recognized subfield in academic history. While academics will often talk of “political historians” or “labor historians” or “social historians” or “cultural historians,” we never talk of — or at least never used to talk of — “presidential historians.” I suppose the term has now gained academic acceptance, as HNN’s POTUS blog (which actually seems to be be devoted to national political history, not just presidents and the presidency) identifies its contributors as “presidential historians.”


Eric Rauchway 08.13.05 at 12:48 am

It’s not a term I would have picked. But they’re good historians, aren’t they?


ben alpers 08.14.05 at 1:31 am

Yes, eric, they include some very good historians. I’m not at all complaining about the POTUS blog, just wondering at the rising fortunes of what still seems to me to be a peculiar term.

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