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OWL Monday Scholars 


The Great American Presidents

Mondays, July 25  through  February 6
12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Taught by: Dr. Allan J. Lichtman
Facilitated by: Cameron Bove

Facilitated by Cameron Bove, Monday Scholars is a weekly series that meets in the library’s Jamie Gagarin Community Room. The series combines the best of online learning with the best of classroom discussion. Each week, a new lecture topic will be watched and discussed. All participants need to do is come ready to engage their minds and participate in the discussion. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is required.

Over the course of several months, we will examine twelve American Presidents. Come for the entire series or only for sections!

About the Course:

The founders of the American Republic created a new kind of leadership office. It would be a strong and independent president who commanded the armed forces and led the executive branch of government. When the Founding Fathers created it in 1787, the presidency was a radical novelty. That first president would be the first head of state in the world whose authority would rest explicitly on the consent of the governed rather than the prerogatives of birth or conquest. The presidency and its occupants, Professor Lichtman argues, deserve much of the credit for the political stability we have enjoyed for more than 200 years.

We’ll explore how well this radical new way of governing has worked by examining the lives, the achievements, and the legacies of those generally considered our 12 greatest presidents.

Professor Lichtman’s lectures reveal 12 leaders of widely differing backgrounds. They had varying styles, personalities, and beliefs; came from disparate roots; and embraced different approaches to governing. Each had a powerful vision of America and the American promise. Each possessed the qualities that all great presidents seem to share: they had an unsinkable ambition, deep affinity with the American people, and a strong inner core of guiding values and principles. While the formal constitutional authority of the president has changed only modestly since 1787, presidential practice, congressional legislation, and judicial interpretations have altered the powers and role of the presidency enormously.


JUL. 25 - AUG. 22:    George Washington & Thomas Jefferson
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AUG. 22 - SEP. 26:   Andrew Jackson & James Polk
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OCT. 3 - OCT.31:       Abraham Lincoln & Theodore Roosevelt
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NOV. 7 - DEC. 5:       Woodrow Wilson & Franklin Roosevelt
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DEC. 12 - JAN.9:       Harry S. Truman & John F. Kennedy
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JAN.16 - FEB. 6:       Lyndon B. Johnson & Ronald Reagan
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About the Professor:

Dr. Allan J. Lichtman is Professor of History at American University in Washington, D.C. and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Professor Lichtman is the recipient of the Scholar-Teacher Award from American University. He is the author or coauthor of six books, including The Thirteen Keys to the Presidency and The Keys to the White House.   






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