David Adler

Presidential Greatness

An exploration of the often-conflicting expectations that Americans have of their presidents. For example, we often demand strong, popular leadership, yet we have a deep suspicion of centralization and abuse of power. We want a president who reflects and follows the will of the people, but we also want one who boldly leads and shapes public opinion. This program explores the question of what constitutes greatness and distinguishes great presidents like Washington, Lincoln, and FDR, from less highly regarded executives like Coolidge, Hoover and Carter.