Academics, journalists, and popular historians agree: our greatest presidents are the ones who confronted a national crisis and mobilized the entire nation to face it. That’s the conventional wisdom. The chief executives who are celebrated in textbooks and placed in the top echelon of presidents in surveys of experts are the bold leaders - the Woodrow Wilsons and Franklin Roosevelts - who reshaped the United States in line with their grand “vision” for America. Unfortunately, along the way, these “great” presidents inevitably expanded government - and shrank our liberties.
"Really enjoyed it"
Conservatives looking for some bit of consolation in the prospect of a Donald Trump nomination have begun to suggest that Trump’s probable general election defeat to Hillary Clinton, though a disappointment, might portend a new, invigorated conservatism - much like Barry Goldwater’s landslide defeat to Lyndon Johnson in 1964. If history doesn’t repeat itself, as the saying goes, perhaps it rhymes.
Jimmy Carter: America's best ex-president? Only if you're not bothered by the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism (which started on his watch), the shamefaced foreign policy of Bill Clinton and John Kerry (ditto), and think that ex-presidents should travel the world coddling dictators and bad-mouthing America la Jesse Jackson. Jimmy Carter has been given a free ride from the liberal media, liberal historians, and even the American people, who excuse his political delinquencies and disasters on the grounds that he is a "good" man.
"A great book about a horrible president."