KC Johnson

American Presidency (Fall 2021)

This course will explore the history of the American presidency from George Washington until the present day.


  • Research Paper: 50%
  • Participation: 30%
  • Study Questions/Supplementary Reading: 20%



email: kcjohnson9@gmail.com

cell: 207-329-8456

office hours: via Zoom


Week 1: Introduction

  • Forrest MacDonald, The American Presidency

Week 2: Washington

Burns and Dunn, George Washington

Reviews: Lilia

Week 3: Jefferson

Appleby, Jefferson

Reviews: Cindy

Supplementary: John Ferling, John Adams (Imani)

Week 4: J.Q. Adams

Traub, John Quincy Adams

Reviews: Liam

Supplementary: HW Brands, Andrew Jackson, pp. 363-528 only (Olivia)

Week 5: Buchanan

Baker, James Buchanan

Reviews: Stephanie

Supplementary: Walter Bornman, Polk (Maryam)

Week 6: Lincoln

Donald, Lincoln

Reviews: Imani

Supplementary: David Stewart, Impeached (Lilia)

Week 7: Reconstruction

Simpson, Reconstruction Presidents

Reviews: Aliza

Supplementary: Robert Merry, President McKinley (Cindy)

Week 8: Course Paper–Proposal

Week 9: Wilson

Cooper, Woodrow Wilson

Reviews: Maryam

Supplementary: Jean Yarborough, Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition (Liam)

Week 10: FDR

Brands, Traitor to His Class

Reviews: Olivia

Supplementary: Martin Fausold, The Presidency of Herbert Hoover (Stephanie)

Week 11: LBJ

Dallek, Lyndon Johnson

Reviews: Cindy

Week 12: Nixon

Farrell, Nixon

Reviews: Liam

Week 13: Bush I

Naftali, George H.W. Bush

Reviews: Aliza

Week 14: Presidency in the Contemporary Era

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