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The Presidents Connect today's election issues with the past

Presidents Podcasts

During 2008, historians and political experts shared their thoughts on election issues — and compared them to those of the past.

Listen to these Presidents Podcasts directly from this page.

You can also subscribe to the American Experience podcast feed to automatically receive them — and other American Experience podcasts.

Have an idea about an election-themed podcast? Let us know!


The Presidents: The Two-Party System and Political Participation (10:46)
Harvard historian Thomas Patterson looks at political participation and America's two-party system in presidential elections.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.9 MB)
The Presidents: The Debates (10:38)
George Mason University professor Rick Shenkman looks at presidential debates and their impact upon elections.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.8 MB)
The Presidents: The Conventions (13:36)
NPR news analyst Daniel Schorr and American University historian Allan Lichtman discuss the role of the party conventions in 2008.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 12.5 MB)
The Presidents: The Democratic Party and Expanding Opportunity (13:15)
Harvard University sociologist Orlando Patterson places Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign in the context of Democratic Party history.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 12.2 MB)
The Presidents: American Conservativism (11:50)
Historian Dan Carter places John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign in the context of the American conservative movement.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 10.9 MB)
The Presidents: The Economy (10:12)
MIT historian Meg Jacobs examines the impact of economic issues during election years.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 9.4 MB)
The Presidents: First Ladies (8:57)
John Jay College historian Blanche Wiesen Cook looks back at Eleanor Roosevelt and discusses the role of the First Lady.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 8.2 MB)
The Presidents: Foreign Policy Leadership (14:57)
International relations professor Ernest May from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and history professor Kristin Hoganson from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign describe foreign policy, presidential leadership, and elections.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 13.7 MB)
The Presidents: Critical Elections (8:11)
Georgetown University historian Michael Kazin looks back at the 1968 presidential campaign and discusses the theory of "critical elections."
Listen Now (mp3 file, 7.5 MB)
The Presidents: Campaigning and the Primary System (20:11)
Boston University historian Bruce Schulman, author of The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics, looks back at the 1976 presidential campaign and finds parallels to the 2008 campaign.
Listen Now (mp3 file, 18.5 MB)

How do I subscribe to the Presidents Podcasts?
Download and install software to subscribe to podcast feeds. Using the software you've selected, browse the directories of available podcasts for the American Experience Podcast, or search for it by name. Select 'Subscribe' to get the latest episode and future episodes.

You can also subscribe by copying the feed link next to the orange [POD] icon.

You can then paste the link into your podcasting software. In iTunes you can find this option under the "Advanced" menu as "Subscribe to podcast."

Where can I find other podcast subscription software?
There are many free options for subscribing to podcasts. Here are some options:
iTunes (PC or Mac)
Juice (PC or Mac)
Doppler (PC or Mac)
Blog Matrix Sparks! (PC)
iPodderX (Mac)
Playpod (Mac)


Major funding provided by the National
Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

NEH Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this Web site do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.