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Academics announce results of US Presidential rankings from best to Trump

Press release   •   Feb 28, 2017 15:02 GMT

Northumbria’s Reader in US History Michael Cullinane alongside colleagues from the Presidential History Network have announced their latest rating of American Presidents, from George Washington to Donald Trump.

The ratings come after a tumultuous six weeks in US politics following the inauguration of President Trump in January.

Northumbria’s outstanding American Studies academics have been at the forefront of international commentary on President Trump’s journey to the White House, reaching a global audience of more than 25 million people through live interviews on BBC News, Sky News, Al Jazeera, France 24, and Deutsche Welle, while also contributing high-profile written articles through online news platforms such as The Conversation.

Dr Cullinane, who recently wrote about the Presidential Rankings for The Conversation, said: “In the half century that has elapsed since Richard Neustadt’s classic study Presidential Power, systematic presidential rating has become a regular academic exercise, but one effectively monopolized by US scholars. Over the same period, study of and research in US history and politics has expanded dramatically in UK universities. Accordingly, the lack of a UK rating of US presidents is a surprising omission that needed to be put right.

“The first ever UK Survey of US Presidents in 2010-11 accomplished this. UK specialists in US history and political studies were asked to assess presidential performance and produced an overall rating on the basis of the responses. They also gave an interim assessment of Barack Obama but his unfinished presidency was not included in the survey.

“In 2016, the Presidential History Network, in collaboration with the US Presidency Centre, coordinated a second survey with a view to providing a full assessment of President Obama's tenure. The results are in and President Obama is ranked at no. 7 - among the top ten and what most surveys consider ‘near great’.

“If you can pull yourself away from the footage of President Trump's news conference last week, please explore the full set of results on the Presidential History Network website. The survey will soon include a full analysis of the results. The analysis will be discussed and debated at an event in London on 8 March.”

To find out more about the event on 8 March click here. Northumbria has one of the UK’s leading cohorts of American Studies scholars and last year launched its first ever MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), in partnership with Future Learn, entitled The American South. This now has more than 6,300 registered learners around the world. To find out more click here.

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