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The Presidents vs. the Press


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About the Author

Harold Holzer is the recepient of the 2015 Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize. One of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, Holzer was appointed chairman of the US Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission by President Bill Clinton and awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush. He currently serves as the director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, City University of New York.


"[The Presidents vs. The Press] gives us a panoramic survey of the most contentious president-on-press brawls from the past two and a quarter centuries, providing both the scholar and the general reader with valuable perspective on the current bout between Trump and reporters."--The New York Times Book Review

"A lively, deeply researched history of the roller-coaster relationships between presidents and journalists, from George Washington to Donald Trump...Holzer recounts all this and much more in considerable colorful detail."--The Washington Post "An immensely informative account of the perennial struggle between presidents and the fourth estate."--Minneapolis Star Tribune "A shrewd history of the fight to convey and repress objective truth."--Kirkus "A lively and informative work that will appeal to anyone interested in American history, politics, and journalism."--Library Journal "Timely and informative."--Washington Independent Review of Books "Harold Holzer has brought us a sweeping, groundbreaking and important history of the conflict between American presidents and the press, and it could not arrive at a more crucial moment."--Michael Beschloss, NBC News presidential historian and New York Times bestselling author of Presidents of War "Harold Holzer's fascinating new book beautifully narrates the long history of contention between the press and the White House, but it does more than that. Presidential politics were born at the dawn of popular newspaper writing, and the fighting, seducing, and conniving on both sides has continued ever since. Presidents and reporters can't really exist without each other, and Holzer, a historian of the presidency with the eye of a reporter, expertly explains why."--Sean Wilentz, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln "Harold Holzer is a master in telling us exactly what we need to know--no more, no less--on a critical and obsessive relationship spanning 200 years. With a gimlet-eye, Holzer shows how some of our best presidents--from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama--were the most resistant to press scrutiny."--Jonathan Alter, New York Times bestselling author of His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life "Not surprisingly, George Washington was the first president to protest 'the malicious falsehoods' and 'violent abuse' he'd suffered from the press. In this vivid, anecdotal history, Harold Holzer, himself a shrewd veteran of political press relations as well as a fine historian, chronicles the ways in which Washington and eighteen of his most important successors have sought to seduce and cajole, defy and sometimes conspire with the men and women who cover them. No one interested in the presidency--or in the long history of 'fake news'--should miss it."--Geoffrey C. Ward, New York Times bestselling author of A First Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt "From George Washington railing against 'infamous scribblers' to the ravings of Donald Trump against 'fake news, ' there is an inherent tension between presidents and the press. Harold Holzer brings this centuries-long struggle to life in a brisk, enjoyable and authoritative book that offers valuable perspective on the art of governing while shining a light on how the free press is still the ultimate guarantor of freedom."--John Avlon, CNN Senior Political Analyst and author of Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations

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