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The Presidents 

A historical compendium of the 42 men who have served as the chief executive of the United States taking us from George Washington to George W. Bush. Each segment discusses the highlights and often lowlights of the men who have served.




2005   Unknown  




Series cast summary:
Edward Herrmann ...  Narrator 8 episodes, 2005
H.W. Brands H.W. Brands ...  Himself - Author, 'TR: The Last Romantic' / ... 3 episodes, 2005
Douglas Brinkley ...  Director, 'Eisenhower Center' / ... 3 episodes, 2005
Richard Brookhiser Richard Brookhiser ...  Himself - Author, Founding Fathers / ... 3 episodes, 2005
Walter Cronkite ...  Himself - Journalist 3 episodes, 2005
Jimmy Carter ...  Himself - US President (1977-1981) 3 episodes, 2005
James Chace James Chace ...  Himself - Author, '1912: The Election That Changed the Country' / ... 2 episodes, 2005
Robert Dallek ...  Himself - Presidential Historian 2 episodes, 2005
Mel Elfin Mel Elfin ...  Himself - Washington Bureau Chief for Newsweek (1965-1985) 2 episodes, 2005
Eric Foner Eric Foner ...  Himself - Professor of History, Columbia University 2 episodes, 2005
William M. Fowler Jr. William M. Fowler Jr. ...  Himself - Director of Massachusetts Historical Society 2 episodes, 2005
David Gergen ...  Himself - Former Presidential Advisor 2 episodes, 2005
John Robert Greene John Robert Greene ...  Himself - Professor at Cazenovia College / ... 2 episodes, 2005
Walter Isaacson ...  Himself - President, The Aspen Institute 2 episodes, 2005
Zachary Karabell Zachary Karabell ...  Himself - Author, 'Chester Alan Arthur' / ... 2 episodes, 2005
Thomas J. Knock Thomas J. Knock ...  Himself - Author, 'To End All Wars' 2 episodes, 2005
James M. McPherson James M. McPherson ...  Himself - Editor, 'To the Best of My Ability' 2 episodes, 2005
Hugh Sidey Hugh Sidey ...  Author, 'Hugh Sidney's Portraits of the Presidents' / ... 2 episodes, 2005
Richard Norton Smith Richard Norton Smith ...  Himself - Presidential Historian 2 episodes, 2005
Ken Ackerman Ken Ackerman ...  Himself - Author, 'Dark Horse' 1 episode, 2005
Judith Anderson Judith Anderson ...  Herself - Author, 'Taft: An Intimate History' 1 episode, 2005
James A. Baker James A. Baker ...  Himself - White House Chief of Staff (1981-1985) / ... 1 episode, 2005
Jean Baker Jean Baker ...  Herself - Professor of History, Goucher College 1 episode, 2005
Paul Bergeron Paul Bergeron ...  Himself - Editor, 'The Papers of Andrew Johnson' 1 episode, 2005
Carol Berkin Carol Berkin ...  Herself - Author, A Brilliant Solution 1 episode, 2005
Larry Berman Larry Berman ...  Himself - Professor, UC Davis 1 episode, 2005
Alan Brinkley Alan Brinkley ...  Himself - Provost, Columbia University 1 episode, 2005
Michael L. Bromley Michael L. Bromley ...  Himself - Author, 'William Howard Taft and the First Motoring Presidency' 1 episode, 2005
Charles Calhoun Charles Calhoun ...  Himself - Author, 'Benjamin Harrison' 1 episode, 2005
Thomas Y. Cartwright Thomas Y. Cartwright ...  Himself - Director, Carter House Museum 1 episode, 2005
Wesley Clark ...  Himself - U.S. Army 1 episode, 2005
Catherine Clinton Catherine Clinton ...  Herself - Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University 1 episode, 2005
John Milton Cooper John Milton Cooper ...  Himself - Author, 'Breaking the Heart of the World' 1 episode, 2005
Tom Culbertson Tom Culbertson ...  Himself - Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center 1 episode, 2005
Thomas J. DiLorenzo Thomas J. DiLorenzo ...  Himself - Author, 'The Real Lincoln' 1 episode, 2005
Bob Dole ...  Himself - Former U.S. Senator 1 episode, 2005
Sam Donaldson ...  Himself - White House Correspondent 1 episode, 2005
Robert Ferrell Robert Ferrell ...  Himself - Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University 1 episode, 2005
Annette Gordon-Reed Annette Gordon-Reed ...  Herself - Author, An American Controversy 1 episode, 2005
David Greenberg David Greenberg ...  Himself - Author, 'Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image' 1 episode, 2005
Warren G. Harding III Warren G. Harding III ...  Himself - Grandnephew of President Warren G. Harding 1 episode, 2005
Sam W. Haynes Sam W. Haynes ...  Himself - Author, James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse 1 episode, 2005
Harold Holzer Harold Holzer ...  Himself - Author, 'Lincoln at Cooper Union' 1 episode, 2005
Daniel Walker Howe Daniel Walker Howe ...  Himself - Author, Making the American Self 1 episode, 2005
Morton Keller Morton Keller ...  Himself - Professor Emeritus of History at Brandeis University 1 episode, 2005
David M. Kennedy David M. Kennedy ...  Himself - Professor of History at Stanford University 1 episode, 2005
Marvin Kitman Marvin Kitman ...  Himself - Author, Making of the President 1 episode, 2005
Roger McGrath Roger McGrath ...  Himself - Author / ... 1 episode, 2005
Roy Morris Roy Morris ...  Himself - Author, 'Fraud of the Century' 1 episode, 2005
Michael Nelson Michael Nelson ...  Himself - Author, The Evolving Presidency 1 episode, 2005
Leon Panetta ...  Himself - U.S. Congressman (1977-1993) 1 episode, 2005
James Rees James Rees ...  Himself - Executive Director, Historic Mount Vernon 1 episode, 2005
Richard Reeves Richard Reeves ...  Himself - Author / ... 1 episode, 2005
John Seigenthaler Sr. ...  Himself - Author, James K. Polk 1 episode, 2005
Samuel C. Slaymaker Samuel C. Slaymaker ...  Himself - Executive Director, James Buchanan Foundation 1 episode, 2005
Theodore Sorensen Theodore Sorensen ...  Himself - Former Special Counsel to President Kennedy 1 episode, 2005
Allan Spetter Allan Spetter ...  Himself - Author, 'The Presidency of Benjamin Harrison' 1 episode, 2005
Mark Summers Mark Summers ...  Himself - Author, 'Rum, Romanism & Rebellion' 1 episode, 2005
Evan Thomas ...  Himself - Newsweek 1 episode, 2005
Hans L. Trefousse Hans L. Trefousse ...  Himself - Author, 'Andrew Johnson: A Biography' 1 episode, 2005
Timothy Walch Timothy Walch ...  Himself - Director of Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum 1 episode, 2005
Peter A. Wallner Peter A. Wallner ...  Himself - Author, 'Franklin Pierce: N.H.'s Favorite Son' 1 episode, 2005
Susan Ware Susan Ware ...  Herself - Historian, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study 1 episode, 2005
Harry Watson Harry Watson ...  Himself - Author, Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay 1 episode, 2005
George Bush ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2005
George W. Bush ...  Himself 6 episodes, 2005
Bill Clinton ...  Himself 3 episodes, 2005
Calvin Coolidge ...  Himself (archive footage) 1 episode, 2005
Dwight D. Eisenhower ...  Himself (archive footage) 2 episodes, 2005
Gerald Ford ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2005
Warren G. Harding ...  Himself (archive footage) 1 episode, 2005
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison ...  Himself (archive footage) unknown episodes
Rutherford B. Hayes Rutherford B. Hayes ...  Himself (archive footage) unknown episodes
Lyndon Johnson ...  Himself (archive footage) 3 episodes, 2005
John F. Kennedy ...  Himself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 2005
William McKinley ...  Himself (archive footage) 1 episode, 2005
Richard Nixon ...  Himself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 2005
Ronald Reagan ...  Himself (archive footage) 4 episodes, 2005


A historical compendium of the 42 men who have served as the chief executive of the United States taking us from George Washington to George W. Bush. Each segment discusses the highlights and often lowlights of the men who have served.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wanted: Ambitious individual for leadership position. Be prepared for difficult application process and stressful work environment. Challenges: many. Rewards: numerous. Failure: possible. Your employer: The American People. The few chosen have been The Presidents. See more »







Release Date:

2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Presidents: The Lives and Legacies of the 43 Leaders of the United States See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(9 parts)


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User Reviews

Thanks To Shows Like This, History Is Finally Becoming Interesting & Fun!
5 November 2008 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

If only history was this interesting 50 years ago, I might have learned a few more things as a kid. Well, better late than never because TV shows like this will teach you more about history than you learned in years of being half-asleep in school. The subject with this TV "special" was a brief look at all the United States Presidents.

It was broken up into four or five one-hour segments and I found the earlier ones to be the most interesting, probably because I knew a lot more about 20th century Presidents.

For a few examples: The first U.S. President, George Washington, was perhaps the most amazing man who has ever stepped in office and the only one elected unanimously (twice). He was a tough act to follow, especially for a weak leader like John Adams, who was then followed by a stronger man in Thomas Jefferson. Too bad Jefferson hated the job so much he refused to note that he was a President on his gravestone.

The fourth President, James Madison, was the first to actually face enemy fire at the White House and his successor, James Monore was the last of the "Revolutionary generation." His legacy was the "Monroe Doctrine," which he didn't even write. That was written by the next President, John Quincy Adams, who did little except be miserable most of the time. He and the next President, Andrew Jackson, fought the dirtiest Presidential campaign in history, it was said on this TV program.

The program continues on with a lot about the complicated nature of Jackson, and goes on with the rest of the Preisents all the way to George W. Bush. Most of the leaders get 5-10 minutes of air time. I noticed Abraham Lincoln's segment lasted almost a half hour, so not everyone is treated equally. But since it's Abe and my favorite President of them all, I wasn't complaining.

Generally speaking, though, we hear many of the good and bad points of most of the Presidents and much of the stuff, I presume, are facts we didn't know. It's all extremely interesting material and this program is highly recommended. One thing you can't help noticing: many of the negative aspects of politics that are around today have always been there. In that regard, nothing has changed: just the names, faces and scandals.

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