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Posted 23 January 2009

The Splendid Misery of the American Presidency

The possibilities and perils of America's highest political and governmental office were examined in historical terms and within contemporary realities by Professor Robert Schmuhl, Chair in American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame, in a hard-hitting public lecture at University College Dublin on 21 January 2009.

In his lecture, Professor Schmuhl outlined how the American Presidency has changed since the 18th century, and why recent White House occupants have found governing so difficult? He also examined what is legitimate to expect from US presidents, and what qualities characterise effective presidential leadership?

The public lecture is part of the UCD John Hume Institute public lecture series curated under the general rubric of “Communication, knowledge and the citizen in the global environment”. The lecture series is intended to provoke public interest, engagement and debate on a number of themes implicit in the rapid transformation of and access to the communication and transmission of knowledge.


Podcast of Lecture

The Splendid Misery of the American Presidency
Speaker: Prof Robert Schmuhl

Right-Click to download file
Filesize 56.87 MB
Duration 41:24


Biosketch - Robert Schmuhl

Professor Robert Schmuhl is Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame, and Director of its John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. He is a respected teacher and author on the subjects of American communications, political culture, and contemporary national affairs.

He has written for The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Sports Illustrated, and American Journalism Review,and has been a commentator on CNN, NPR and the BBC.

He is the author or editor of nine books, including: "Statecraft and Stagecraft: American Political Life in the Age of Personality" (1990/1992), "Wounded Titans: American Presidents and the Perils of Power" (1996), and "Indecent Liberties" (2000).

Professor Robert Schmuhl is currently John Hume Visiting Research Fellow at University College Dublin.

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The Splendid Misery of the American Presidency - public lecture by Professor Robert Schmuhl