Listening to this, marathoning it really... it made me realize how every Presidency has it haters and lovers and it’s really NOT the first time for anything. People are still battling on both sides of every fence. I think we repeat our issues over and over because we really just don’t live long enough or remember clearly enough our past. This was a wonderful glimpse.
Loving this podcast, gives you an idea of how far we’ve come or how far we’ve gone back in quality of our president. We’ve gone from lawyers, war generals, farmers, to well you know who. Haven’t listened to 45-1 episode yet and most likely won’t. He’s not president, he’s a cartoon.
Intriguing to learn about the Presidents as human beings
I love this podcast. Am bingeing on it over the 2019 holidays. I like Lillian’s style as a host. And I differ from other reviewers on the blind date question: I think it’s a light-hearted, quirky way to unearth character traits of how these men would show up in a social context. I like the guests from presidential libraries, Library of Congress, archives, as well as the biographers who have done extensive historical research. Some of them show great affection for these deceased men. The criticism of liberal bias seems unfair to me. I was impressed with how these presidencies were depicted in the context of their time without trying to reflect them relative to current events. A nice escape ... entertaining, informative, and thought provoking. Thank you!
Only negative: The sound quality for some of the guests was practically impossible to hear/comprehend (e.g., guest at the beginning of JFK sounded like he was in a tunnel). Otherwise, I don’t mind the “raw” production quality—feels authentic.
Desperately needs sound engineer
Content decent, but production quality is awful, making the podcast unlistenable. Speaking directly into a mic is pretty elementary stuff. Really wanted to like this, but....
Easily one of my favorite podcasts i’ve ever stumbled across. I learned more about presidents listening to this podcast than my schools could have possibly offered. So many obscure presidents with great stories. Thank you for this
I found this podcast late but it’s always relevant especially in today’s world. I’m only a few episodes in and am looking forward to learning more about our lesser known presidents as my high school history classes were a long time ago and mostly forgotten.
Wish more podcasts were like this!
Found out about ‘Presidential’ and was immutably hooked! I love Lillian’s historical, educational, and poetic way of showing each of presidents.
I was hiking the PCT this summer and was desperate for something to listen to I started on this. I’m always interested in learning more about history and my schools never taught that much about past presidents - seemed like a great idea for a podcast.
I am tempted to give it one star due to the HIGHLY ANNOYING commercial just before the end of each episode. I don’t mind that there’s a commercial. I get it. You need to promote stuff. What I mind is the commercial is MANY TIMES LOUDER than the actual podcast. So loud I have to desperately pull my headphones out of my ears or RISK HEARING DAMAGE!!!!!! Why? Why?? Why??? I often listen to podcasts while biking. It would be dangerous for me to have to suddenly need a free hand.
I remember several years ago there was actually a bill passed to prevent TV commercials to be played at a higher volume than the TV show it was inserted into. I’m guessing podcasts weren’t covered by this bill but I’m kinda surprised that the Washington Post of all media organizations would do this. Seriously. PLEASE STOP TRYING TO DAMAGE MY HEARING!!!!
So, I learned to stop listening to the end of the podcast. Then came the Harding episode. This is when I stopped listening altogether. Why are private and salacious correspondences the ONLY the thing you mentioned about this human? The whole publication of these letters is such an invasion of his privacy. I get that he’s dead now but it was just gross. Imagine at your funeral that the only thing they mentioned was to describe in detail one private detail of your sex life? Yes, this is now part of his story so mentioning the letters exists and how they became public is an understandable part of his story you might want to tell. But no, instead you went into gleeful detail about the letters. I haven’t listened to any episodes after this one.
Not giving one star because I listed and enjoyed much of the content prior. I just couldn’t stomach anymore.
Undergraduate at best
Abysmal. “What the president would be like on a date...” not even kidding
The Best Podcast About Presidents
Thank you, The Washington Post, for this excellent deep dive into each of the men who have been our presidents. I like how each president is viewed through a certain lens, and all the sources and interviews make it even better!
Could be better
There just feels like there could be much better info about each president. Like Woodrow Wilson was basically a review of how people view him today regarding race relations today. It just seems silly. There were other odd ways to cover Ulysses S Grant where his presidency was barely covered. And that is the stuff people don’t look at much. It was disappointing. They talk about James Buchanan being gay. I don’t get why. Some things felt very politically motivated instead of just factual. There are some decent things brought up about each president but overall it has been disappointing.
Rare Lack of Bias
Dave in NB
I work in politics and the last thing I want is politics in my podcasts. So when I was told about this, I demurred at first because I figured it would be biased. Even as I got towards the end, I was worried as I figured it’d be unbalanced. But it’s not.
Further, it is fantastic. I learned a lot about each President, even those I knew a lot about, and also about the history of our great country.
The host is charming and truly has a passion for the project.
Well worth your time.
Good podcast. I do like the host gets very knowledgable commentators. I do not like she mispronunciations library as lie berry.
More, More, & More!
Loved these podcasts! I wish each segment could have been longer and mote in-depth.
Humanizes the presidents
This podcast is terrific. I’ve struggled to learn about the U.S. presidents because I always got bored by dry facts. The stories about these men are interesting and engaging, which makes them memorable. Why am I so obsessed with Martin Van Burns now?? 🤣
I wanted to like this so badly!!! I love history and American History is my favorite! I wish this podcast could have been an objective look at these men but unfortunately it wasn’t at all!!! I am very very clear on the hosts political views as well as everyone she interviews. I am so sad this can’t be an enjoyable portrait instead of a biased diatribe.
Informative and entertaining
The title says it all—“Presidential” is incredibly informative and wonderfully entertaining. Looking forward to getting in to “Constitutional” and “Moonrise” next.
Didn’t realize I’d be so captivated!
Am thoroughly enjoying Presidential podcast!! I’m over halfway through and have been captivated by it all! Thank you for making this history so interesting!! (Am looking forwarding to listening to the Constitutional one next! )
Waiting for a Book
I have thoroughly enjoyed Presidential and am almost finished. Found it after a recommendation for those who subscribe to John Dickerson’s Whistlestop. Hope you come up with a book summarizing your conclusions Lillian.
Presidential has presence!
Well-crafted, informative, listenable, enjoyable - I’ve recommended this podcast to many of my family and friends and rationed it out so that I wouldn’t finish it too quickly. I listened to it in order but it’s nice that you don’t have to and can skip around.
It’s not comprehensive and doesn’t claim to be. I enjoyed the research and the guests/experts they had on. They did bring up current contexts, but made sure to bring up the context of the time things occurred in as well so the point of the topic wasn’t lost. The only episode I wish they had done better was the William Henry Harrison one. I just binged it the last few weeks and have only a couple left. Great show for a little knowledge/context that you might not get outside of deliberately researching each president and many First Ladies.
I can’t thank u enough Lillian for doing this pod cast!! It is excellent. I loved it. Thank u
And I love your blind date question!! Why would anyone not like it?!
U are doing an outstanding job.
Makes me want to become a US history fanatic!
This podcast makes learning about the President so fun!! Love how the narrator tells stories of each president and the impact they made during their time. Has given me a new perspective on the history of our country and those who have impacted it greatly. Highly recommend, even if you normally are not into historical podcast!!
I've studied presidential history since in elementary school, over 55 years ago, and this series gave me some new and interesting insights during the journey through each president. Although I had to get used to the “blind date” question, it became a regular quirk I eventually looked forward to. And the only segment I couldn't bring myself to download was on Trump. Perhaps when he's voted out next year and we've recovered. But thanks to this series, for example, I gained an interest in James Monroe, James Garfield, a new surprise about Calvin Coolidge and understanding these people as human beings in their timeframe. Thanks to you, I'm almost through a biography now on Monroe and about to start one on Garfield. This has been a terrific journey that I'm honestly going to miss. Can you update some of the profiles? Come back to it again! Well done!
I really like this podcast. It gives a good start to each president and provides resources to learn more about each one. Some people have complained about how the podcaster asks what it would be like to go on a blind date with each president, but I don’t think the intent is to sexualize the historical figures. It’s just meant to give you an idea of their character to those who were close to them. All in all, it’s well done and I would recommend it.
Cunningham is a national treasure
She should be remembered as one of America’s great public educators. Presidential, her podcast opera prima, and Constitutional should be mandatory for every American.
I like the content and I have learned a few things from the few episodes I’ve listened to; however, I can’t hear your guests! The woman from the library of Congress speaks so softly. The man who wrote the book about Adams seems like he is sitting on the other side of the room and your recorder is so far away from him. My phone was on max volume and I still couldn’t hear.
I love this podcast! I've listened to it repeatedly and I've enjoyed it every time. Lillian Cunningham makes history intersting and fun.
Really phenomenal insight Into each president. Engaging and easy to listen to. Love the interviews with biographers. Especially love the reading list! For those cringing about the “blind date” question, Lillian told us at the very beginning that the podcast was about the character of the presidents and their leadership qualities. It’s an Interesting twist on how to get that information. This is not a history podcast, where you just learn rote facts about each president. It’s much more interesting!
Very “light” history
I just finished the Jefferson episode where too much time was spent discussing what it would be like to go on a date with Jefferson and what kind of wine he liked. Really? I am a woman and embarrassed by the poor quality of this episode moderated by a woman.
Do we have to sexualize and objectify humans?
If this was a feminist history podcast hosted by a male, people would flip out on the segment about “if I were to go on a blind date with...” Why is it okay to sexualize and objectify only gender but a crime to do the same of all the other genders.
I like how it talks about their lives because that is what is often overlooked in the presidents
Poorly Structured and Produced, not really history
You would really expect better from the Washington post quality-wise, regardless of your view of their politics. This podcast could have been great, but instead of actually telling the audience about the presidents lives and the political happenings during their presidency, the host just wastes the podcast getting into ideological discussions with well-known, yet somehow still extremely boring guests. Don’t listen to this if you want to actually learn anything about the presidents and the history of the country. If you do actually want to learn something about the presidents, you’d be much better off listening to the totalis rankium podcast. Learned more in 15 minutes of that than in 10 episodes of this mediocre production.
A worthwhile listen!
I have enjoyed the little known facts and balanced insights.
Did she just really call Andrew Johnson a Republican during the Hayes podcast??? There are several slips like this that should have been caught in editing that make this presentation feel less than professional. Also...what’s the deal with dating the Presidents? What are you...15??
Enjoyed this series so very much.
I like it, but...
This podcast is pretty good. I’m on the Millard Fillmore episode. It’s good, it’s pretty wide ranging, a lot of interesting facts in it but they waste a lot of minutes in the beginning saying things like “ not a lot of people know a lot about...” or “ he’s not well known...” or “ so and so isn’t that popular...” we don’t need to know that for almost every episode, just tell us about the person please!
Such great, succinct report out of our historical leaders. I learn so much with each episode.
EJH Big E
Fascinating. Factual with a humorous side. Loved these.
Great podcast, friendly host
Great podcast that builds momentum and a character all its own as it goes. The host is a good interviewer with a warm, friendly voice. The episodes about the minor presidents are the best - lots of info and humor!
Main gals voice gets annoying and sometimes I feel like the recorder is a bit to far away in some of the interviews, but its still very interesting.
Distracting Speech Impediment
It appears that Lillian Cunningham struggles with the differentiation between T when within the middle of a word. Kitten becomes “mi...in” and kitten becomes “ki...in.” Britain becomes “Bri...in.” After a while this distraction overtakes the entire podcast.
Hope to see more Podcasts from this team
Only bad thing is this podcast had to end...
Done at ep 1
I wanted to like this, but I couldn’t even finish the first episode; I quit at 36:12. How did this get past the editing room? Everyone needs a sip of water & some pep in their step. Is the narrator Erin, from The Office? I don’t mean Ellie Kemper, I mean Erin. Each p a u s e felt like an eternity and I’m pretty sure the first guy interviewed was asleep. The next dude made Washington out to sound like he WAS Captain America and until they told us they were going to take the metro for a 10 minute ride, including sound effects, I thought he was the low point. The 2 stars are for the historian. Get her a podcast; she’s engaging as he|l.
Many people left reviews saying this podcast is too Liberal. I am a republican and I though she did a wonderful job keeping her judgements of the presidents balanced. Looking back over history there are good and bad things that happened with almost every administration and she laid that out pretty well. Great podcast!
Good content. As a history buff I enjoyed its content.
Needs to be fair balanced
Basically gives the opinions of our past presidents from Washington Post employees. It has liberal viewpoints and I was really hoping for a fair balanced viewpoint. Some episodes go on weird tangents about something that was insignificant to their presidency or barely touched their presidency at all. For example, FDR’s episode was from the viewpoint of Eleanor. As great as Eleanor is, we got a lot about her and needed more about FDR. I guess if you’re wanting a podcast that talks about odd things that happened in their life rather than what they did during their presidency, then this is a good podcast for you.
Absolutely worth a listen
Each episode provides a good general synopsis of each presidency along with a few maybe lesser known facts about them. The context of each presidency, in my opinion the most interesting thing, is also described
However, at least for the first half of the series, I'm finding the sound editing lacking. Musical scores that would be invigorating if the volume was higher are passive and remind me of a lullaby. There is also an odd disparity in the sound level of different voices.
Other than that though, great podcast.
An interesting look at history and the lessons we can learn in the present day.