If George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are the saints in America’s civil religion, then the 29th president, Warren G. Harding, is our sinner, consistently judged a failure and ranked dead last among his peers.
Historian Phillip G. Payne offers the first significant reinterpretation of this controversial presidency in a discussion of his book Dead Last: The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding’s Scandalous Legacy. Payne, an associate professor of history at St. Bonaventure University in western New York, explores how Harding’s name became synonymous with corruption, cronyism, and incompetence.
This presentation is part of the Hail to the Chiefs series on the American Presidency co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute. The series is made possible by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund grants. The series is co-sponsored by KCUR’s Up to Date.
Hail to the Chiefs - Fall 2013
All programs begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Truman Forum, Plaza Branch 4801 Main St.