A Podcast Hosted by Richard Lim

To our Listeners,

On April 4th, 2017,we released the first episode of This American President. With your support, we’ve been able to produce a total of six episodes. It’s been an exciting project for us and a real learning experience. Thank you for listening and being a part of this journey.

We want to take this opportunity to update you about the past few months and what our plans are moving forward.

Learning how to Podcast

Back in February, when we were thinking about starting a podcast, we didn’t really know where to begin. Richard had a passion for presidential history that he wanted to share and Michael was an avid podcast listener. We figured that we could make a good team – if Richard could create the content, Michael could figure out how to record and produce it.

Since then, the partnership has worked out well. We’ve published episodes that cover a wide range of topics; from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Reconstruction to Ronald Reagan. And we’ve improved our technical capabilities and upgraded to near professional-quality recording equipment. We’ve come a long way but we plan to get better and better for future episodes.

Richard recording an episode

By the numbers:

  • 6 episodes published,
  • 4 episodes currently in production,
  • over 250 pages written,
  • 6,000 total downloads,
  • and countless hours spent!

Moving Forward

We plan to continue releasing new episodes every three to four weeks. We will continue with our current format (story-based monologues) for a majority of episodes, but will occasionally conduct interviews as we did in Episode 4 with Peggy Grande.

Upcoming episode topics include: the first official White House photographer and the history of women running for president.

Supporting Us

If you like what you’ve been hearing, we now have two ways you can help us.

First, if you think your friends would enjoy our podcast, feel free to share it on social media! Both our Twitter and Facebook handles are @ThisAmerPres and our website is www.thisamericanpresident.com.

Second, you can support our podcast financially, either through Patreon or
Paypal. Patreon is a service that allows you to support content creators like podcasters with any amount you’d like. You can set up automatic payments that will only be sent when we release a new episode (once every three weeks at most). You can also send one-time payments to our Paypal account.

Support us through Patreon!

Your support will immediately help us pay for regular operating costs and higher-quality recording equipment. As we grow, we will also use support for things like licensing music, getting guests, and anything else that can help us create a better product.

Please visit our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/thisamericanpresident to support us regularly or at Paypal at www.paypal.me/thisamerpres to send us a one-time payment.

Thank you in advance for your support!

One last thing, if you have any feedback or questions – please let us know!

Sincerely,
Michael Neal and Richard Lim

In the first episode of this two-part series on FDR, we explored the man, his times, and the unusual circumstances surrounding the 1944 Democratic Convention. We discussed FDR’s legendary poker face, his deteriorating health, the fact that his doctor warned him that he couldn’t survive a fourth term, and his dream to create the United Nations; an organization he hoped would make future world wars impossible. We also discussed the Democratic Party bosses’ successful effort to remove Henry Wallace as Vice President from the ticket in 1944.  But as we said earlier, big questions remained. Could the Allies secure a long-lasting peace in the postwar world? Could the United States work with the Soviet Union? Would the United Nations work? Could FDR achieve his vision despite his failing health? We will explore the answers to these questions on this episode of This American President.

Conference of the Big Three at Yalta makes final plans for the defeat of Germany. Here the “Big Three” sit on the patio together, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Premier Josef Stalin. February 1945. (Army)

Support

We’re very excited what we are creating here at This American President, and want to continue bringing you more fascinating stories about American Presidents. Creating a podcast takes a lot of work: researching, writing, recording, editing, etc. When we started this podcast we made a goal of producing an episode every three weeks, and we’ve been successful for 6 episodes so far.

If you like what you’ve been hearing, we now have two ways for you to support our podcast: Patreon and Paypal. Patreon is a service that allows you to support content creators like podcasters, with any amount you choose. You can set up automatic payments that will only be sent when we release a new episode. You can also send one-time payments to our Paypal account.

We expect to continue producing episodes about every 3 weeks, mostly monologue stories featuring by host Richard Lim and occasional interviews with special guests.

Please visit our Patreon account at www.patreon.com/thisamericanpresident to support us regularly or our Paypal at www.paypal.me/thisamerpres to send us a one time payment.

We want to thank everyone for their support!

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If we were to do an episode on the entire life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it would have to be at least a 12 hour series. Instead, we will focus on a short period of his life that is one of the most fascinating—the end of it. This isn’t the FDR of the famous 100 days—the one who captivated the nation by the sheer power of his strength and charisma. Instead, this is the FDR who, after years of leading the nation through depression and war, found himself physically exhausted, racing against his own mortality to build his vision for a new world.

The final photograph of President Franklin D. Roosevelt – taken at Warm Springs, Georgia on April 11, 1945 – the day before his death.

By then he believed he was working to save the world from future catastrophe. What we will find is a man who appeared to remain the master politician, mentally still at the top of his game, orchestrating events from behind-the-scenes. But those abilities were put to their greatest test when he faced an agonizing dilemma in the realm of world politics—whether to pursue that vision of a new world at the expense of our deepest values and in cooperation with one of the greatest mass murderers in all of history. And all the while, he was physically at his weakest point and was hiding a secret from the American people—a secret that exposed his country to great risk at a critical time. This is the FDR—whose actions were both inspiring and unsettling—who we will explore in this episode of This American President.

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This week on This American President we interview author, public speaker, and former executive assistant to President Ronald Reagan, Peggy Grande. Peggy recently wrote a book titled The President Will See You Now: My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan’s Final Years. It’s a wonderful book about her time serving President and Mrs. Reagan and how she and her family became very close with them. To find out more, please visit peggygrande.com and order her book.

Peggy Grande and President Ronald Reagan

Historians have often noted that our Founding Fathers didn’t like democracy. Our second president, John Adams, once said, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” Our fourth president, James Madison, wrote, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

The election of 1876 would prove to be one of the greatest tests of American democracy. Learn about this pivotal moment in American history in this episode of This American President.

A truce – not a compromise, but a chance for high-toned gentlemen to retire gracefully from their very civil declarations of war Thomas Nast. Illus. in: Harper’s Weekly, Feb. 17, 1877, p. 132.

He came from humble beginnings. He was born in a log cabin and had virtually no education. Through hard work, he rose to become a successful businessman. He fell in love and was married for almost 50 years. His life was the epitome of the American dream.
He found his calling in politics. He was known as a man of the people, especially the poor and downtrodden. He identified with them and he consistently fought for their interests. They returned him to office again and again. He was their fighter and their champion. He was also one of the most experienced men to ever become president of the United States.
And yet, Andrew Johnson is universally regarded as one of the worst and most hated presidents in American history. How is this possible? You’ll find out in this episode of This American President.

President Andrew Johnson

We all know that George Washington was our first president, that he “could not tell a lie,” and that he supposedly had wooden teeth (he didn’t). However, to us, he seems to be a distant figure; more monument than man. He is as familiar as the one dollar bill, but even there he looks old and grumpy. Is this the real George Washington?
You might be surprised to find out that his contemporaries saw him very differently… They knew him as a warrior of the highest order. This episode takes a closer look at the real George Washington; you may be surprised to find that he consistently plunged himself headlong into battle, making him the first American action hero.

General George Washington

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