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Up To Date

Robert Dallek: Why Some Presidents Succeed

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Robert Dallek is speaking at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on March 13.

We’ve had 45 of them on the job, but only 16 were able to come back.  It’s something Thomas Jefferson once deemed a “splendid misery” …  the U.S. Presidency.

What are the factors that play into the reputation as a strong or weak leader?  How does a president hold onto the public’s imagination?

Wednesday on Up to Date, historian and presidential biographer Robert Dallek talks about what he’s described as an “impossible job.”  In examining why some presidents succeed and others don’t, he’ll outline the roles vision, pragmatism, charisma, trust and luck play in shaping a legacy.

Plus, he’ll tell us how the answers to these questions have transformed as times have changed.

Dallek is giving the keynote address of the 2012 Presidential Series on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. in Plaza Branch library, 4801 Main St. The series is presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute.  Admission is to the event is free. RSVP online or call 816-701-3407.

Robert Dallek is author of numerous books including Lessons from the Lives and Times of Presidents, Nixon and Kissinger, and An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963. His next book is Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House.  He is elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Society of American Historians. He recently retired from Boston University. He's also taught at Columbia, UCLA and Oxford.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.