Titled “Interviews with Professor Donald Elder: The Presidents of the United States,” it is subtitled “Political Leaders and their Assessment.”
Education professor Michael F. Shaughnessy conducted the interviews.
The 207-page book is published by Nova Publishers of New York.
Elder III, professor of history, said, “Mike (Shaughnessy) and I were talking about the lack of knowledge public school students have about our presidents, and he suggested the book. It is designed for middle school students through adults. We were very honest about each president. It is an extremely difficult position to serve in.”
Shaughnessy said, “I developed a standard set of questions for Doc (Elder), including a defining event for each presidency. Each of our leaders has to be evaluated by the era during which they served. It’s important to keep that in mind in judging them.”
Approximately the same amount of space is devoted to each president from George Washington to Barack Obama.
Questions included what each president was most known for, greatest accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses, impact on the U.S. and world, their place in history and general summary of their presidency.
In the introduction, the professors wrote: “This series of interviews will provide a vast panorama of the Presidency. It will acknowledge accomplishments, failures, foibles, follies, frustrations, personalities and pet peeves.
“Not all Presidents have been perfect individuals. Some have been held accountable for things beyond their control: such is the price of leadership. Some have not been acknowledged or recognized for what they have accomplished behind the scenes. This, too, goes with perhaps ‘the loneliest job in the world.’
“The values and perspectives of the President have brought about changes, annexations and accommodations, and have on occasion led the United States into war…
“It is hoped that this series of interviews will provide a rich, robust source of information about the greatest men, the individuals who had the most important role in helping make the United States of America the greatest country on the face of the earth.”
The book is available through Amazon.com.
For more information, call Shaughnessy at 575.562.2791 or Elder at 575.562.2601.