Harold Holzer, the Jonathan Fanton Director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, is a nationally recognized scholar of presidential history, particularly on Abraham Lincoln. Having served as a former journalist and as press secretary to several government officials, he melds his expertise in his 2020 book, The Presidents vs. the Press: The Endless Battle Between the White House and the Media—from the Founding Fathers to Fake News.
In this authoritative historical analysis, Holzer argues that dealings between Presidents and journalists have always been fraught. The book points out that it was not George Washington’s ideals that prevented him from seeking a third term as president; it was his reluctance to subject himself to four more years of scrutiny and derision from the press. While President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media might feel vicious, Holzer says, they are not new.
Presidents vs. the Press has received excellent reviews in The Washington Post and The New York Times, which called it a “panoramic survey of the most contentious president-on-press brawls from the past two and a quarter centuries, providing both the scholar and the general reader with valuable perspective on the current bout between Trump and reporters.”
See the September 1 Hunter@Home program, in which Harold Holzer discusses his book with John Avlon, a prominent CNN political analyst and anchor.