Lincoln ranked best US president by historians





Just days after Americans honoured the 200th anniversary of his birth, 65 historians ranked Abraham Lincoln as the best US president.

Former President George Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive by the end of 2008, according to a survey conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN.

Bush scored lowest in international relations, where he was ranked 41st, and in economic management, where he was ranked 40th. His highest ranking, 24th, was in the category of pursuing equal justice for all. He was ranked 25th in crisis leadership and vision and agenda setting.

Compared to C-SPAN's only other ranking of presidents, in 2000, former President Bill Clinton jumped six spots from No 21 to 15.

Other recent presidents moved positions as well: Ronald Reagan advanced from No 11 to 10, George HW Bush rose from No 20 to 18 and Jimmy Carter fell from No 22 to 25.

This movement illustrates that presidential reputations are influenced by present-day concerns, said survey adviser and participant Edna Medford.

Related Links

  • KC Johnson: Rating the C-SPAN Survey

  • HNN Poll: 61% of Historians Rate the Bush Presidency Worst

  • Larry DeWitt: The Follies of Instant History: Another Meaningless Poll of Historians


  • comments powered by Disqus
    History News Network