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Anthony J. Clark

The historian and presidential library expert Anthony J. Clark discusses his book The Last Campaign: How Presidents Rewrite History, Run for Posterity and Enshrine Their Legacies (2015), with Joseph Planta.


The Last Campaign: How Presidents Rewrite History, Run for Posterity and Enshrine Their Legacies by Anthony J. Clark (2015).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: The Last Campaign [1]


Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

Steady listeners of the program will know that for a couple of years now it’s been a goal to visit all thirteen of the US presidential libraries run by the National Archives. I’ve been to four now, and in between visits I’ve been reading up as much as I can on these libraries, these monuments to American presidents and repositories of their history. A new book that looks critically at the system and how presidents revise their standing in history is an engaging and fascinating read. The book is called The Last Campaign: How Presidents Rewrite History, Run for Posterity and Enshrine Their Legacies. Its author Anthony Clark joins me now. He looks at how unrestrained, unregulated, and unchecked these commemorations have become. Some of these libraries have been garish monuments funded by unknown contributors, sometimes foreign money, and in some instances have been overtly political, when in fact, they’re taxpayer funded, and ought to be historically accurate. Mr. Clark has been to all thirteen of the libraries, and has been following the preparations for President Obama’s library, which was recently announced for Chicago. Anthony J. Clark is a former speechwriter and legislative director in the United States House of Representatives. In the 111th Congress he directed hearings and investigations of the National Archives and presidential libraries for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He spent twelve years working on this book, and as I said it’s a wonderful look at the American system of commemoration through the men who’ve served as president of the United States. You’ll also get some never-before revealed documents from the Nixon administration when Nixon sought federal land for his own library. I’ll get Mr. Clark to tell us that story. Do get this book. You can get it from Amazon, and more information can be had from www.anthony-clark.com [2]. He’s on Twitter @anthonyjclark [3] is the handle. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, in Washington, DC, Anthony Clark; Mr. Clark, good morning.