War and Presidential Greatness
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Historians and journalists commonly survey other historians on the relative greatness of American presidents, and these rankings show remarkable consis- tency between surveys. In this paper we consider commonalities between highly ranked presidents and compare plausible determinants of greatness according to historians. We nd that a strong predictor of greatness is the fraction of American lives lost in war during a presidents tenure. We nd this predictor to be robust and compare favorably to other predictors used in previous historical research. We discuss potential reasons for this correlation and conclude with a discussion of how historians views might a ect policy.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2029774
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