Hatred of America's Presidents
Personal Attacks on the White House from Washington to Trump
by Lori Cox Han, Editor
June 2018, 396pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5436-1
$103, £80, 90€, A142
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5437-8
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Throughout his historic presidency, George Washington was savaged by critics as an elitist snob who looked down upon “ordinary” Americans with disdain.

This work examines expressions of personal hostility and animosity toward presidents—even beloved ones—throughout American history and their impact on policymaking, politics, and culture.

People involved or simply interested in politics often ask whether today’s political environment is more toxic than ever before. Hatred of America’s Presidents: Personal Attacks on the White House from Washington to Trump presents an impartial and authoritative history of invective toward the White House so readers can determine the answer for themselves.

The book focuses on the most representative and commonplace attacks of a vitriolic and personal nature, detailing who instigated and trafficked in the attacks and how presidents, administrations, and political parties defended themselves. It also illustrates how honest disagreements about policy—such as FDR’s New Deal, Ronald Reagan’s Central America policies, George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act—fueled expressions of hatred and condemnation. Finally, the book includes perspectives from both the right and the left on the legitimacy of these attacks and the victims’ defenses as well as their impact on American politics and policy.


  • Investigates a unique form of expressions of hatred toward American presidents, focusing on the personal rather than the political
  • Covers every president from Washington to Trump
  • Includes coverage of personal attacks on First Families
  • Details how presidents and allies responded to these attacks
Lori Cox Han is Professor of Political Science at Chapman University in Orange, California. She is the author of several books on the presidency, news media, and women in politics, including Presidents and the American Presidency; Women, Power, and Politics: The Fight for Gender Equality in the United States; and Governing From Center Stage: White House Communication Strategies During the Television Age of Politics. She is also past president of the Presidency Research Group, an organized section of the American Political Science Association devoted to studying the presidency.


Best Reference Book of 2018—Library Journal, March 1, 2019


"Presidential political science and history buffs will pore over this captivating study; researchers will find the further reading suggestions particularly helpful."—Library Journal, Starred Review, September 1, 2018

"The literature on the American presidency is enormous so a volume solely devoted to this narrow historical aspect should benefit students, researchers, and general readers."—ARBA, September 15, 2018

"All the chapters are concise and well written. . . . Recommended."—Choice, December 1, 2018

2018 Top Community College Resource—Choice, 00/00/00
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