Beschloss corrects the record

Historians in the News


To the Editor:
Ross Douthat (“Professor vs. Professor,” column, Dec. 11) refers to an early-morning radio comment of mine in 2008 without knowing that it was a slip of the tongue: I expressed my view that Barack Obama was one of the smartest men to be elected president — or thought I did.
When told (while giving a speech in Scranton, Pa., later that week) that I had actually said “the smartest,” I corrected myself by saying you don’t have to be a presidential historian to know that any roster of smart presidents should start with Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln and Wilson.
Washington, Dec. 11, 2011
The writer is the author of nine books of presidential history.■

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