Historians Assess Obama’s Legacy Under Trump’s Shadow

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tags: election 2016, Obama, Obama legacy, Trump



Journalism may be the first draft of history. But on Friday, a group of scholars gathered here for what might be an editing session on the second.

The occasion was a small conference with the uncolorful title “The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment.” While it had been planned more than a year ago, the election had forced more than a few participants to look at the papers they submitted in late October — some of which referred to Donald J. Trump confidently in the past tense — and shout, “Get me rewrite!”

“After election night, I instantly got emails from the participants, asking if we were going to have the same discussion,” Julian E. Zelizer, the Princeton historian who organized the gathering, said before the proceedings.




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