2 votes

Interesting Paper on War and Presidential Greatness

Basically what this paper is saying is that there is a very strong correlation between the number of American troops that die at war, and the relative 'greatness' of American presidents (rated by historians) aka the more troops that die at war the better the president. To me, this is a horrific notion, and a sad look at the way many in this country judge greatness/success.

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Abstract:

Historians and journalists commonly survey other historians on the relative 'greatness' of American presidents, and these rankings show remarkable consistency between surveys. In this paper we consider commonalities between highly ranked presidents and compare plausible determinants of greatness according to historians. We find that a strong predictor of greatness is the fraction of American lives lost in war during a president’s tenure. We find 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 affect policy.

If interested, you can download the paper here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2029774#1...