War and Presidential Greatness

John Glaser, March 28, 2012

Economist and Antiwar.com contributor David Henderson and co-author Zachary Gochenour have written a paper on the correlation between the popularity of a president and the number of people they’ve killed. Here is the 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.

They also point to this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

If there is not war, you don’t get the great general; if there is not the great occasion, you don’t get the great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in times of peace, no one would know his name now.




  • Tim

    As H.L. Mencken said, “wars are not made by common folk, scratching for livings in the heat of the day; they are made by demagogues infesting palaces.”

  • afbtemplates

    i agree that's really very useful for us. .http://www.soapberries.com/index.aspx

  • http://www.studio1401.com/ Studio1401

    Great post!  I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future.

  • http://www.sysengtech.com sysengtech

    I often read your posts but rarely comment, I just wanted to say thank you for what you do.

  • http://www.oclasermark.com/ Oclasermark

    Great post! I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future and i just wanted to say thank you for what you do.

  • http://www.hospitalitywimbledon.co.uk/ Hospitalitywimbledon

    Interesting stuff you've got here.

  • http://www.buddyrents.com Buddyrents

    I was looking for something like this and I am so glad that I finally found it.

  • http://www.Maestrogiovannigammuto.com Gammuto

    This was a very simple explanation. It would be nice if you could elaborate a bit more on your definition in the opening paragraph.

  • http://rkllaw.com/ Rkllaw

    I could relate entirely to what you were saying. You must of been reading my mind

  • http://www.cyprus-web.com cyprus-web

    Your explanation is the best I have seen so far

  • http://www.rogueshirts.com/ Rogueshirts

    It is incredible and informative knowledge

  • http://www.rogueshirts.com/ Rogueshirts

    I'm a pretty new follower to your blog and this is pretty much the most awesome idea ever.

  • http://utbizlaw.com/ Utbizlaw

    It would be nice if you could elaborate a bit more on your definition in the opening paragraph.

  • http://lwsoprano.com/ Lwsoprano

    I am sure that what you have said will definitely pierce the ears of your readers and make them think more deeply about it.

  • http://sourcerocklp.com/ Sourcerocklp

    This was a wonderfully helpful article! I am just starting out with my blog Thanks for writing a great article!

  • http://www.sphinxaustralia.com.au/ Sphinxaustralia

    I am looking for such a post, thanks for sharing such valuable information.

  • http://Nawainternational.com/ Nawainternational

    This post is truly informative and definitely a great help for all the bloggers.

  • http://prefabhelp.com/ Prefabhelp

    I wanna high-five to all the commenters. There's never a bad time to talk about Community!

  • http://silvco.ca/ Silvco

    Thanks for starting the u comment list, it’s a great help.

  • http://sixhandsduo.com Sixhandsduo

    You have proven that you are qualified to write on this topic. The facts that you mention and the knowledge and understanding of these things clearly reveal that you have a lot of experience.

  • http://exhibitdesign.com.au Exhibitdesign

    It has been good to read your post as i always search for such kind of blogs thanks for this one.

  • http://www.etripafrica.com/ Etripafrica

    Wow,its a nice article.I believe that all of them are effective it really depends on you on how you will use it.

  • crtoaxin

    I wanted to draft you this very little observation just to thank you so much as before for all the beautiful ideas you have provided on this site. It was certainly seriously generous of you to allow openly all a few people could possibly have made available for an e-book to help with making some bucks for themselves, specifically given that you could have done it in case you desired. The creative ideas in addition worked to become fantastic way to be certain that other people have the same dreams really like my personal own to figure out lots more with regard to this matter. I am sure there are some more fun moments up front for folks who view your blog post. Rent Furniture in Nampa

  • http://vashikaran-specialist.com VashikaranSpecialist

    Very informative article. Thats very great .
    vashikaran Specialist | Vashikaran

  • http://www.crto.net/ crto111

    I am so glad that I finally found it; it’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future.
    Rent Furniture in Boise

  • http://www.crto.net/ crtoaxin

    I am so glad that I finally found it; it’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future.
    Rent Furniture in Boise

  • http://www.crto.net/ Crto

    I was looking to find answers on this particular topic and your Blog came up first on Google search but I can't find anything on this page that is even slightly related to what I need

  • http://convoccoltdbirmingham1.wordpress.com/tag/convocco-ltd-birmingham/ convocco

    My partner and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page for a second time.

  • http://hayderal-ani.livejournal.com/tag/hayderal-ani Hayder al-ani

    Good to know about the War and Presidential Greatness..If you have any information about this particle..Please let me know about this..

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSRxeiQyQ6c Glide Utilities

    I thought it was satire but I really wanted it to be true. I had fantasies of it bringing down the War and Presidential Greatness. It was well written! Please explain the article.Please let me know the complete information.

  • http://www.lostlovebackastrology.com/husband-love-vashikaran-mantra vashikaran mantra

    This post is truly informative and definitely a great help for all the bloggers.
    vashikaran mantra for wife is used to get lost love back