British historian and author Andrew Roberts' works have focused on leadership.
His much admired Salisbury: Victorian Titan is an engrossing portrait of the last of Queen Victoria's great Prime Ministers, a man who presided over the zenith of Great Britain's empire.
Roberts has also surveyed the sweep of last century, adding to Winston Churchill's epic study with his own The History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900.
Most recently Roberts has written a widely acclaimed joint biography of Churchill, FDR and their great commanders General George Marshall and Sir Alan Brook, titled Masters and Commanders: How Four Titans Won the War in the West: 1941 to 1945.
Roberts has studied leadership of the great democracies over the past 150 years, and so I turned to him on Wednesday to assess what appears to be the confused and collapsing presidency of Barack Obama. Here is the transcript of that interview:
HH: I begin this hour in a conversation with Andrew Roberts, eminent historian, author most recently of Masters And Commanders: How Four Titans Won The War In The West. It’s a joint biography of Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, George Marshall, and Alan Brooke. It’s a wonderful book. I will link it over at Hughhewitt.com, Masters And Commanders. Welcome back, Andrew Roberts, good to talk with you.
AR: It’s great to be on the show again, Hugh.
HH: I’ve got to ask you, as you watch President Obama in this season of sort of his undoing, and tonight people are asking if he’s lost touch, et cetera, what is the failure at the center of his presidency compared with the successes at the center of the FDR and Churchill leaderships?
AR: Well, I don’t think he naturally understands the American people. That’s the major problem, it seems to me, whereas FDR was completely plugged in to the heart and soul of the American people. And of course, Winston Churchill was the quintessential Briton. And so that, I think, is the problem that your president has at the moment.