Andrew Johnson, Accidental President


    Hour 2

    Andrew Johnson wasn’t supposed to be president of the United States. Less than two months after he was sworn in as vice-president, he was President Lincoln’s successor after his running mate’s assassination. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and law professor ANNETTE GORDON-REED comes in to talk to Marty about one of the nation’s most failed presidencies. Johnson was to lead the broken country right at the end of its Civil War as the South needed to reconstruct its post-slave economy and Johnson, a man who was opposed to the South’s secession, didn’t see African Americans enjoying the same civil rights as their former white owners. Gordon-Reed will discuss the almost-impeached 17th president’s missed opportunities as a president and the alleged stories of Johnson’s role in the plot to kill Lincoln and of impregnating his female slave. Gordon-Reed’s latest book, Andrew Johnson, is part of Times Books’ The American Presidents Series.

    Listen to the mp3

    [audio: 020811_110630.mp3]

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal