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Mourning the Presidents

The death of a chief executive, regardless of the circumstances—sudden or expected, still in office or decades later—is always a moment of reckoning and reflection. Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Matthew R. Costello, and Sharron Wilkins Conrad joined acclaimed presidential historian Michael Beschloss to discuss the new book Mourning the Presidents.

Published by the University of Virginia Press in collaboration with the White House Historical Association and the Center for Presidential History, this volume explores how different generations and communities of Americans have eulogized and remembered presidents since George Washington’s death in 1799. This book offers a unique approach to understanding American culture and politics by uncovering parallels between different generations of mourners, highlighting distinct experiences, and examining what presidential deaths can tell us about societal fissures at various critical points in the nation’s history, right up to the present moment.

White House Historical Association