Presidential Historian Mike Purdy

Mike Purdy

As a presidential historian, I have had a lifelong fascination and interest in the presidents that dates back more than 50 years to my first presidential memory – of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. When I was 8 years old, I memorized all the presidents in order (reciting their names in ten seconds!).

Over the years, I’ve read many, many biographies and books about the presidents – and still have many more to read from my library of more than 600 presidential biographies!

I am a speaker, author, political commentator, reviewer of new presidential books, podcaster, and am frequently interviewed and quoted by both national and international media about presidential history and politics.

Books:  I am the author of the Foreword to the 2016 biography “The Story of John Quincy Adams – 250 Years Later,” by Edward Cody Huddleston (Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc., Ocala Florida).  I’m pursuing the process to self-publish a book currently titled “101 Presidential Insults: What They Really Thoughts About Each Other.”

Articles and OpEds:  I have written the following:


  • Unprecedented 2016 Presidential Campaign, October 24, 2016, University of Puget Sound, 20 minutes. With Dr. Michael Artime
  • The Unmaking of the President – with Dr. Michael Artime
    • 1 – 5 Ways Trump May Leave the White House Before His Term is Complete, May 22, 2107, 34 minutes. Listen to Audio
    • 2 – The Moral Courage Edition, June 7, 2017, 33 minutes. Listen to Audio
    • 3 – The Apprentice President Edition, June 21, 2017, 43 minutes. Listen to Audio
    • 4 – The Modern Day Presidential Edition, July 6, 2017, 39 minutes. Listen to Audio
    • 5 – The Eighth is Enough Edition, July 19, 2017, 24 minutes. Listen to Audio
    • 6 – The Donald in Wonderland, August 21, 2017, 37 minutes.  Listen to Audio
    • 7 – Punish or Pardon, September 5, 2017, 41 minutes.  Listen to Audio
    • 8 – The Enemies List Edition, September 25, 2017, 31 minutes.  Listen to Audio
    • 9 –  The Taxing Days for the GOP Edition, November 14, 2017, 41 minutes.  Listen to Audio
    • 10 – The Beginning of the End? Edition, April 23, 2018, 46 minutes, Listen to Audio
    • 11 – The Red or Blue Wave Edition?, October 15, 2018, 51 minutes, Listen to Audio

Media Interviews:  I am regularly interviewed by the media about presidential history and have been quoted in newspapers, online, and appeared on television, including the following:

  • Time Magazine
  • President Obama is Now Campaigning for His Legacy, by Maya Rhodan, October 10, 2016 (I was interviewed by Time Magazine for this article and provided background information that was used in the article, but I was not directly quoted)
  • VEJA Magazine (Brazil)
  • E Agora, Democracia?, (And Now, Democracy?), January 25, 2017, by Nathalia Watkins.  Published in Portuguese

Speaking:  I do frequent speaking on the presidents to academic, business, and community audiences. Contact me if you’re interested in me speaking to your group.

  • All About the Presidents, Presentation and Q&A with Ms. Heidi Mallory’s 8th grade U.S. History class at Murrary Middle School in Murray, KY. Flashchat sponsored by DreamWakers. January 17, 2019. 40 minutes.
  • Perfect Storm! Why Trump Won, City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Lifelong Learning Program, October 16, 2018. I was only able to record the last 9 minutes (technical difficulties!) of the speech on “5 Threats to American Democracy”. Watch video.
  • History of Presidential Campaigning, Guest lecturer at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington, October 15, 2018.
  • Leadership Lessons from the Presidents, Columbus, Ohio on November 16, 2017, Central Ohio Organization of Public Purchasers, 53 minutes. Listen to Audio.
  • Oral History Interview with The Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, Texas on August 28, 2017 of my early recollections of President John F. Kennedy and his assassination, his enduring popularity and legacy, and reflections on my visit to Dealey Plaza on July 9, 2017.  Interview conducted by Stephen Fagin, Curator of the Museum.  42 minutes. @2017 The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.  All Rights Reserved.  All reproduction requests must be submitted to
  • Who Will Win the White House?  University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Washington). Ten community lectures providing historical insight and contemporary analysis.  Presented with political scientist Dr. Michael Artime.
    • The Long Road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  January 21, 2016.  Watch video
    • Who Wants to be President? February 18, 2016.  Watch video
    • What do the Candidates Believe? March 10, 2016.  Watch video
    • What Voters & States Will Elect the Next President?  March 24, 2016.  Watch video
    • How Accurate Are the Polls? April 14, 2016.  Watch video
    • Media, Marketing, & the Making of the President, April 28, 2016.  Watch video
    • The Last Primaries: Who Will Win the Nominations?  June 7, 2016.  Watch video
    • The Current State of the Presidential Race, September 19, 2016.  Watch video
    • The Final Sprint to the White House, October 24, 2016.  Watch video
    • Scorched Earth: Making Sense of the 2016 Political Storm  November 14, 2016.  Watch video
  • One for the History Books: The 2016 Presidential Campaign.  St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (Lakewood, Washington).  Four community lectures.
    • Unprecedented Campaign.  October 5, 2016
    • Media & Marketing.  October 12, 2016
    • Voting & the Electoral College.  October 26, 2016
    • The Answers We Seek.  November 2, 2016
  • Reflections on the Presidential Election.  Bethany Presbyterian Church (Seattle, Washington). November 20, 2016.
  • Podcast: Who Will Win the White House?  University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Washington). October 28, 2016. Listen to audio
  • The Final Sprint to the White House.  Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Washington).  Community lecture.  October 25, 2016
  • The Impact of Televised Presidential Debates.  Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Washington).  Political science class guest lecturer.  October 5, 2016.
  • One for the History Books: The 2016 Presidential Campaign.  Franke Toby Jones Retirement Community (Tacoma, Washington). September 28, 2016.
  • The Current State of the Presidential Race.  Pacific Lutheran University (Tacoma, Washington).  Community lecture.  September 19, 2016.
  • Fasten Your Seat Belt:  Historical Reflections and Contemporary Analysis of the 2016 Race for the White House.  Gig Harbor Mid-Day Rotary Club (Gig Harbor, Washington). July 26, 2016.
  • The Truth About Presidential Elections Past & Present.  Gig Harbor Super Business Group (Gig Harbor, Washington).  July 13, 2016
  • The Character and Relationships of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Waggoner Road Junior High School (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) lecture via Skype.  March 10, 2015.
  • Barely Avoiding Disaster: Lessons Learned from the White House Reconstruction During Harry Truman’s Presidency
    • Central Ohio Organization of Public Purchasers (Columbus, Ohio). September 20, 2018. Click to watch 50 minute video.
    • Washington State Bar Association (Seattle, Washington). February 25, 2016
    • National Procurement Institute (Las Vegas, Nevada). October 13, 2015
    • National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (Minneapolis, Minnesota). October 2, 2015
    • Washington Association of School Busines Officials (Spokane, Washington). May 7, 2015
    • Construction Specifications Institute (Seattle, Washington). April 21, 2015
  • How the Friendship and Dogfight Between Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft Impacted the Presidential Elections of 1908 and 1912.  Whitworth University (Spokane, Washington). September 26, 2013.
  • Dramaturg for “1776” at Seattle Musical Theatre, Fall 2008

Book Reviews: Books I’ve reviewed prior to or close to publication on request of publishers or authors.

    I retired in 2010 after more than 30 years as a contracting manager for local and state governments in Seattle, Washington, and still do part-time consulting ( I have a bachelor’s degree in business and public administration and an MBA, both from the University of Puget Sound, and a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.

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Mike is available for speaking engagements on a variety of subjects relating to presidential history.

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