Presidential Libraries: The Price Isn't Right

If things get really bad, Bill Clinton may think about blaming some of his fund-raising problems on Franklin Roosevelt. After all, it was F.D.R. who started the trend toward big-time presidential libraries that has Clinton trying to raise $150 million to build his center in Little Rock, Ark. Before F.D.R., the most your typical President could look forward to was a shack with a plaque. When he left office, he held on to his papers. But F.D.R., who invented the modern presidency, also invented the modern presidential library. In 1939 he bequeathed his papers to the government and donated part of...

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