The Swamp has been around for over 150 years, and six major presidents have tried to drain it with varying degrees of success.
Donald Trump promised to “Drain the Swamp,” by which he originally meant lobbyists. When he got in, he found an entirely different Swamp—a Deep State that had grown, layer upon layer, within the government. But he wasn’t the first to encounter entrenched Swamp opposition. Abraham Lincoln had to battle the “Slave Power Conspiracy”; Grover Cleveland was the most successful of three presidents to fight the spoils Swamp. Theodore Roosevelt found a new iteration of the Swamp awaiting him: Trusts. After World War II, John F. Kennedy discovered that he had little control over the Central Intelligence Agency, and even found he needed the CIA for his own purposes. Despite promising to shrink the bureaucracy Swamp, Ronald Reagan found himself helpless to even make a dent in it. And Trump soon learned that the Deep State could ensure no one ever brought any of its own to justice. Dragonslayers explains why these Swamps exist, and why they were—and remain—so hard to defeat.
Larry Schweikart, a native Arizonian, graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Political Science, then went on the road with several different rock bands, opening for such ’60s/’70s acts as Steppenwolf. He abruptly switched gears in 1976, receiving an MA from ASU in history, then a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1985 to 2016 he taught at the University of Dayton. In his career he taught every grade from 7th through college.
He is the co-author, with Michael Allen, of the New York Times #1 bestseller A Patriot’s History of the United States, now in its 31st printing, fourth edition, with a half-million copies in print. A Patriot’s History remains the bestselling homeschool history textbook in America, and is featured in numerous college courses as an antidote to Howard Zinn’s People’s History. Schweikart’s other bestselling books include Seven Events that Made America America, How Trump Won with Joel Pollak (completed before the 2016 election), and with David Dougherty, A Patriot’s History of the Modern World in two volumes. Reagan: The American President appeared in 2018.
He has been on almost all media, from Al-Jazeera to Glenn Beck, from Tavis Smiley to Rush Limbaugh. Since 2009, he has been a film producer. His documentary, Rockin’ the Wall, appeared on PBS along with the sequel Other Walls 2 Fall. In 2019, he founded the Wild World of History curriculum website is now available as a full curriculum for US and World history for grades 8–12, providing full lessons with video instruction.