The George W. Bush Years Summed Up in One Image

Can you guess what word he used most in his annual State of the Union addresses?
More

The artist Luke DuBois, who presented several interesting pieces at the Aspen Ideas Festival, once did an installation that displayed the frequency with which words were used in State of the Union addresses. "The address is in many ways the best original source material for elucidating the concerns and anxieties apparent in the national zeitgeist for a given time," DuBois argued.

So he took the addresses delivered by a given president, analyzed the words that appeared most frequently, and displayed them in the style of those charts that eye doctors use to test your vision.

Here is the chart for George W. Bush's time in office:
bush admin.png

You can look at the results for every president here. The word George Washington said most: "Gentlemen."
Jump to comments
Presented by

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In