The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency

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The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency
Title The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency
Author
Publisher Random House
Release DateJune 16, 2020
Category Law
Total Pages 656 pages
ISBN 1984854518
Book Rating 4.6 out of 5 from 487 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the veteran political journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent, a deep dive into the history, evolution, and current state of the American presidency—and how we can make the job less impossible and more productive. “This is a great gift to our sense of the actual presidency, a primer on leadership.”—Ken Burns Imagine you have just been elected president. You are now commander-in-chief, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, chief voice of the people, first responder, chief priest, and world leader. You’re expected to fulfill your campaign promises, but you’re also expected to solve the urgent crises of the day. What’s on your to-do list? Where would you even start? What shocks aren’t you thinking about? The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. “The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors,” writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to “the little brother who can’t keep up.” In this eye-opening book, John Dickerson writes about presidents in history such a Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower, and and in contemporary times, from LBJ and Reagan and Bush, Obama, and Trump, to show how a complex job has been done, and why we need to reevaluate how we view the presidency, how we choose our presidents, and what we expect from them once they are in office. Think of the presidential campaign as a job interview. Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking for good campaigners, or good presidents? Once a candidate gets the job, what can they do to thrive? Drawing on research and interviews with current and former White House staffers, Dickerson defines what the job of president actually entails, identifies the things that only the president can do, and analyzes how presidents in history have managed the burden. What qualities make for a good president? Who did it well? Why did Bill Clinton call the White House “the crown jewel in the American penal system”? The presidency is a job of surprises with high stakes, requiring vision, management skill, and an even temperament. Ultimately, in order to evaluate candidates properly for the job, we need to adjust our expectations, and be more realistic about the goals, the requirements, and the limitations of the office. As Dickerson writes, “Americans need their president to succeed, but the presidency is set up for failure. It doesn’t have to be.”

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Title The Hardest Job in the World
Author John Dickerson
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2020-06-16
Category Political Science
Total Pages 672
ISBN 9781984854520
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the veteran political journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent, a deep dive into the history, evolution, and current state of the American presidency—and how we can make the job less impossible and more productive. “This is a great gift to our sense of the actual presidency, a primer on leadership.”—Ken Burns Imagine you have just been elected president. You are now commander-in-chief, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, chief voice of the people, first responder, chief priest, and world leader. You’re expected to fulfill your campaign promises, but you’re also expected to solve the urgent crises of the day. What’s on your to-do list? Where would you even start? What shocks aren’t you thinking about? The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. “The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors,” writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to “the little brother who can’t keep up.” In this eye-opening book, John Dickerson writes about presidents in history such a Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower, and and in contemporary times, from LBJ and Reagan and Bush, Obama, and Trump, to show how a complex job has been done, and why we need to reevaluate how we view the presidency, how we choose our presidents, and what we expect from them once they are in office. Think of the presidential campaign as a job interview. Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking for good campaigners, or good presidents? Once a candidate gets the job, what can they do to thrive? Drawing on research and interviews with current and former White House staffers, Dickerson defines what the job of president actually entails, identifies the things that only the president can do, and analyzes how presidents in history have managed the burden. What qualities make for a good president? Who did it well? Why did Bill Clinton call the White House “the crown jewel in the American penal system”? The presidency is a job of surprises with high stakes, requiring vision, management skill, and an even temperament. Ultimately, in order to evaluate candidates properly for the job, we need to adjust our expectations, and be more realistic about the goals, the requirements, and the limitations of the office. As Dickerson writes, “Americans need their president to succeed, but the presidency is set up for failure. It doesn’t have to be.”

Title The Hardest Job in the World
Author John Dickerson
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2020
Category History
Total Pages 656
ISBN 9781984854513
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Imagine you have just been elected president. You are now commander-in-chief, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, chief voice of the people, first responder, chief priest, and world leader. You're expected to fulfill your campaign promises, but you're also expected to solve the urgent crises of the day. What's on your to-do list? Where would you even start? The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. "The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors," writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to "the little brother who can't keep up." In this eye-opening book, John Dickerson draws on history and contemporary times to show why we need to reevaluate how we view the presidency, how we choose our presidents, and what we expect from them once they are in office. Think of the presidential campaign as a job interview. Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking for good campaigners, or good presidents? Once a candidate gets the job, what can they do to thrive? Drawing on research and interviews with current and former White House staffers, Dickerson defines what the job of president actually entails, identifies the things that only the President can do, and analyzes how presidents in history have managed the burden. What qualities make for a good president? Who did it well? Why did Bill Clinton call the White House "the crown jewel in the American penal system"? And what lessons can we draw from past successes and failures? Ultimately, in order to evaluate candidates properly for the job, we need to adjust our expectations, and be more realistic about the goals, the requirements, and the limitations of the office."--

Title The Hardest Job in the World
Author John Dickerson
Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
Release Date 2021-03-23
Category History
Total Pages 672
ISBN 9781984854537
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the veteran political journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent, a deep dive into the history, evolution, and current state of the American presidency--and how we can make the job less impossible and more productive. "This is a great gift to our sense of the actual presidency, a primer on leadership."--Ken Burns Imagine you have just been elected president. You are now commander-in-chief, chief executive, chief diplomat, chief legislator, chief of party, chief voice of the people, first responder, chief priest, and world leader. You're expected to fulfill your campaign promises, but you're also expected to solve the urgent crises of the day. What's on your to-do list? Where would you even start? What shocks aren't you thinking about? The American presidency is in trouble. It has become overburdened, misunderstood, almost impossible to do. "The problems in the job unfolded before Donald Trump was elected, and the challenges of governing today will confront his successors," writes John Dickerson. After all, the founders never intended for our system of checks and balances to have one superior Chief Magistrate, with Congress demoted to "the little brother who can't keep up." In this eye-opening book, John Dickerson writes about presidents in history such a Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Eisenhower, and and in contemporary times, from LBJ and Reagan and Bush, Obama, and Trump, to show how a complex job has been done, and why we need to reevaluate how we view the presidency, how we choose our presidents, and what we expect from them once they are in office. Think of the presidential campaign as a job interview. Are we asking the right questions? Are we looking for good campaigners, or good presidents? Once a candidate gets the job, what can they do to thrive? Drawing on research and interviews with current and former White House staffers, Dickerson defines what the job of president actually entails, identifies the things that only the president can do, and analyzes how presidents in history have managed the burden. What qualities make for a good president? Who did it well? Why did Bill Clinton call the White House "the crown jewel in the American penal system"? The presidency is a job of surprises with high stakes, requiring vision, management skill, and an even temperament. Ultimately, in order to evaluate candidates properly for the job, we need to adjust our expectations, and be more realistic about the goals, the requirements, and the limitations of the office. As Dickerson writes, "Americans need their president to succeed, but the presidency is set up for failure. It doesn't have to be."

Whistlestop by John Dickerson

Title Whistlestop
Author John Dickerson
Publisher Twelve
Release Date 2016-08-02
Category History
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781455540464
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From Face the Nation moderator and contributing editor for The Atlantic John Dickerson come the stories behind the stories of the most memorable moments in American presidential campaign history. The stakes are high. The characters full of striving and ego. Presidential campaigns are a contest for control of power in the most powerful country on earth. The battle of ideas has a clear end, with winners and losers, and along the way there are sharp turning points-primaries, debates, conventions, and scandals that squeeze candidates into emergency action, frantic grasping, and heroic gambles. As Mike Murphy the political strategist put it, "Campaigns are like war without bullets." WHISTLESTOP tells the human story of nervous gambits hatched in first-floor hotel rooms, failures of will before the microphone, and the cross-country crack-ups of long-planned stratagems. At the bar at the end of a campaign day, these are the stories reporters rehash for themselves and embellish for newcomers. In addition to the familiar tales, WHISTLESTOP also remembers the forgotten stories about the bruising and reckless campaigns of the nineteenth century when the combatants believed the consequences included the fate of the republic itself. Some of the most modern-feeling elements of the American presidential campaign were born before the roads were paved and electric lights lit the convention halls-or there were convention halls at all. WHISTLESTOP is a ride through the American campaign history with one of its most enthusiastic conductors guiding you through the landmarks along the way.

Title The Impossible Presidency
Author Jeremi Suri
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2017-09-12
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780465093908
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A bold new history of the American presidency, arguing that the successful presidents of the past created unrealistic expectations for every president since JFK, with enormously problematic implications for American politics In The Impossible Presidency, celebrated historian Jeremi Suri charts the rise and fall of the American presidency, from the limited role envisaged by the Founding Fathers to its current status as the most powerful job in the world. He argues that the presidency is a victim of its own success-the vastness of the job makes it almost impossible to fulfill the expectations placed upon it. As managers of the world's largest economy and military, contemporary presidents must react to a truly globalized world in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. There is little room left for bold vision. Suri traces America's disenchantment with our recent presidents to the inevitable mismatch between presidential promises and the structural limitations of the office. A masterful reassessment of presidential history, this book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand America's fraught political climate.

On Her Trail by John Dickerson

Title On Her Trail
Author John Dickerson
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2015-08-18
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 360
ISBN 9781501130670
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The former White House correspondent for "Time" magazine examines his stormy relationship with his legendary mother, Nancy Dickerson--the first female member of the Washington, D.C., television news corps and the first female host of the "Today" show. of photos.

The Gatekeepers by Chris Whipple

Title The Gatekeepers
Author Chris Whipple
Publisher Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Release Date 2017
Category Employees
Total Pages 365
ISBN 9780804138246
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"What do Dick Cheney and Rahm Emanuel have in common? Aside from polarizing personalities, both served as chief of staff to the president of the United States--as did Donald Rumsfeld, Leon Panetta, and a relative handful of others. The chiefs of staff, often referred to as 'the gatekeepers,' wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and--most crucially--enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world"--Amazon.co

Title The Presidency in the Twenty First Century
Author Charles W. Dunn
Publisher University Press of Kentucky
Release Date 2011-08-26
Category Political Science
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9780813140162
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

As the most prominent figure of the U.S. government, the president is under constant scrutiny from both his colleagues and the American people. Questions about the proper role of the president have been especially prevalent in the media during the current economic crisis. The Presidency in the Twenty-first Century explores the growth of presidential power, investigating its social, political, and economic impact on America's present and future. Editor Charles W. Dunn and a team of the nation's leading political scientists examine a variety of topics, from the link between campaigning and governing to trends in presidential communication with the public. The book discusses the role of the presidency in a government designed to require cooperation with Congress and how this relationship is further complicated by the expectations of the public. Several contributors take a closer look at the Obama administration in light of President George W. Bush's emphasis on the unitary executive, a governing style that continues to be highly controversial. Dunn and his contributors provide readers with a thorough analysis of a rapidly changing political role, provoking important questions about the future of America's political system.

How Did We Get Here by Robert Dallek

Title How Did We Get Here
Author Robert Dallek
Publisher HarperCollins
Release Date 2020-05-26
Category History
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780062873057
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The award-winning, New York Times bestselling historian considers the vast array of triumphs and failures of America’s modern presidents that paved a path to Donald Trump, offering an understanding of our current moment and hope for a way back to true leadership. The struggle to preserve the Republic has never been easy or without perils. The rise of conflicting political parties, which the founders opposed, and President John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts repressing First Amendment rights made Franklin’s observation at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention—“a republic, if you can keep it”—seem prescient. In the twentieth century, America endured numerous struggles: economic depression, World War II, McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the Iran-contra scandal, the war in Iraq—all of which gave rise to demagogues, as did the growth and reach of mass media. But this wasn’t the Founding Fathers’ vision for our leadership. The resistance to putting a demagogue in the White House survived the anti-Communist agitation of the 1950s and the Vietnam War in the 1960s. But the latter opened the way for Richard Nixon’s election in 1968 and Watergate, which again tested our democratic institutions and the rule of law. Nixon’s resignation in August 1974 moved Vice President Gerald Ford, his successor, to declare, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” But was it? Donald Trump’s 2016 election has presented a new challenge. How did past politics and presidential administrations pave the way for this current assault on American democracy? Our nation’s history provides reassurance that we will restore our better angels to government. Yet it must be considered that earlier administrations and public outlook facilitated the rise of such an un-presidential character as Trump in the first place. In How Did We Get Here?, Robert Dallek considers a century of modern administrations, from Teddy Roosevelt to today, shining a light on the personalities behind the politics and the voters who elected each. His cautionary tale reminds us that the only constant in history is change, but whether for good or ill the choice is Americans’ to make.

Title The President s Book of Secrets
Author David Priess
Publisher PublicAffairs
Release Date 2016-03-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9781610395960
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Every president has had a unique and complicated relationship with the intelligence community. While some have been coolly distant, even adversarial, others have found their intelligence agencies to be among the most valuable instruments of policy and power. Since John F. Kennedy's presidency, this relationship has been distilled into a personalized daily report: a short summary of what the intelligence apparatus considers the most crucial information for the president to know that day about global threats and opportunities. This top–secret document is known as the President's Daily Brief, or, within national security circles, simply “the Book.” Presidents have spent anywhere from a few moments (Richard Nixon) to a healthy part of their day (George W. Bush) consumed by its contents; some (Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush) consider it far and away the most important document they saw on a regular basis while commander in chief. The details of most PDBs are highly classified, and will remain so for many years. But the process by which the intelligence community develops and presents the Book is a fascinating look into the operation of power at the highest levels. David Priess, a former intelligence officer and daily briefer, has interviewed every living president and vice president as well as more than one hundred others intimately involved with the production and delivery of the president's book of secrets. He offers an unprecedented window into the decision making of every president from Kennedy to Obama, with many character–rich stories revealed here for the first time.

The Presidents by Brian Lamb

Title The Presidents
Author Brian Lamb
Publisher PublicAffairs
Release Date 2019-04-23
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 560
ISBN 9781541774377
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The complete rankings of our best -- and worst -- presidents, based on C-SPAN's much-cited Historians Surveys of Presidential Leadership. Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of America's presidents across a variety of categories -- their ability to persuade the public, their leadership skills, their moral authority, and more. The crucible of the presidency has forged some of the very best and very worst leaders in our national history, along with everyone in between. Based on interviews conducted over the years with a variety of presidential biographers, this book provides not just a complete ranking of our presidents, but stories and analyses that capture the character of the men who held the office. From Abraham Lincoln's political savvy and rhetorical gifts to James Buchanan's indecisiveness, this book teaches much about what makes a great leader -- and what does not. As America looks ahead to our next election, this book offers perspective and criteria to help us choose our next leader wisely.

Presidents Of War by Michael Beschloss

Title Presidents of War
Author Michael Beschloss
Publisher Broadway Books
Release Date 2019-10-22
Category Executive power
Total Pages 752
ISBN 9780307409614
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Ever since our nation's founding, after a nearly decade-long struggle with Great Britain, America has found itself almost continuously at war. And at the forefront of every struggle-large or small, foreign or domestic, celebrated or forgotten-has been the president, who as commander-in-chief of the armed forces has to make the impossible choice of when to hazard American lives. Michael Beschloss is a lauded historian and one of the keenest observers of the White House. In Presidents of War, he offers an authoritative portrait of our major wartime presidents in action, from the War of 1812 to the Vietnam War. Whether examining Lincoln's controversial military leadership, Wilson's idealistic and authoritarian approach to World War I, or LBJ sinking into the quagmire of Vietnam, Beschloss employs deep research and unsurpassed storytelling to bring these presidents to life in moments of public oratory and private doubt. He also charts their relationships with the public, which has consigned them to fame or infamy, and with Congress, which has continually struggled to define and redefine the president's wartime powers. Provocative and illuminating, Presidents of Waris a definitive work of presidential history and an invaluable guide to leadership and decision-making in times of crisis.

The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs

Title The Presidents Club
Author Nancy Gibbs
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2012-04-17
Category History
Total Pages 656
ISBN 9781439148716
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama. Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.

Speaking For Myself by Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Title Speaking for Myself
Author Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Release Date 2020-09-08
Category Political Science
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781250271341
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Instant New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller A candid, riveting account of the Trump White House, on the front lines and behind the scenes. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. A trusted confidante of the President, Sanders advised him on everything from press and communications strategy to personnel and policy. She was at the President’s side for two and a half years, battling with the media, working with lawmakers and CEOs, and accompanying the President on every international trip, including dozens of meetings with foreign leaders—all while unfailingly exhibiting grace under pressure. Upon her departure from the administration, President Trump described Sarah as “irreplaceable,” a “warrior” and “very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job.” Now, in Speaking for Myself, Sarah Huckabee Sanders describes what it was like on the front lines and inside the White House, discussing her faith, the challenges of being a working mother at the highest level of American politics, her relationship with the press, and her unique role in the historic fight raging between the Trump administration and its critics for the future of our country. This frank, revealing, and engaging memoir will offer a truly unique perspective on the most important issues and events of the era, and unprecedented access to both public and behind-the-scenes conversations within the Trump White House.

The End Of Greatness by Aaron David Miller

Title The End of Greatness
Author Aaron David Miller
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Release Date 2014-10-07
Category Political Science
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781137464460
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Presidency has always been an implausible—some might even say an impossible—job. Part of the problem is that the challenges of the presidency and the expectations Americans have for their presidents have skyrocketed, while the president's capacity and power to deliver on what ails the nations has diminished. Indeed, as citizens we continue to aspire and hope for greatness in our only nationally elected office. The problem of course is that the demand for great presidents has always exceeded the supply. As a result, Americans are adrift in a kind of Presidential Bermuda Triangle suspended between the great presidents we want and the ones we can no longer have. The End of Greatness explores the concept of greatness in the presidency and the ways in which it has become both essential and detrimental to America and the nation's politics. Miller argues that greatness in presidents is a much overrated virtue. Indeed, greatness is too rare to be relevant in our current politics, and driven as it is by nation-encumbering crisis, too dangerous to be desirable. Our preoccupation with greatness in the presidency consistently inflates our expectations, skews the debate over presidential performance, and drives presidents to misjudge their own times and capacity. And our focus on the individual misses the constraints of both the office and the times, distorting how Presidents actually lead. In wanting and expecting our leaders to be great, we have simply made it impossible for them to be good. The End of Greatness takes a journey through presidential history, helping us understand how greatness in the presidency was achieved, why it's gone, and how we can better come to appreciate the presidents we have, rather than being consumed with the ones we want.

Dewey Defeats Truman by A. J. Baime

Title Dewey Defeats Truman
Author A. J. Baime
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date 2020-07-07
Category History
Total Pages 448
ISBN 9781328588593
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Accidental President comes the thrilling story of the 1948 presidential election, one of the greatest election stories of all time, as Truman mounted a history-making comeback and staked a claim for a new course for America. On the eve of the 1948 election, America was a fractured country. Racism was rampant, foreign relations were fraught, and political parties were more divided than ever. Americans were certain that President Harry S. Truman’s political career was over. “The ballots haven’t been counted,” noted political columnist Fred Othman, “but there seems to be no further need for holding up an affectionate farewell to Harry Truman.” Truman’s own staff did not believe he could win. Nor did his wife, Bess. The only man in the world confident that Truman would win was Mr. Truman himself. And win he did. The year 1948 was a fight for the soul of a nation. In Dewey Defeats Truman, A. J. Baime sheds light on one of the most action-packed six months in American history, as Truman both triumphs and oversees watershed events—the passing of the Marshall plan, the acknowledgement of Israel as a new state, the careful attention to the origins of the Cold War, and the first desegregation of the military. Not only did Truman win the election, he succeeded in guiding his country forward at a critical time with high stakes and haunting parallels to the modern day.

Tough Times For The President by Ryan J. Barilleaux

Title Tough Times for the President
Author Ryan J. Barilleaux
Publisher Cambria Press
Release Date 2012
Category Political Science
Total Pages 307
ISBN 9781621968061
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

By examining case studies of tough times for the president, this book broadens the understanding of presidential power and both the limits and opportunities chief executives face as they govern from the Oval Office. It points to a new view of the sources of presidential power. This study of presidential adversity illuminates the fundamental sources of executive power-executive actions, foreign policy initiatives, organizational changes, going public, and unconventional actions-that form a foundation for the persuasive influence that many see as the epitome of presidential leadership. It also shows how presidents cope with the kinds of tough circumstances in which chief executives find themselves all too often. The case studies show American chief executives facing some of the toughest political situations of their presidencies, and illuminates important episodes in modern political history. The authors show Gerald Ford trying to govern without any of the traditional sources of political capital, Bill Clinton recovering from two near-death political experiences (the loss of Congress in 1994, then the Lewinsky scandal), and the unraveling of the George W. Bush presidency. The authors also use these insights to help build an alternative understanding of presidential power. The authors' cases of presidents in tough times leads to a new view of presidential power as situational leverage. They sketch an understanding of power as leverage that takes into account the resources that a president is able to apply in a particular situation, weighed against the risks and obstacles that threaten to undermine presidential goals and the opportunities that help to motivate the president. This approach presents a more accurate, realistic, and useful view of presidential power than Richard Neustadt's catchy but misleading "power to persuade." Moreover, viewing power as leverage helps to account for why recent presidents have devoted time and attention to employing and expanding their capacity for unilateral action. Tough Times for the President is a unique book because it provides a different perspective on America's most important office. Most books on the presidency focus on issues of presidential leadership, presidential greatness, or influence over policy, but none compares how presidents have responded to the political challenges confronting them. This book is appropriate for upper-division undergraduate students, graduate students

Accidental Presidents by Jared Cohen

Title Accidental Presidents
Author Jared Cohen
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Release Date 2020-01-28
Category History
Total Pages 528
ISBN 9781501109836
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This New York Times bestselling “deep dive into the terms of eight former presidents is chock-full of political hijinks—and déjà vu” (Vanity Fair) and provides a fascinating look at the men who came to the office without being elected to it, showing how each affected the nation and world. The strength and prestige of the American presidency has waxed and waned since George Washington. Eight men have succeeded to the presidency when the incumbent died in office. In one way or another they vastly changed our history. Only Theodore Roosevelt would have been elected in his own right. Only TR, Truman, Coolidge, and LBJ were re-elected. John Tyler succeeded William Henry Harrison who died 30 days into his term. He was kicked out of his party and became the first president threatened with impeachment. Millard Fillmore succeeded esteemed General Zachary Taylor. He immediately sacked the entire cabinet and delayed an inevitable Civil War by standing with Henry Clay’s compromise of 1850. Andrew Johnson, who succeeded our greatest president, sided with remnants of the Confederacy in Reconstruction. Chester Arthur, the embodiment of the spoils system, was so reviled as James Garfield’s successor that he had to defend himself against plotting Garfield’s assassination; but he reformed the civil service. Theodore Roosevelt broke up the trusts. Calvin Coolidge silently cooled down the Harding scandals and preserved the White House for the Republican Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression. Harry Truman surprised everybody when he succeeded the great FDR and proved an able and accomplished president. Lyndon B. Johnson was named to deliver Texas electorally. He led the nation forward on Civil Rights but failed on Vietnam. Accidental Presidents shows that “history unfolds in death as well as in life” (The Wall Street Journal) and adds immeasurably to our understanding of the power and limits of the American presidency in critical times.

Title Why Presidents Fail And How They Can Succeed Again
Author Elaine C. Kamarck
Publisher Brookings Institution Press
Release Date 2016-07-26
Category Political Science
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9780815727798
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Failure should not be an option in the presidency, but for too long it has been the norm. From the botched attempt to rescue the U.S. diplomats held hostage by Iran in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter and the missed intelligence on Al Qaeda before 9-11 under George W. Bush to, most recently, the computer meltdown that marked the arrival of health care reform under Barack Obama, the American presidency has been a profile in failure. In Why Presidents Fail and How They Can Succeed Again, Elaine Kamarck surveys these and other recent presidential failures to understand why Americans have lost faith in their leaders—and how they can get it back. Kamarck argues that presidents today spend too much time talking and not enough time governing, and that they have allowed themselves to become more and more distant from the federal bureaucracy that is supposed to implement policy. After decades of "imperial" and "rhetorical" presidencies, we are in need of a "managerial" president. This White House insider and former Harvard academic explains the difficulties of governing in our modern political landscape, and offers examples and recommendations of how our next president can not only recreate faith in leadership but also run a competent, successful administration.

Author In Chief by Craig Fehrman

Title Author in Chief
Author Craig Fehrman
Publisher Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Release Date 2021-02-16
Category Political Science
Total Pages 448
ISBN 9781476786582
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“One of the best books on the American presidency to appear in recent years” (The Wall Street Journal) and based on a decade of research and reporting—a delightful new window into the public and private lives America’s presidents as authors. Most Americans are familiar with Abraham Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address and the Eman­cipation Proclamation. Yet few can name the work that helped him win the presidency: his published collection of speeches entitled Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln labored in secret to get his book ready for the 1860 election, tracking down newspaper transcripts, editing them carefully for fairness, and hunting for a printer who would meet his specifications. Political Debates sold fifty thousand copies—the rough equivalent of half a million books in today’s market—and it reveals something about Lincoln’s presidential ambitions. But it also reveals something about his heart and mind. When voters asked about his beliefs, Lincoln liked to point them to his book. In Craig Fehrman’s “original, illuminating, and entertaining” (Jon Meacham) work of history, the story of America’s presidents and their books opens a rich new window into presidential biography. From volumes lost to history—Calvin Coolidge’s Autobiography, which was one of the most widely discussed titles of 1929—to ones we know and love—Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, which was very nearly never published—Fehrman unearths countless insights about the presidents through their literary works. Presidential books have made an enormous impact on American history, catapulting their authors to the national stage and even turning key elections. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, the first presidential book to influence a campaign, and John Adams’s Autobiography, the first score-settling presiden­tial memoir, Author in Chief draws on newly uncovered information—including never-before-published letters from Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—to cast fresh light on the private drives and self-doubts that fueled our nation’s leaders. We see Teddy Roosevelt as a vulnerable first-time author, struggling to write the book that would become a classic of American history. We see Reagan painstakingly revising Where’s the Rest of Me?, and Donald Trump negotiating the deal for The Art of the Deal, the volume that made him synonymous with business savvy. Alongside each of these authors, we also glimpse the everyday Americans who read them. “If you’re a history buff, a presidential trivia aficionado, or just a lover of American literary history, this book will transfix you, inform you, and surprise you” (The Seattle Review of Books).

Presidents In Crisis by Michael Bohn

Title Presidents in Crisis
Author Michael Bohn
Publisher Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date 2016-03-01
Category History
Total Pages 388
ISBN 9781628726053
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Every American president, when faced with a crisis, longs to take bold and decisive action. When American lives or vital interests are at stake, the public--and especially the news media and political opponents--expect aggressive leadership. But, contrary to the dramatizations of Hollywood, rarely does a president have that option. In Presidents in Crisis, a former director of the Situation Room takes the reader inside the White House during seventeen grave international emergencies handled by the presidents from Truman to Obama: from North Korea's invasion of South Korea to the revolutions of the Arab Spring, and from the thirteen days of the Cuban Missile Crisis to the taking of American diplomats hostage in Iran and George W. Bush's response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. In narratives that convey the drama of unfolding events and the stakes of confrontation when a misstep can mean catastrophe, he walks us step by step through each crisis. Laying out the key players and personalities and the moral and political calculations that the leaders have had to make, he provides a fascinating insider's look at modern presidential decision making and the fundamental role in it of human frailty"--

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