- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Felzenberg (political science, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Governor Tom Kean) attacks the historians' rankings of U.S. Presidents conducted by Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. (1948, 1962) and by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (1996). The author argues that these rankings used no precise criteria, were never entirely explained, and relied on experts who tended to be politically liberal. Felzenberg's approach is sound. He attempts to rectify the situation by newly systematizing such rankings into six different categories, e.g., character, vision, competence, economic soundness, the protection and expansion of liberties, and handling of defense and foreign policy. These categories and his in-depth discussions of their meaning, together with his selected top-, middle-, and bottom-ranked Presidents for each category, are the book's strength. Unfortunately, Craig's execution is flawed; like his predecessors, he gives no explanation of how he used these categories to obtain his own rankings of selected Presidents, and some Presidents are neither ranked nor discussed. But his criteria remain sound and carefully considered, and their consistent application would add depth to the ever-popular practice of ranking our Presidents. For public and academic libraries.