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Publishers WeeklyAmerican history is defined in part by the tensions between liberal and conservative ideologies. Presidents have typically favored one ideology or another, causing the country to careen between different poles. Beginning with Lincoln, however, a few presidents have managed to strike a balance that resulted in incredibly productive periods of American growth, according to the author. Striner's (Father Abraham) comprehensive study of American political history is not without an agenda. The author, professor or history at Pennsylvania's Washington College, clearly believes that the path to American greatness is through a specific regulatory balance, and he supports his theory by examining the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, F.D. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, before examining the mistakes of Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush and speculating on the presidency of Barack Obama. As persuasive a writer as Striner is, his focus on economic policy may bore as many readers as it fascinates. Yet despite his narrow thesis, readers interested in economic policy and history will be intrigued by his highly accessible study.
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