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America has never had a perfect president, nor are we likely to. We yearn for qualities of mind, character, and experience that are rarely found in one person. Candidates always have the flaws associated with being human. Noted presidential scholar Thomas E. Cronin helps us consider these realities with clarity and empathy, as one who has both written about presidents and run for office himself.
Cronin unabashedly issues three cheers for those who run, and for all their helpers and advisers who provide us choices. In this election year, incredible diversity and therefore sharp disagreements of ideology and values prevail. Cronin puts all this in context with the history of the American presidency from George Washington to George W. Bush with a special focus on what he calls the “Act III” presidency of JFK. He takes us from the fiction of “searching for the perfect president” to the facts of the presidency in the post-9/11 world. Whether the next president is soldier, shaman, or somewhere in-between, Cronin gives us a glimpse of presidents future through the lens of presidents past.
Tom Cronin discusses the Democratic National Convention on C-SPAN DNC Interview
Watch Tom Cronin interviewed on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/
Chapter 1: Searching for the Perfect Presidency
Chapter 2: The Symbolic and Shamanistic Functions of the American Presidency
Chapter 3: Overcoming Groupthink, the Separation of Brain and State, and Machiavelli's Flattery Conundrum
Chapter 4: President John F. Kennedy: Act III Politician
Chapter 5: Problematic Presidential Power in Our Post-9/11 World
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