The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality: Nation-Keeping from 1831 to 1965 by Russell L. Riley | 9780231107228 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality: Nation-Keeping from 1831 to 1965

The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality: Nation-Keeping from 1831 to 1965

by Russell L. Riley
     
 

ISBN-10: 0231107226

ISBN-13: 9780231107228

Pub. Date: 05/07/1999

Publisher: Columbia University Press

From the abolition of slavery to the civil rights movement one hundred years later, one of the primary characteristics of America's development as a nation has been the steady struggle for and expansion of the horizons of citizenship. Pivotal in any equal rights movement is the response of the White House: how the president addresses any such movement profoundly

Overview

From the abolition of slavery to the civil rights movement one hundred years later, one of the primary characteristics of America's development as a nation has been the steady struggle for and expansion of the horizons of citizenship. Pivotal in any equal rights movement is the response of the White House: how the president addresses any such movement profoundly affects its chances for success. Russell L. Riley examines the logic of presidential behavior with regard to equality movements. Focusing on the most explosive and enduring of such movements--the struggle for social and economic parity by African Americans--Riley argues that the president's unwritten mandate as the designated protector of domestic social order is to suppress or moderate major social change. Consequently, only in extreme circumstances have presidents become advocates of serious reform. The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality goes beyond the triad of Lincoln, Kennedy, and Johnson with discussions of F.D.R., Truman, and Eisenhower to see how these presidents dealt with situations that forced them into the fray. Riley questions the positive role played by some presidents--and contends that their failure to suppress racial unrest has not been adequately discussed.As Riley convincingly demonstrates, American political culture made it unlikely that any president would invest executive power in a deeply controversial enterprise. His study goes far toward explaining why significant change has been slow to take hold, even in one of the most open democratic systems in the world.

-Challenges the received wisdom that heroic executives have advanced racial justice. . . . From Andrew Jackson to Lyndon Johnson, Russell Riley finds that presidents - even those credited with championing racial equality - often feel compelled to restrain, and at time oppress, crusaders for political and social reform.

-Sidney M. Milkis -author of The President and the Parties: The Transformation of the American Party System Since the New Deal -A tour de force - combining American history and political science, to treat seriously the presidency, the president's role in 'nation-keeping,' and the long standing stratification of white over black (and other non-white, for that matter). It severely challenges conventional ideas of Presidential 'leadership.' . . . Those who study American politics may ignore Riley's analysis - if they are willing to suffocate in their own ignorance.

-Matthew Holden, Jr. -author of Continuity and Disruption: Essays in Public Administration -Vividly illuminates profound inhibitions on the American Presidency as an instrument of social change. . . . Riley's interpretations help us grasp some critical current dilemmas. -Richard E. Neustadt -Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Emeritus, Harvard

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231107228
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
05/07/1999
Series:
Power, Conflict, and Democracy: American Politics Into the 21st Century Series
Pages:
400
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction
Part One: Abolition
Chapter 1. The Origins and Politics of Abolition
Chapter 2. A Thirty Years ``War'': The Presidency and the Abolitionists
Chapter 3. The Making of a Great Emancipator
Part Two: Civil Rights
Chapter 4. From Reconstruction to the Great Depression: Latency Years
Chapter 5. The Rise of Black Political Power: Roosevelt and Truman
Chapter 6. Race Returns to Center Stage: The Eisenhower Years
Chapter 7. Emancipation Act II: Pressures and Conversion 1961---1965
Chapter 8. The Presidency Leadership, and Racial Equality: An Overview


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