Presidential Travel: The Journey from George Washington to George W. Bush

Overview


In office less than half a year, President George Washington undertook an arduous month-long tour of New England to promote his new government and to dispel fears of monarchy. More than two hundred years later, American presidents still regularly traverse the country to advance their political goals and demonstrate their connection to the people.

In this first book-length study of the history of presidential travel, Richard Ellis explores how travel has reflected and shaped the...

See more details below
Hardcover (New Edition)
$30.19
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$34.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $10.95   
  • Used (18) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview


In office less than half a year, President George Washington undertook an arduous month-long tour of New England to promote his new government and to dispel fears of monarchy. More than two hundred years later, American presidents still regularly traverse the country to advance their political goals and demonstrate their connection to the people.

In this first book-length study of the history of presidential travel, Richard Ellis explores how travel has reflected and shaped the changing relationship between American presidents and the American people. Tracing the evolution of the president from First Citizen to First Celebrity, he spins a lively narrative that details what happens when our leaders hit the road to meet the people.

Presidents, Ellis shows, have long placed travel at the service of politics: Rutherford "the Rover" Hayes visited thirty states and six territories and was the first president to reach the Pacific, while William Howard Taft logged an average of 30,000 rail miles a year. Unearthing previously untold stories of our peripatetic presidents, Ellis also reveals when the public started paying for presidential travel, why nineteenth-century presidents never left the country, and why earlier presidents—such as Andrew Jackson, once punched in the nose on a riverboat—journeyed without protection.

Ellis marks the fine line between accessibility and safety, from John Quincy Adams skinny-dipping in the Potomac to George W. clearing brush in Crawford. Particularly important, Ellis notes, is the advent of air travel. While presidents now travel more widely, they have paradoxically become more remote from the people, as Air Force One flies over towns through which presidential trains once rumbled to rousing cheers. Designed to close the gap between president and people, travel now dramatizes the distance that separates the president from the people and reinforces the image of a regal presidency.

As entertaining as it is informative, Ellis's book is a sprightly account that takes readers along on presidential jaunts through the years as our leaders press flesh and kiss babies, ride carriages and trains, plot strategies on board ships and planes, and try to connect with the citizens they represent.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

In his latest work, Ellis (politics, Willamette Univ.; Presidential Lightning Rods: The Politics of Blame Avoidance), who has written several books dealing with U.S. politics and political history, rightfully notes that it is unusual that something as important as presidential travel has not been more thoroughly covered; indeed, this is one of the few monographs dedicated to the topic (see also Bob Wither's The President Travels by Train: Politics and Pullmans). The book brings together disparate facts relating to the presidency, including the debate on appropriating government funds for travel and how the Secret Service came to be in charge of protecting the President, as well as the evolving image of the President himself, from veritable clerk of Congress to embodiment of a regal presidency. Ellis captures the essence of Congressional debates on domestic and international presidential travel over the years and outlines some of the partisan rhetoric, from Federalist to the present. Though the writing is at times tediously repetitious, this monograph provides an important look into an underexplored area of American political history and is overall a valuable addition to the collections of academic libraries.
—Melissa Johnson

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700615803
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard J. Ellis is the Mark O. Hatfield Professor of Politics at Willamette University. His previous books include To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance, Democratic Delusions: The Initiative Process in America, The Dark Side of the Left: Illiberal Egalitarianism in America, and Presidential Lightning Rods: The Politics of Blame Avoidance.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. The Origins of Presidential Travel: The Tours of George Washington and James Monroe

2. The Life of the Party: The Tours of Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren

3. Democratic Manners and Presidential Dignity: The Tours of Zachary Taylor and Andrew Johnson

4. Protecting the President

5. Paying for Presidential Travel

6. Going Abroad: Breaking the "Ironclad Custom"

7. Trains, Plains, and the Paradox of the Transportation Revolution

Conclusion: The Rise of the Regal Presidency

Notes

Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)