The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton / Edition 2

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Overview


Stephen Skowronek's wholly innovative study demonstrates that presidents are persistent agents of change, continually disrupting and transforming the political landscape. In an afterword to this new edition, the author examines "third way" leadership as it has been practiced by Bill Clinton and others. These leaders are neither great repudiators nor orthodox innovators. They challenge received political categories, mix seemingly antithetical doctrines, and often take their opponents' issues as their own. As the 1996 election confirmed, third way leadership has great electoral appeal. The question is whether Clinton in his second term will escape the convulsive end so often associated with the type.
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Editorial Reviews

American Political Science Review - Walter Dean Burnham
A magisterial work, one of the most important studies of the presidency--indeed, of American politics--ever written...[Skowronek] comes very close to identifying the root problem affecting presidents...This is the all-important fact that the Constitution is unchanging and nondeveloped, while at all times intersecting with a social, economic, and political world that has undergone incessant development from the beginning. The whole work may be read as an extended, powerful, and penetrating meditation on some of the global consequences of this fact.
American Studies in Scandinavia - Birgitte Nielsen
In evaluating the field of political authority, Skowronek skillfully and systematically makes use of historical evidence. His approach can only be applauded as it brings a new and broader understanding of the historical evolution of the presidency.
Political Science Quarterly - Richard M. Pious
Skowronek...brings illuminating insights to each president that he discusses...A major theoretical contribution to the study of the presidency.
The Americas - Peter G. Boyle
The book brings together current ideas of political scientists on the theory of presidential leadership, as well as incorporating the major historical works on the various presidents. It is history from the top rather than from the bottom, and while current historical trends are in the opposite direction, this sophisticated, scholarly analysis of presidential leadership illustrates that the history of political leadership is a subject on which innovative, imaginative approaches can still produce important new perspectives.
Governance - Bert A. Rockman
Stephen Skowronek's much awaited book relating cycles of the US presidency to what the author has previously called "political time" is an instant conversation piece. The Politics Presidents Make is a book that will engage scholars of political leadership and, particularly, those of the US presidency with its categories and its arguments. It is also easy to imagine that this book will evoke theological debates.
Hugh Heclo
A work of great insight...This is a book that kicks aside all the conventional ways of thinking about presidential leadership and erects a daring, powerful, analytic machine that compels attention.
Review of Politics - Joel Silbey
This is a remarkable book...A skilled practitioner of the use of historical evidence systematically to understand not only the evolution, but also the current nature, of American political institutions, [Skowronek] examines the whole crowded history of the presidency to catalog and organize the two hundred year experience in a fresh and striking fashion.
Journal of American History - Gil Troy
In this pathbreaking work, Stephen Skowronek escapes from "secular time" to view presidents in what he calls "political time," meaning incumbents' relationships to their predecessors and to the status quo...This rich, insightful, resonant volume merits reading and rereading. It is destined to be a classic of presidential scholarship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674689374
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 876,389
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Skowronek is Pelatiah Perit Professor of Political and Social Science at Yale University. He is the author of Building a New American State: The Expansion of National Administrative Capacities, 1877-1920.
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Table of Contents

Preface, 1997

I. PLACES IN HISTORY

1. Rethinking Presidential History

2. Power and Authority

3. Structure and Action

II. RECURRENT AND EMERGENT PATTERNS

4. Jeffersonian Leadership: Patrician Prototypes

Part One: Thomas Jefferson's Reconstruction

Part Two: James Monroe's Articulation

Part Three: John Quincy Adams's Disjunction

5. Jacksonian Leadership: Classic Forms

Part One: Andrew Jackson's Reconstruction

Part Two: James Polk's Articulation

Part Three: Franklin Pierce's Disjunction

6. Republican Leadership: Stiffening Crosscurrents

Part One: Abraham Lincoln's Reconstruction

Part Two: Theodore Roosevelt's Articulation

Part Three: Herbert Hoover's Disjunction

7. Liberal Leadership: Fraying Boundaries

Part One: Franklin Roosevelt's Reconstruction

Part Two: Lyndon Johnson's Articulation

Part Three: Jimmy Carter's Disjunction

III. THE WANING OF POLITICAL TIME

8. Reagan, Bush, and Beyond

Afterward

Notes

Index

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