The Prudential Presidency: An Aristotelian Approach to Presidential Leadership

Overview

Fishman argues that the model of political leadership based on the concept of prudence that Aristotle introduced 2300 years ago remains the most realistic and comprehensive paradigm available for comprehending the qualities necessary for American presidents to succeed in office. Aristotle is compared with such influential presidential scholars as Richard Neustadt, James David Barber, and George Edwards III. Aristotle's theory is also applied to critical presidential decisions from Washington to Clinton. Fishman's...

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Overview

Fishman argues that the model of political leadership based on the concept of prudence that Aristotle introduced 2300 years ago remains the most realistic and comprehensive paradigm available for comprehending the qualities necessary for American presidents to succeed in office. Aristotle is compared with such influential presidential scholars as Richard Neustadt, James David Barber, and George Edwards III. Aristotle's theory is also applied to critical presidential decisions from Washington to Clinton. Fishman's analysis of leading theories of the presidency reveals that Aristotle's model of prudent political leadership most efficiently accounts for presidential behavior.

Fishman reviews practical aspects of the presidency from the perspective of the history of Western political philosophy. While there has been much talk about the need for research that builds a bridge between political theory and empirical observations, Fishman is among the few to fulfill that interdisciplinary goal. This book is a provocative analysis for scholars, students, and other researchers dealing with the American presidency and political philosophy.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
During the Clinton impeachment hearings in 1998-99, when both supporters and opponents of the president generally agreed that character issues could affect political performance, Fishman (political science, U. of South Alabama) consulted the major political theorists of the time and found no mention of analytical tools by which to evaluate such claims. He begins the task, basing his model on the concept of prudence that Aristotle introduced 2,300 years ago. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275971113
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

ETHAN M. FISHMAN is Professor of Political Science at the University of South Alabama. His research deals with the application of classical Western concepts to American politics. Among his publications are Likely Stories: Essays on Political Philosophy and Contemporary American Fiction, Public Policy and the Public Good, and George Washington: Foundation of Presidential Leadership and Character edited with Mark Rozell and William Pederson.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Erwin Hargrove

Introduction

Aristotelian Prudence

Prudent Presidential Leadership

Idealistic Presidential Leadership

Cynical Presidential Leadership

Pragmatic Presidential Leadership

Conclusion

References

Index

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