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Thinking about the Presidency: The Primacy of Power
     

Thinking about the Presidency: The Primacy of Power

by William G. Howell
 

ISBN-10: 0691155348

ISBN-13: 9780691155340

Pub. Date: 04/07/2013

Publisher: Princeton University Press

All American presidents, past and present, have cared deeply about power—acquiring, protecting, and expanding it. While individual presidents obviously have other concerns, such as shaping policy or building a legacy, the primacy of power considerations—exacerbated by expectations of the presidency and the inadequacy of explicit powers in the Constitution

Overview

All American presidents, past and present, have cared deeply about power—acquiring, protecting, and expanding it. While individual presidents obviously have other concerns, such as shaping policy or building a legacy, the primacy of power considerations—exacerbated by expectations of the presidency and the inadequacy of explicit powers in the Constitution—sets presidents apart from other political actors. Thinking about the Presidency explores presidents' preoccupation with power. Distinguished presidential scholar William Howell looks at the key aspects of executive power—political and constitutional origins, philosophical underpinnings, manifestations in contemporary political life, implications for political reform, and looming influences over the standards to which we hold those individuals elected to America's highest office.

Howell shows that an appetite for power may not inform the original motivations of those who seek to become president. Rather, this need is built into the office of the presidency itself—and quickly takes hold of whoever bears the title of Chief Executive. In order to understand the modern presidency, and the degrees to which a president succeeds or fails, the acquisition, protection, and expansion of power in a president's political life must be recognized—in policy tools and legislative strategies, the posture taken before the American public, and the disregard shown to those who would counsel modesty and deference within the White House.

Thinking about the Presidency assesses how the search for and defense of presidential powers informs nearly every decision made by the leader of the nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691155340
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/07/2013
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xv
Chapter 1. On Being President 1
Chapter 2. Bearing Witness 20
Chapter 3. Constitutional Foundations 55
Chapter 4. Contrasting Conceptions of Executive Leadership 71
Chapter 5. Misguided Entreaties 92
Chapter 6. What Failure Looks Like 106
Chapter 7. Limits 128
Appendix: Article II of the U.S. Constitution 145
Notes 149
Suggested Readings 169
Index 173

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