Wreath Layer or Policy Player

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Since World War II, American vice presidents have played an ever-increasing role in the nation's foreign policy. This study of the foreign-policy activities of five key vice presidents—Richard Nixon, Walter Mondale, George Bush, Dan Quayle, and Al Gore—provides the first comprehensive analysis of the role of the vice president in foreign-policy affairs. In order to bring readers to a better understanding of this role, Paul Kengor asks incisive questions: Did the vice presidents' involvement in foreign policy actually benefit the administration? If so, what useful lessons can be drawn from their experiences? Is there good reason to approve or reject an enhanced role in foreign policy for future vice presidents? How, specifically, might the vice president be used in conducting the nation's international affairs? The answers to these questions are crucial reading for scholars of the presidency and foreign policy, for policy makers, and for all of us assessing vice presidents past and future.

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Editorial Reviews

Brian Ripley
Anyone who thinks the vice presidency is irrelevant needs to read this important book.
Don Goldstein
This is not only good policy, but good history as well. Kengor illuminates fascinating events about each vice president, many of which heretofore remained untold.
Michael Paul Palaschak
Future White House chiefs of staff should consult this book.
R. Joseph De Sutter
It is in the nature of things that a vice president's contributions to policy will be subtle and obscure, and that "credit" will be deflected rather than documented. Dr. Kengor's insights about the modern vice presidency's growing importance is all the more impressive for that reason. It is a product of aggressive, old-fashioned research—more interviews than search engines, more telephones than data links, and more shoe leather than email. No one will fully understand the American policy process any longer without a grasp of the vice president's expanding role. . . . This text breaks new ground in our search for that understanding.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739101742
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 1/30/2002
  • Series: Presidency and Public Policy Series
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Kengor is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Grove City College. He is the editor of Pieces of the Presidency (forthcoming).

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction and Methodology Chapter 2 The Evolution of a Reform: The Vice President in Foreign Policy Chapter 3 A Path-Breaking Vice President: Richard M. Nixon (1953-61) Chapter 4 A Political Vice President: Walter Mondale (1977-81) Chapter 5 A Crisis-Managing Vice President: George H. W. Bush Chapter 6 A "War-Time" Vice President: J. Danforth Quayle (1989-93) Chapter 7 A "Presidential" Vice President?: Al Gore (1993- ) Chapter 8 Conclusions: Lessons Learned and Policy Recommendations

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