Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents

Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents

by Gil Troy

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786721535
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 06/10/2008
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

A native of Queens, New York, Gil Troy is currently Professor of History at McGill University. He is the author of several books, including Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s and Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady. He comments frequently about the American presidency on television and radio, and has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and USA Weekend.

Read an Excerpt

A native of Queens, New York, Gil Troy is currently Professor of History at McGill University. He is the author of several books, including Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s and Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady. He comments frequently about the American presidency on television and radio, and has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and USA Weekend.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Presidents as Muscular Moderates: A "Middle Course" for Our "Common Cause"     1
Washington's Way: "Liberal Allowances, Mutual Forbearances, and Temporizing Yieldings on All Sides"     19
Compromisers, Zealots, and Ciphers: The Blessing of Parties, the Challenge of Slavery, and the Failure of Presidents     39
Abraham Lincoln's Middle Measure: A Cautious Politician's "My Policy Is to Have No Policy" Pragmatism     57
Theodore Roosevelt's Democratic Two-Step: The Rise of the Romantic, Nationalist Presidency     75
Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: The Radical as Moderate     93
Truman, Eisenhower, and America's Bipartisan Consensus: Building Political Unity through Cultural Conformity     123
John F. Kennedy and Civil Rights: Moderation and the Challenge of Change     147
The Consensus Collapses: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of Moderation     165
Learning from Losers: Where Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter Went Wrong     183
Ronald Reagan's Moderate Revolution: Resurrecting the Center     201
Bill Clinton and the Perils of Triangulation: The Need to be Muscular as Well as Moderate     223
George W. Bush: Imprisoned by Conviction?     247
Conclusion: Center Seeking in the Twenty-first Century: Is Political Moderation Possible in an Age of Excess?     273
Acknowledgments     287
A Note on Sources     291
Notes     299
Index     327

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