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The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office
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Published:
Basic Books 2017
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Description
A bold new history of the American presidency, arguing that the successful presidents of the past created unrealistic expectations for every president since JFK, with enormously problematic implications for American politics

In The Impossible Presidency, celebrated historian Jeremi Suri charts the rise and fall of the American presidency, from the limited role envisaged by the Founding Fathers to its current status as the most powerful job in the world. He argues that the presidency is a victim of its own success-the vastness of the job makes it almost impossible to fulfill the expectations placed upon it. As managers of the world's largest economy and military, contemporary presidents must react to a truly globalized world in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. There is little room left for bold vision.Suri traces America's disenchantment with our recent presidents to the inevitable mismatch between presidential promises and the structural limitations of the office. A masterful reassessment of presidential history, this book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand America's fraught political climate.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/12/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781541617179
ASIN:
B071RK96TZ
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jeremi Suri. (2017). The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office. Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jeremi Suri. 2017. The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office. Basic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jeremi Suri, The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office. Basic Books, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jeremi Suri. The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office. Basic Books, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:10:32
Date Updated:
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shortDescription

Why have recent presidents failed to bring promised change?
In The Impossible Presidency, celebrated historian Jeremi Suri charts the rise and fall of the American presidency, from the limited role envisaged by the Founding Fathers to its current status as the most powerful job in the world. He argues that the presidency is a victim of its own success-the vastness of the job makes it almost impossible to fulfill the expectations placed upon it. As managers of the world's largest economy and military, contemporary presidents must react to a truly globalized world in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. There is little room left for bold vision.
Suri traces America's disenchantment with our recent presidents to the inevitable mismatch between presidential promises and the structural limitations of the office. A masterful reassessment of presidential history, this book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand America's fraught political climate.
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title
The Impossible Presidency
fullDescription

A bold new history of the American presidency, arguing that the successful presidents of the past created unrealistic expectations for every president since JFK, with enormously problematic implications for American politics


In The Impossible Presidency, celebrated historian Jeremi Suri charts the rise and fall of the American presidency, from the limited role envisaged by the Founding Fathers to its current status as the most powerful job in the world. He argues that the presidency is a victim of its own success-the vastness of the job makes it almost impossible to fulfill the expectations placed upon it. As managers of the world's largest economy and military, contemporary presidents must react to a truly globalized world in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. There is little room left for bold vision.
Suri traces America's disenchantment with our recent presidents to the inevitable mismatch between presidential promises and the structural limitations of the office. A masterful reassessment of presidential history, this book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand America's fraught political climate.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        August 1, 2017
        "Few leaders are impeached or assassinated; most die from a thousand cuts": an illuminating look at the highest office in the land and its occupants.When the Founding Fathers first wrestled with how to organize a government, writes Suri (Chair, Leadership in Global Affairs, Univ. of Texas; Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama, 2011, etc.), they quickly ascertained that the country "required central leadership that could unify competing interest groups without simultaneously denying their freedom." That leadership was much stronger than the Articles of Confederation envisioned, yet, thanks to a carefully considered system of checks and balances, not tyrannical. Fortunately, the first president was George Washington, who, in the author's view, "defined presidential authority as knowledge and trust-based." The president knew things that were unavailable to ordinary citizens, who in turn had to place their trust in him to represent their interests. Theodore Roosevelt, by contrast, considered himself a kind of dictator or elected king, if a benevolent one who exemplified the progressive notion that smart and vigorous men "could improve a messy democratic process" by taking care of details best left unavailable to ordinary folks. Subsequent presidents have fallen somewhere between the models provided by those two presidents, if not outside them. Ronald Reagan, for instance, shunned the micromanagerial ways of Lyndon Johnson, with the ironic result that his administration was characterized by "policy indiscipline--too many interventions without careful strategic consideration." On that note, Suri opines that the best use of presidential power is to confine it to a limited set of military, political, and economic objectives, even while noting that presidential power has grown so substantially in the post-World War II era that the office invites redefinition, inasmuch as "democratic leadership requires a vibrant fact-based public sphere, and trusted anchors for informed policy discussions"--things that are notable today for their apparent absence. Lively and well-grounded, offering good measures by which to judge our best and worst presidents and their methods of governing.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office
popularity
151
publisher
Basic Books
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