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The Constitution and the American Presidency by In this unusual and provocative volume, historians examine the presidencies of Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, F. D. R., and Truman, while political scientists assess the contemporary presidency and suggest a range of reforms, from modest to radical, including fundamental alterations to the balance of power between the presidency and the Congress.
Publication Date: 1991-02-19
Presidents Above Party : The First American Presidency, 1789-1829 by George Washington's vision was a presidency free of party, a republican, national office that would transcend faction. That vision would remain strong in the administrations of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Quincy Adams, yet largely disappear under Andrew Jackson and his successors. This book is a comprehensive and pathbreaking study of the early presidency and the ideals behind it. Ralph Ketcham examines the roots of nonpartisan leadership in Western thought and the particular influences on the founding fathers. Intellectual and political profiles of the first six presidents and their administrations emphasize the construction each put on the office, the challenges he faced, and the compromises he did and did not make. The erosion of nonpartisanship under Andrew Jackson is presented as a counterpoint that helps define the early presidency and the permanent transition from it. Addressing the thoughtful citizen as well as the scholar, the author poses the fundamental questions about presidential leadership, then and now. The best study of the early presidency, this book is an intellectual portrait of the age that will challenge received notions of American history.
Publication Date: 1984-04-23
Leading from the Center by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy-most would agree their presidencies were among the most successful in American history. But what made these very different men such effective leaders? According to presidential historian Gil Troy, these presidents succeeded not because of their bold political visions, but because of their moderation. Although many of the presidential hopefuls for 2008 will claim to be moderates, the word cannot conceal a political climate defined by extreme rhetoric and virulent partisanship. In Leading From the Center, Gil Troy argues that this is a distinctly un-American state of affairs. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden mean-from Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, to Lincoln, who rescued the Union with his principled pragmatism, to the two Roosevelts, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions. As America lines up to select a president for the future, Gil Troy astutely reminds us of the finest traditions of presidential leadership from our nation’s past.
Publication Date: 2008-06-10
A Presidential Nation : Causes, Consequences, and Cures by The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial. Why do we devote monuments to the presidents? Why do we honor them, instead of Congress, or the courts? A Presidential Nation examines how the presidency--an office limited by the Constitution and separation of powers--became the centerpiece of American government. Michael A. Genovese argues that in rebelling against the British, the Framers of the Constitution invented a circumscribed presidency to guard against executive tyranny. Yet, over time, presidential power has risen and congressional power declined to a point where the United States has a near imperial presidency. Reexamining the status of presidential power in the post-9/11 world, Dr. Genovese considers the alternatives, if any, to the current model of presidential power. A Presidential Nation is perfect for students of American Presidency and Federal Governance courses and anyone interested in the changing authority of the American political system.
Publication Date: 2012-07-31
Madison's Nightmare : How Executive Power Threatens American Democracy by The George W. Bush administration’s ambitious—even breathtaking—claims of unilateral executive authority raised deep concerns among constitutional scholars, civil libertarians, and ordinary citizens alike. But Bush’s attempts to assert his power are only the culmination of a near-thirty-year assault on the basic checks and balances of the U.S. government—a battle waged by presidents of both parties, and one that, as Peter M. Shane warns in Madison’s Nightmare, threatens to utterly subvert the founders’ vision of representative government. Tracing this tendency back to the first Reagan administration, Shane shows how this era of "aggressive presidentialism" has seen presidents exerting ever more control over nearly every arena of policy, from military affairs and national security to domestic programs. Driven by political ambition and a growing culture of entitlement in the executive branch—and abetted by a complaisant Congress, riven by partisanship—this presidential aggrandizement has too often undermined wise policy making and led to shallow, ideological, and sometimes outright lawless decisions. The solution, Shane argues, will require a multipronged program of reform, including both specific changes in government practice and broader institutional changes aimed at supporting a renewed culture of government accountability. From the war on science to the mismanaged war on terror, Madison’s Nightmare outlines the disastrous consequences of the unchecked executive—and issues a stern wake-up call to all who care about the fate of our long democratic experiment.
Publication Date: 2009-05-15
The Exemplary Presidency : Franklin D. Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition by The American presidency has fascinated and confounded scholars for over 200 years. Is the institution redefined by each new occupant, or is the presidency merely a cog in the constitutional machine created in 1787? Philip Abbott argues that the presidency can best be viewed as an institution framed by the patterns on American political thought and culture.
Publication Date: 1990-01-01
Met His Every Goal? : James K. Polk and the Legends of Manifest Destiny by Soon after winning the presidency in 1845, according to the oft-repeated anecdote, James K. Polk slapped his thigh and predicted what would be the "four great measures" of his administration: the acquisition of some or all of the Oregon Country, the acquisition of California, a reduction in tariffs, and the establishment of a permanent independent treasury. Over the next four years, the Tennessee Democrat achieved all four goals. And those milestones--along with his purported enunciation of them--have come to define his presidency. Indeed, repeated ad infinitum in U.S. history textbooks, Polk's bold listing of goals has become U.S. political history's equivalent of Babe Ruth's called home run of the 1932 World Series, in which the slugger allegedly gestured toward the outfield and, on the next pitch, slammed a home run. But then again, as Tom Chaffin reveals in this lively tour de force of historiographic sleuthing, like Ruth's alleged "called shot" of 1932, the "four measures" anecdote hangs by the thinnest of evidentiary threads. Indeed, not until the late 1880s, four decades after Polk's presidency, did the story first appear in print. In this eye-opening study, Tom Chaffin, author, historian, and, since 2008, editor of the multi-volume series Correspondence of James K. Polk, dispatches the thigh-slap anecdote and other misconceptions associated with Polk. In the process, Chaffin demonstrates how the "four measures" story has skewed our understanding of the 11th U.S. president. As president, Polk enlarged his nation's area by a third--thus rendering it truly a coast-to-coast continental nation-state. Indeed, the anecdote does not record, and effectively obscures complex events, including notable failures--such as Polk's botched effort to purchase Cuba, as well as his inability to shape the terms of California's and the New Mexico territory's admission into the Union. Cuba would never enter the federal Union; and those other tasks would be left for successor presidents. Indeed, debates over the future of slavery in the United States--debates accelerated by Polk's territorial gains--eventually produced perhaps the central irony of his legacy: A president devoted to national unity further sectionalized the nation's politics, widening geopolitical fractures among the states that soon led to civil war. Engagingly written and lavishly illustrated, Met His Every Goal?--intended for general readers, students, and specialists--offers a primer on Polk and a revisionist view of much of the scholarship concerning him and his era. Drawing on published scholarship as well as contemporary documents--including heretofore unpublished materials--it presents a fresh portrait of an enigmatic autocrat. And in Chaffin's examination of an oft-repeated anecdote long accepted as fact, readers witness a case study in how historians use primary sources to explore--and in some cases, explode--received conceptions of the past. Tom Chaffin is research professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for which he directs and edits the multi-volume series Correspondence of James K. Polk. He lives in Atlanta and is the author of, among other books, Giant's Causeway: Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary, Pathfinder: John Charles Frémont and the Course of Empire, and Sea of Gray: The Around-the-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah.
Publication Date: 2014-12-31
Andrew Jackson, Southerner by Many Americans view Andrew Jackson as a frontiersman who fought duels, killed Indians, and stole another man's wife. Historians have traditionally presented Jackson as a man who struggled to overcome the obstacles of his backwoods upbringing and helped create a more democratic United States. In his compelling new biography of Jackson, Mark R. Cheathem argues for a reassessment of these long-held views, suggesting that in fact "Old Hickory" lived as an elite southern gentleman. Jackson grew up along the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, a district tied to Charleston, where the city's gentry engaged in the transatlantic marketplace. Jackson then moved to North Carolina, where he joined various political and kinship networks that provided him with entr?e into society. In fact, Cheathem contends, Jackson had already started to assume the characteristics of a southern gentleman by the time he arrived in Middle Tennessee in 1788. After moving to Nashville, Jackson further ensconced himself in an exclusive social order by marrying the daughter of one of the city's cofounders, engaging in land speculation, and leading the state militia. Cheathem notes that through these ventures Jackson grew to own multiple plantations and cultivated them with the labor of almost two hundred slaves. His status also enabled him to build a military career focused on eradicating the nation's enemies, including Indians residing on land desired by white southerners. Jackson's military success eventually propelled him onto the national political stage in the 1820s, where he won two terms as president. Jackson's years as chief executive demonstrated the complexity of the expectations of elite white southern men, as he earned the approval of many white southerners by continuing to pursue Manifest Destiny and opposing the spread of abolitionism, yet earned their ire because of his efforts to fight nullification and the Second Bank of the United States. By emphasizing Jackson's southern identity -- characterized by violence, honor, kinship, slavery, and Manifest Destiny -- Cheathem's narrative offers a bold new perspective on one of the nineteenth century's most renowned and controversial presidents.
Publication Date: 2013-10-07
Crusade Years, 1933–1955 : Herbert Hoover's Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath by Covering an eventful period in Herbert Hoover’s career—and, more specifically, his life as a political pugilist from 1933 to 1955—this previously unknown memoir was composed and revised by the 31st president during the 1940s and 1950s—and then, surprisingly, set aside. This work recounts Hoover’s family life after March 4, 1933, his myriad philanthropic interests, and, most of all, his unrelenting “crusade against collectivism” in American life. Aside from its often feisty account of Hoover’s political activities during the Roosevelt and Truman eras, and its window on Hoover’s private life and campaigns for good causes, The Crusade Years invites readers to reflect on the factors that made his extraordinarily fruitful postpresidential years possible. The pages of this memoir recount the story of Hoover’s later life, his abiding political philosophy, and his vision of the nation that gave him the opportunity for service. This is, in short, a remarkable saga told in the former president’s own words and in his own way that will appeal as much to professional historians and political scientists as it will lay readers interested in history.
Publication Date: 2013-12-01
John Tyler, the Accidental President by The first vice president to become president on the death of the incumbent, John Tyler (1790-1862) was derided by critics as "His Accidency." In this biography of the tenth president, Edward P. Crapol challenges depictions of Tyler as a die-hard advocate of states' rights, limited government, and a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Instead, he argues, Tyler manipulated the Constitution to increase the executive power of the presidency. Crapol also highlights Tyler's faith in America's national destiny and his belief that boundless territorial expansion would preserve the Union as a slaveholding republic. When Tyler sided with the Confederacy in 1861, he was branded as America's "traitor" president for having betrayed the republic he once led.
Publication Date: 2012-01-18
Guns or Butter : The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson by The presidency of Lyndon Johnson was a pivotal moment in 20th-century American history. From the decisive social programs of the Great Society, to the triumph of the civil and voting rights acts, to the catastrophe of the Vietnam War and domestic unrest, it was an era of dramaticaccomplishment and wrenching tragedy. In Guns or Butter, renowned historian Irving Bernstein brings those five climactic years of the sixties vividly to life, from the moment Lee Harvey Oswald aimed a rifle out the window of the Texas School Depository to the tense ballot-counting that put RichardNixon in the White House in 1968. Bernstein's book is a narrative masterpiece, filled with sharply drawn character sketches and swiftly moving accounts of events that range from deals cut in the Senate cloakroom, to police charging after protesters on the streets of Selma, to Vietcong commandos bursting into the American embassyin Saigon. We see Johnson ordering aides Bill Moyers and Richard Goodwin to strip and join him for a skinny-dip in the White House pool, where they formulate the Great Society. And we see a tired, distracted president pacing in his bathrobe around a table model of the besieged Khe Sanh garrison,examining aerial photographs and casualty reports. Equally important, Bernstein offers a deft assessment of Johnson's successes and failures, from his legislative programs to his futile pursuit of war in Vietnam to his failure to boost Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign in 1968. The author notonly retells the maneuvering that brought the president's plans into law, he also analyzes and explains their impact, from the Voting Rights Act to Medicare. The Great Society, Bernstein concludes, was a triumph, but Johnson's attempt to have both guns and butter, to pursue massive domesticinitiatives together with a bitter undeclared war, led to runaway inflation that ultimately undermined his presidency. From the dark moments after Kennedy's murder in 1963, to the heady days of legislative victories of 1965, to the bloody crescendo of riots, assassinations, and military battles in 1968, Johnson's administration was a defining moment in modern American history. In Guns and Butter, IrvingBernstein brilliantly captures both the events and the meaning of those momentous years.
Publication Date: 1996-01-11
Waging war : the clash between presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS by “Vivid…Barron has given us a rich and detailed history.” —The New York Times Book Review “Ambitious...a deep history and a thoughtful inquiry into how the constitutional system of checks and balances has functioned when it comes to waging war and making peace.” —The Washington Post A timely account of a raging debate: The history of the ongoing struggle between the presidents and Congress over who has the power to declare and wage war. The Constitution states that it is Congress that declares war, but it is the presidents who have more often taken us to war and decided how to wage it. In Waging War, David J. Barron opens with an account of George Washington and the Continental Congress over Washington’s plan to burn New York City before the British invasion. Congress ordered him not to, and he obeyed. Barron takes us through all the wars that followed: 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American war, World Wars One and Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and now, most spectacularly, the War on Terror. Congress has criticized George W. Bush for being too aggressive and Barack Obama for not being aggressive enough, but it avoids a vote on the matter. By recounting how our presidents have declared and waged wars, Barron shows that these executives have had to get their way without openly defying Congress. Waging War shows us our country’s revered and colorful presidents at their most trying times—Washington, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Johnson, both Bushes, and Obama. Their wars have made heroes of some and victims of others, but most have proved adept at getting their way over reluctant or hostile Congresses. The next president will face this challenge immediately—and the Constitution and its fragile system of checks and balances will once again be at the forefront of the national debate.
Call Number: 342.730412 B377w, 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-04
The Modern American Presidency by "The Modern American Presidency" is a lively, interpretive synthesis of 20th century leaders, filled with intriguing insights into how the presidency has evolved as America rose to prominence on the world stage. Gould traces the decline of the party system and the increasing importance of the media, resulting in the rise of the president as celebrity. 36 photos.
Call Number: 353.03 G734m, 2003
Publication Date: 2003-05-01
Shadow : five presidents and the legacy of Watergate by Twenty-five years ago, after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Gerald Ford promised a return to normalcy. "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," President Ford declared. But it was not. The Watergate scandal, and the remedies against future abuses of power, would have an enduring impact on presidents and the country. In Shadow, Bob Woodward takes us deep into the administrations of Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton to describe how each discovered that the presidency was forever altered. With special emphasis on the human toll, Woodward shows the consequences of the new ethics laws, and the emboldened Congress and media. Powerful investigations increasingly stripped away the privacy and protections once expected by the nation's chief executive. Using presidential documents, diaries, prosecutorial records and hundreds of interviews with firsthand witnesses, Woodward chronicles how all five men failed first to understand and then to manage the inquisitorial environment. "The mood was mean," Gerald Ford says. Woodward explains how Ford believed he had been offered a deal to pardon Nixon, then clumsily rejected it and later withheld all the details from Congress and the public, leaving lasting suspicions that compromised his years in the White House. Jimmy Carter used Watergate to win an election, and then watched in bewilderment as the rules of strict accountability engulfed his budget director, Bert Lance, and challenged his own credibility. From his public pronouncements to the Iranian hostage crisis, Carter never found the decisive, healing style of leadership the first elected post-Watergate president had promised. Woodward also provides the first behind-the-scenes account of how President Reagan and a special team of more than 60 attorneys and archivists beat Iran-contra. They turned the Reagan White House and United States intelligence agencies upside down investigating the president with orders to disclose any incriminating information they found. A fresh portrait of an engaged Reagan emerges as he realizes his presidency is in peril and attempts to prove his innocence. In Shadow, a bitter and disoriented President Bush routinely pours out his anger at the permanent scandal culture to his personal diary as a dozen investigations touch some of those closest to him. At one point, Bush pounds a plastic mallet on his Oval Office desk because of the continuing investigation of Iran-contra Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh. "Take that, Walsh!" he shouts. "I'd like to get rid of this guy." Woodward also reveals why Bush avoided telling one of the remaining secrets of the Gulf War. The second half of Shadow focuses on President Clinton's scandals. Woodward shows how and why Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation became a state of permanent war with the Clintons. He reveals who Clinton really feared in the Paula Jones case, and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering and ruthless, cynical legal strategies to protect the Clintons. Shadow also describes how impeachment affected Clinton's war decisions and scarred his life, his marriage and his presidency. "How can I go on?" First Lady Hillary Clinton asked in 1996, when she was under scrutiny by Starr and the media, two years before the Lewinsky scandal broke. "How can I?" Shadow is an authoritative, unsettling narrative of the modern, beleaguered presidency.
Call Number: 973.92 W66s, 1999
Publication Date: 1999-06-18
The Reconstruction Presidents by During and after the Civil War, four presidents faced the challenge of reuniting the nation and of providing justice for black Americans—and of achieving a balance between those goals. This first book to collectively examine the Reconstruction policies of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes reveals how they confronted and responded to the complex issues presented during that contested era in American politics. Brooks Simpson examines the policies of each administration in depth and evaluates them in terms of their political, social, and institutional contexts. Simpson explains what was politically possible at a time when federal authority and presidential power were more limited than they are now. He compares these four leaders' handling of similar challenges—such as the retention of political support and the need to build a Southern base for their policies—in different ways and under different circumstances, and he discusses both their use of executive power and the impact of their personal beliefs on their actions. Although historians have disagreed on the extent to which these presidents were committed to helping blacks, Simpson's sharply drawn assessments of presidential performance shows that previous scholars have overemphasized how the personal racial views of each man shaped his approach to Reconstruction. Simpson counters much of the conventional wisdom about these leaders by persuasively demonstrating that considerable constraints to presidential power severely limited their efforts to achieve their ends. The Reconstruction Presidents marks a return to understanding Reconstruction based upon national politics and offers an approach to presidential policy making that emphasizes the environment in which a president governs and the nature of the challenges facing him. By showing that what these four leaders might have accomplished was limited by circumstances not easily altered, it allows us to assess them in the context of their times and better understand an era too often measured by inappropriate standards.
Call Number: 973.8 S56, 1998
Publication Date: 1998-07-28
The American presidency : an intellectual history by Jefferson Lecturer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Forrest McDonald is widely recognized as one of our most respected and challenging historians of the Constitution. He has been called brilliant, provocative, controversial, passionate, pugnacious, and crafty in intellectual combat. Whatever the label, he remains unsurpassed as a commentator on the American founding. Novus Ordo Seclorum, his best-known work, was hailed as "magisterial," "a tour-de-force," "the American history book of the decade," "the best single book on the origins of the U.S. Constitution," and was featured on Bill Moyers's highly praised PBS series In Search of the Constitution. McDonald now applies his considerable talents to a study of another venerable institution-the American presidency. Writing at the height of his powers as an intellectual historian, McDonald explores how and why the presidency has evolved into such a complex and powerful institution, unlike any other in the world. Scores of republics have come into existence during the last two centuries and many have adopted constitutions similar to our own. But, as McDonald persuasively shows, the American presidency is unique-no other nation has a leadership position that combines the seemingly incongruous roles of ceremonial head of state and chief executive magistrate. Lacking an acceptable role model, McDonald explains, the founding fathers constructed their idea of the presidency from sources as diverse as the Bible, Machiavelli, John Locke, the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the laws of England, and the early colonial and state government experiences. So many influences, he suggests, guaranteed a substantial degree of persistent ambiguity and contradiction in the office. McDonald chronicles the presidency's creation, implementation, and evolution and explains why it's still working today despite its many perceived afflictions. Along the way, he provides trenchant commentary upon the Constitutional Convention, ratification debates, presidencies of Washington and Jefferson, presidential administration and leadership, presidential-congressional conflicts, the president as chief architect of foreign policy, and the president as myth and symbol. He also analyzes the enormous gap between what we've come to expect of presidents and what they can reasonably hope to accomplish. Ambitious, comprehensive, and engaging, this is the best single-volume study of an institution that has become troubled and somewhat troublesome yet, in McDonald's words, "has been responsible for less harm and more good than perhaps any other secular institution in history." It will make a fine and necessary companion for understanding the presidency as it moves into its third century.
Call Number: 353.03 M33, 1994
Publication Date: 1994-02-21
Warren G. Harding : harbinger of normalcy by Warren Gamaliel Harding was a traditional man in the mode of the late-nineteenth, early-twentieth century. His values, perspective on the world around him, his habits and leisure pastimes, and his opinions about being an American and a man were all extremely traditional. To understand Warren G Harding one must first seek the essence of the man. This work attempts to discover and analyse the essence of Harding through three methods. First, this book presents a biographical overview that examines the person of Warren G. Harding in an effort to understand how he captured the admiration and adoration of so many Americans while at the same time being assailed as an ignorant man, incompetent President, and unethical individual. Second, in order to ascertain and evaluate Harding as a political leader and the effectiveness of his presidency, this book analyses selected key decisions, tactics, and policies pursued by the Harding Administration. Third, this work briefly describes the context of the Harding Era, basically the period from 1920 through 1923.
Call Number: 973.914 H219Yt, 2012
Publication Date: 2011-10-01
American Ulysses : A Life of Ulysses S. Grant by NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the author of A. Lincoln, a major new biography of one of America's greatest generals--and most misunderstood presidents Finalist for the Gilder-Lehrman Military History Book Prize In his time, Ulysses S. Grant was routinely grouped with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in the "Trinity of Great American Leaders." But the battlefield commander-turned-commander-in-chief fell out of favor in the twentieth century. In American Ulysses, Ronald C. White argues that we need to once more revise our estimates of him in the twenty-first. Based on seven years of research with primary documents--some of them never examined by previous Grant scholars--this is destined to become the Grant biography of our time. White, a biographer exceptionally skilled at writing momentous history from the inside out, shows Grant to be a generous, curious, introspective man and leader--a willing delegator with a natural gift for managing the rampaging egos of his fellow officers. His wife, Julia Dent Grant, long marginalized in the historic record, emerges in her own right as a spirited and influential partner. Grant was not only a brilliant general but also a passionate defender of equal rights in post-Civil War America. After winning election to the White House in 1868, he used the power of the federal government to battle the Ku Klux Klan. He was the first president to state that the government's policy toward American Indians was immoral, and the first ex-president to embark on a world tour, and he cemented his reputation for courage by racing against death to complete his Personal Memoirs. Published by Mark Twain, it is widely considered to be the greatest autobiography by an American leader, but its place in Grant's life story has never been fully explored--until now. One of those rare books that successfully recast our impression of an iconic historical figure, American Ulysses gives us a finely honed, three-dimensional portrait of Grant the man--husband, father, leader, writer--that should set the standard by which all future biographies of him will be measured. Praise for American Ulysses "[Ronald C. White] portrays a deeply introspective man of ideals, a man of measured thought and careful action who found himself in the crosshairs of American history at its most crucial moment."--USA Today "White delineates Grant's virtues better than any author before. . . . By the end, readers will see how fortunate the nation was that Grant went into the world--to save the Union, to lead it and, on his deathbed, to write one of the finest memoirs in all of American letters."--The New York Times Book Review "Ronald White has restored Ulysses S. Grant to his proper place in history with a biography whose breadth and tone suit the man perfectly. Like Grant himself, this book will have staying power."--The Wall Street Journal "Magisterial . . . Grant's esteem in the eyes of historians has increased significantly in the last generation. . . . [American Ulysses] is the newest heavyweight champion in this movement."--The Boston Globe "Superb . . . illuminating, inspiring and deeply moving . . . The Grant we meet in American Ulysses is richly deserving of a fuller understanding and of celebration for the man he was and the legacy he left us."--Chicago Tribune "In this sympathetic, rigorously sourced biography, White . . . conveys the essence of Grant the man and Grant the warrior."--Newsday
Call Number: 973.82092 G767Yw, 2016
Publication Date: 2016-10-04
The President and the Apprentice : Eisenhower and Nixon, 1952-1961 by Based on twenty years of research, a book that rewrites the history of the Eisenhower presidency "Irwin Gellman has emerged from years in the archives to tell the fascinating story of President Dwight Eisenhower and his relationship with his vice president, Richard Nixon. Gellman dispels the fog that has long enveloped this subject and casts new light on a critical Cold War presidency. Masterfully written, The President and the Apprentice is a must-read for anyone who, like me, loves good political history."--Allen Matusow, author of The Unraveling of America More than half a century after Eisenhower left office, the history of his presidency is so clouded by myth, partisanship, and outright fraud that most people have little understanding of how Ike's administration worked or what it accomplished. We know--or think we know--that Eisenhower distrusted his vice president, Richard Nixon, and kept him at arm's length; that he did little to advance civil rights; that he sat by as Joseph McCarthy's reckless anticommunist campaign threatened to wreck his administration; and that he planned the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. None of this is true. The President and the Apprentice reveals a different Eisenhower, and a different Nixon. Ike trusted and relied on Nixon, sending him on many sensitive overseas missions. Eisenhower, not Truman, completed the desegregation of the military. Eisenhower and Nixon, not Lyndon Johnson, pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through the Senate. Eisenhower was determined to bring down McCarthy and did so. Nixon never, contrary to recent accounts, saw a psychotherapist, but while Ike was recovering from his heart attack in 1955, Nixon was overworked, overanxious, overmedicated, and at the limits of his ability to function. Based on twenty years of research in numerous archives, many previously untouched, this book offers a fresh and surprising account of the Eisenhower presidency. "Irwin Gellman's superb research and plausible reconstruction of the Eisenhower-Nixon relationship may well revolutionize the meaning of historical revisionism. The President and the Apprentice is an unsettling tour de force."--David Levering Lewis, author of King: A Biography and W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography
Call Number: 973.921 G455p, 2015
Publication Date: 2015-07-28
Congressman Lincoln : the making of America's greatest president by A biography of the early years and personal struggles of the famous frontier politician who led the United States during its darkest hours, centering on his little-known congressional years. The “gifted young historian” (Richard Norton Smith) who gave us Founding Rivals, Chris DeRose delivers the first fully realized portrait of Abraham Lincoln’s ambitious and controversial early political career, and his surprising ascendancy that was both historic and far from inevitable. In 1847, Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington in near anonymity. After years of outmaneuvering political adversaries and leveraging friendships, he emerged the surprising victor of the Whig Party nomination, winning a seat in the House of Representatives. Yet following a divisive single term, he would return to Illinois a failed job applicant with a damaged reputation in his home state, and no path forward in politics. Defeated, unpopular, and out of office, Lincoln now seemed worse off politically than when his journey began. But what actually transpired between 1847 and 1849 revealed a man married to his political, moral, and ethical ideals. These were the defining years of a future president and the prelude to his singular role as the center of a gathering political storm. With keen insight into a side of Lincoln never so thoroughly investigated or exhaustively researched, Chris DeRose explores this extraordinary, unpredictable, and oftentimes conflicted turning point in his career. This is Congressman Lincoln as: • A leader for the first time, not just a vote, on questions of slavery • Unpopular opponent of the “unconstitutional” Mexican War • A Whig party leader and presidential kingmaker, one of the first supporters of Zachary Taylor, a southern slave-owning general • Reluctant husband in an abusive, deeply troubled marriage • The first future president to argue before the Supreme Court and the only president to be awarded a patent. Drawing from the unpublished “Papers of Abraham Lincoln,” including 20,000 pre-presidential articles and a wealth of correspondence, and the secret diaries and private correspondence of Lincoln’s colleagues—many cited here for the first time—DeRose shows us a master strategist, a politician torn between principle and viability, and a man saddled with a tormented private life. Most vitally, he greatly expands our understanding of America’s greatest president in a biography as surprising, ambitious, and transcendent as its subject.
Call Number: 328.73092 D47c, 2013
Publication Date: 2013-01-29
Warren G. Harding by President Nixon's former counsel illuminates another presidency marked by scandal Warren G. Harding may be best known as America's worst president. Scandals plagued him: the Teapot Dome affair, corruption in the Veterans Bureau and the Justice Department, and the posthumous revelation of an extramarital affair. Raised in Marion, Ohio, Harding took hold of the small town's newspaper and turned it into a success. Showing a talent for local politics, he rose quickly to the U.S. Senate. His presidential campaign slogan, "America's present need is not heroics but healing, not nostrums but normalcy," gave voice to a public exhausted by the intense politics following World War I. Once elected, he pushed for legislation limiting the number of immigrants; set high tariffs to relieve the farm crisis after thewar; persuaded Congress to adopt unified federal budget creation; and reduced income taxes and the national debt, before dying unexpectedly in 1923. In this wise and compelling biography, John W. Dean—no stranger to controversy himself—recovers the truths and explodes the myths surrounding our twenty-ninth president's tarnished legacy.
Call Number: 973.914 H219Yd, 2004
Publication Date: 2004-01-07