The Presidency Then and Now
Phillip G. Henderson
Rowman & Littlefield, 2000 - History - 300 pages
In The Presidency Then and Now, leading political scientists and historians assess the development of the presidency and its role in today's political landscape. The questions addressed in this wide-ranging volume include: How has the doctrine of separation of powers evolved? How have presidential campaigns and presidential oratory influenced the constitutional character of the institution? How does the scandal-driven press coverage of the post-Vietnam and post-Watergate presidency compare with the partisan press of the early republic? Among other topics, the contributors examine the early precedents and modern manifestations of the executive veto, executive privilege, and presidential use of force doctrine, and chart the shift from a constitutionally circumspect and constrained chief executive toward the modern notion of a plebiscitary presidency. The Presidency Then and Now assesses several key trends in presidential leadership including the recent movement toward a policy-centered presidency in which detailed policy development has at times supplanted broad vision and historically informed judgment. Other essays address such topics as the transformation of the Cabinet from a body whose members possessed stature equal to the president to a largely symbolic group that has been replaced in its advisory capacity by the White House staff. The Presidency Then and Now makes a case for returning to constitutional, reasoned deliberation and replacing modern fixation on 'celebrity' status with the founders' notion of 'stature.' By drawing comparisons between the old and the new, The Presidency Then and Now offers timely and incisive insights that will appeal not only to scholars of the presidency but to historians and general readers interested in the constitutional foundations, philosophical debates, and key political developments that have affected the presidential office over time.
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