Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Google eBook)

Front Cover
James Taranto, Leonard Leo
Simon and Schuster, Jul 30, 2004 - History - 304 pages
9 Reviews
What makes a president great? Two of America's most prominent institutions, The Wall Street Journal and the Federalist Society, with the help of a wide array of eminent scholars, journalists, and political leaders, tackle this question in Presidential Leadership, the definitive ranking of our nation's chief executives.
Based on a survey conducted by the Federalist Society and the Journal, Presidential Leadership examines presidential performance in this collection of provocative, enlightening essays written by a distinguished and diverse group of authors.
The survey included seventy-eight liberal and conservative scholars, balancing the sample to reflect the political makeup of the U.S. population as a whole. It represents the first national survey in book form that provides a complete ranking of the presidents, along with an appendix that explains the methodology in detail and includes a wide range of valuable data. The result is an important, fresh, and engaging book, rating the presidents from Washington to Clinton and including an early assessment of George W. Bush's presidency by Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot. Nearly fifty contributors provide their insights, with one essay on each president or on a broader issue of presidential leadership. Among them:

• Forrest McDonald on Thomas Jefferson
• Lynne Cheney on James Madison
• Douglas Brinkley on James Polk
• Christopher Buckley on James Buchanan
• Jay Winik on Abraham Lincoln
• John McCain on Theodore Roosevelt
• Robert Dallek on Lyndon B. Johnson
• Peggy Noonan on John F. Kennedy
• Paul Johnson on Bill Clinton

Their compelling essays, packed with fascinating and often surprising insights, analyze the best and worst of our commanders in chief. Presidential Leadership is the lively result, at once a valuable reference and a tremendously readable collection.
  

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Review: Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House

User Review  - Joshua Perry - Goodreads

Worthwhile introduction to the men who have led our country. Many great leaders. Some inexplicably bad ones. Written from a relatively conservative viewpoint (although the rankings are more liberal: FDR is rated at #3). Useful and concise. Read full review

Review: Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House

User Review  - Steven Raszewski - Goodreads

Informative. Read full review

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Page 20 - ... material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected. When belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Page 5 - If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.
Page 20 - My own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause, but rather than it should have failed I would have seen half the earth desolated; were there but an Adam and an Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be better than as it now is.

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About the author (2004)

James Taranto is editor of OpinionJournal.com, the website of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page.

Leonard Leo serves as executive vice president of the Federalist Society, an organization of 35,000 lawyers and other individuals committed to limited, constitutional government as envisioned by the framers of the Constitution.

William J. Bennett served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush and as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Reagan. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Williams College, a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He is the author of such bestselling books as The Educated Child, The Death of Outrage, The Book of Virtues, and the two-volume series America: The Last Best Hope. Dr. Bennett is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. He is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and a regular contributor to CNN. He, his wife, Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.

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