Picking Presidents: How to Make the Most Consequential Decision in the World

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Univ of California Press, Oct 18, 2022 - Political Science - 288 pages
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Celebrated leadership expert and political scientist Gautam Mukunda provides a comprehensive, objective, and non-partisan method for answering the most important question in the world: is someone up to the job of president of the United States?
 
In Picking Presidents, Gautam Mukunda sets his sights on presidential candidates, proposing an objective and tested method to assess whether they will succeed or fail if they win the White House. Combining political science, psychology, organizational behavior, and economics, Picking Presidents will enable every American to cast an informed vote.
 
In his 2012 book Indispensable, which all but predicted the Trump presidency, Mukunda explained how both the very best and very worst leaders are "unfiltered"—outsiders who take power without the understanding or support of traditional elites. Picking Presidents provides deep analysis of filtered and unfiltered presidents alike, from failed haberdasher and skillful president Harry Truman, to the exceptionally well-qualified—and ultimately reviled—James Buchanan; from Andrew Johnson, who set civil rights back by a century, to Theodore Roosevelt, who evaded party opposition to transform American society. Picking Presidents lays out a clear framework that anyone can use to judge a candidate and answer the all-important question: are they up to the job?
 

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Contents

Harry Truman and the System at Its Best
30
James Buchanan and the Collapse of the System
58
Failed Unfiltered Presidents
84
The Triumph of Unfiltered
108
Assessing Filtered and Unfiltered Candidates
139
Conclusion Where Do We Go from Here?
159
Notes
187
Bibliography
227
Index
263
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About the author (2022)

Gautam Mukunda is a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership, author of Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter, and the host of NASDAQ's World Reimagined podcast. He was formerly an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University.

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