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Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Wall Street Journal Book)

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Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Wall Street Journal Book) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Perennial favorite George Washington holds onto the top slot in this latest incarnation of presidential greatness surveys. Wall Street Journal Web editor Taranto and Federalist Society executive vice president Leo polled experts in history, politics and law on both sides of the volatile liberal-conservative divide. This politically attuned selection process produces no real surprises, however. Abraham Lincoln and FDR join the 'Father of His Country' in the exclusive pantheon of outstanding leaders. Longtime failures James Buchanan and Warren Harding anchor the bottom rungs. Ronald Reagan merits 'near great' status here, compared to 'average' rankings elsewhere. However, Democratic icons provoke gratuitous partisan sniping from some of the well-known conservative contributors, especially on the contentious issue of character, tilting the editors' much-vaunted objectivity rightward as a result. Peggy Noonan lingers on JFK's peccadilloes, including his use of sunless tanning products, rather than on his skillful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Robert Bork highlights FDR's domestic and international miscues, leaving readers to wonder how the only four-term president ever made the top three. Although George W. Bush is not ranked, he garners a glowing profile that's twice as long as FDR's. Fortunately, back-to-back essays on Lincoln by Jay Winik and Andrew Johnson by Jeffrey Tulis stand out and provide perceptive, timely appraisals of contrasting styles of executive stewardship during national crises. Complemented by William Bennett's cri de coeur against declining standards in the teaching of American history, by scholarly musings on economic policy, wartime leadership, judicial appointments and disputed elections, and by a fine concluding overview of the editors' methodology, these subtly shifting critiques of American presidents will give political junkies plenty to tussle over." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Combining statistical information with an all-star team of scholars, this lively, provocative, solidly based work serves as both a valuable reference and a tremendously readable collection.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743254335
Subtitle:
Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House
Editor:
Taranto, James
The Presidency, Federalist No. 10, and the Constitution :
Steven G. Calabresi</I><P>THE RANKINGS<P><I><CENTER>The Presidents</CENTER></I><P>1. George Washington (1789-97) <I>
Foreword:
Bennett, William J.
Editor:
Taranto, James
Editor:
Leo, Leonard
Author:
Taranto, James
Author:
Leo, Leonard
Author:
Bennett, William J.
Editor:
Leo, Leonard
Foreword:
Bennett, William J.
Publisher:
Free Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Political leadership
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Political Process - Leadership
Subject:
Government - Executive Branch
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series:
Wall Street Journal Book
Series Volume:
1263
Publication Date:
June 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.34x6.38x1.11 in. 1.00 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » US History » US Presidency

Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Wall Street Journal Book) Used Hardcover
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Free Press - English 9780743254335 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Perennial favorite George Washington holds onto the top slot in this latest incarnation of presidential greatness surveys. Wall Street Journal Web editor Taranto and Federalist Society executive vice president Leo polled experts in history, politics and law on both sides of the volatile liberal-conservative divide. This politically attuned selection process produces no real surprises, however. Abraham Lincoln and FDR join the 'Father of His Country' in the exclusive pantheon of outstanding leaders. Longtime failures James Buchanan and Warren Harding anchor the bottom rungs. Ronald Reagan merits 'near great' status here, compared to 'average' rankings elsewhere. However, Democratic icons provoke gratuitous partisan sniping from some of the well-known conservative contributors, especially on the contentious issue of character, tilting the editors' much-vaunted objectivity rightward as a result. Peggy Noonan lingers on JFK's peccadilloes, including his use of sunless tanning products, rather than on his skillful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Robert Bork highlights FDR's domestic and international miscues, leaving readers to wonder how the only four-term president ever made the top three. Although George W. Bush is not ranked, he garners a glowing profile that's twice as long as FDR's. Fortunately, back-to-back essays on Lincoln by Jay Winik and Andrew Johnson by Jeffrey Tulis stand out and provide perceptive, timely appraisals of contrasting styles of executive stewardship during national crises. Complemented by William Bennett's cri de coeur against declining standards in the teaching of American history, by scholarly musings on economic policy, wartime leadership, judicial appointments and disputed elections, and by a fine concluding overview of the editors' methodology, these subtly shifting critiques of American presidents will give political junkies plenty to tussle over." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Combining statistical information with an all-star team of scholars, this lively, provocative, solidly based work serves as both a valuable reference and a tremendously readable collection.
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