Synopses & Reviews
Presenting a new synthesis of twentieth-century American political development, The President and the Parties is the first text to examine closely the association between the chief executive and the two-party system. Placing parties in a broad historical context and shedding light on their connection to other parts of the American political system, Sidney Milkis argues that, beginning with the New Deal, reforms intended to liberate the chief executive from the shackles of partisan politics only weakened an already fragile relationship, isolating presidents from what was once popular and institutional support from their parties. Written for political science students at all levels, this comprehensive analysis covers a broad range of issues and events, including FDR's 1938 "Purge" of the Democratic Party, The Executive Reorganization Act of 1939, the legacy of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, and the triumph of executive centralization during the Reagan "Revolution." By providing a unique perspective on the elements of American government, Milkis offers new insights into the decline of the party system and the process that fashioned a stronger, more active national state, but one lacking in vital representative institutions capable of common deliberation and choice. Placing the issue in contemporary perspective, he warns of the challenges ahead for a nation struggling to repair its frayed connection between government and people.
Table of Contents
I. The Presidency and Party Politics in the New Deal Era
2. The Roots of New Deal Reform
3. Whose Party is It? The Transformation of the Democratic Party
4. The Limits of Party Government: The "Conservative Coalition" and the "Purge" Campaign of 1938
5. Administrative Reform and the Displacement of Party Politics: Reflections on the "Third New Deal"
6. The Significance of Partial Success: The Executive Reorganization Act of 1939 and the Creation of the Modern Presidency
II. The New Deal Legacy for the Presidency and the Party System
7. Programmatic Liberalism After Roosevelt: Executive Administration and the Transcendence of Partisan Politics
8. The Twilight of the Modern Presidency: The Troubled Times and Institutional Legacy of Lyndon Johnson
9. The Republican Challenge and the Reshaping of Programmatic Liberalism
10. The New Deal Legacy and Reagan "Revolution"
11. Divided Government and the Administrative Constitution
12. Conclusion: Whither the Administrative Republic?