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Contending Approaches to the American Presidency

Contending Approaches to the American Presidency

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December 2011 | 216 pages | CQ Press
In a fresh look at the presidency, Michael Genovese brings together leading scholars to shed light on ideological and constitutional assumptions about the presidency. While most scholarly writing is supposed to be "neutral," students frequently find themselves awash in conflicting viewpoints, making it difficult to assess hidden assumptions. In this contributed volume, authors examine the different approaches that drive the current debate concerning the presidency: liberal, conservative, moderate, constitutionalist, libertarian, and presidentialist (unitary executive).

All chapters follow a consistent structure, encouraging students to compare ideas across chapters. Contributors also examine their approach in light of presidential-congressional relations, presidential power and accountability, the rule of law, as well as domestic and foreign policy. Making explicit what is often implicit, this engaging and unique examination of the presidency helps readers better understand presidential power and leadership.

Michael A. Genovese
Introduction: Towards Understanding the American Presidency
Ryan J. Barilleaux
Conservatives and the Presidency
Thomas E. Cronin and Michael A. Genovese
Moderates on the Presidency
Robert J. Spitzer
Liberals and the Presidency
David Gray Adler
Toward a Constitutional Presidency
Melanie M. Marlowe
The Unitary Executive
Gene Healy
Libertarians and the Presidency

[COB--he'll want to see pdf chps to see that Genovese answered to his suggestions in revising the intro. As well, Genovese rearranged the order of chapters given his feedback. I edited his quote slightly, pulling from 3 different places in his review.]

"The biggest strength of this book is its unique approach to understanding the presidency through multiple ideological and theoretical perspectives. The way that the chapters are organized is another strength of the book. I liked that the chapters have consistency in how they are structured. Each perspective was introduced, problems associated with the presidency were identified, potential solutions were proposed, and concluding remarks closed the chapter. The editor makes the case that understanding the presidency through a number of clashing perspectives allows for perhaps a more holistic assessment of the office."

Michael Berry
University of Colorado, Denver

"The book fills a need in presidency literature, because it deals explicitly with various ideological and institutional perspectives that presidency scholars use when evaluating the institution."

Richard Pious
Barnard College

I do believe that Professor Genovese has an interesting idea because many of terms thrown around when describing the presidency are left undefined. The general idea of having each of the scholars contributing answering the same question provides an excellent point of departure for students so they can engage in comparisons and debate over the different perspectives.

Craig Goodman
Texas Tech University
Proposal review--Goodman

My general impression is that this is an extremely interesting framing of a manuscript project! I generally agree with the contention that because “few authors reveal their ideological or partisan preferences, readers often have a difficult time understanding what values, goals, and political orientations animate writings about the presidency.” The impulse to make these preferences – and their implications for presidential power – explicit in a series of chapters within a single edited volume is a very good one.

Jess Rhodes
University of Massachusetts
Proposal review--Rhodes

Examining how different ideologies and partisan viewpoints impact our evaluation of presidential power is a provocative idea for a book.

Terri Bimes
University of California, Berkeley
Proposal review--Bimes

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ISBN: 9781608717064