The Presidency of George W. Bush: A First Historical Assessment

Princeton University Press
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The Presidency of George W. Bush brings together some of today's top American historians to offer the first in-depth look at one of the most controversial U.S. presidencies. Emotions surrounding the Bush presidency continue to run high--conservatives steadfastly defend its achievements, liberals call it a disgrace. This book examines the successes as well as the failures, covering every major aspect of Bush's two terms in office. It puts issues in broad historical context to reveal the forces that shaped and constrained Bush's presidency--and the ways his presidency reshaped the nation.

The Presidency of George W. Bush features contributions by Mary L. Dudziak, Gary Gerstle, David Greenberg, Meg Jacobs, Michael Kazin, Kevin M. Kruse, Nelson Lichtenstein, Fredrik Logevall, Timothy Naftali, James T. Patterson, and the book's editor, Julian E. Zelizer. Each chapter tackles some important aspect of Bush's administration--such as presidential power, law, the war on terror, the Iraq invasion, economic policy, and religion--and helps readers understand why Bush made the decisions he did. Taking readers behind the headlines of momentous events, the contributors show how the quandaries of the Bush presidency were essentially those of conservatism itself, which was confronted by the hard realities of governance. They demonstrate how in fact Bush frequently disappointed the Right, and how Barack Obama's 2008 election victory cast the very tenets of conservatism in doubt.


History will be the ultimate judge of Bush's legacy, and the assessment begins with this book.

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About the author

Julian E. Zelizer is professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of Arsenal of Democracy, On Capitol Hill, and Taxing America. He is a frequent contributor to CNN.com, Politico, and the New York Times, among others.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Sep 13, 2010
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Pages
408
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ISBN
9781400836307
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Modern / 21st Century
History / United States / 21st Century
Political Science / American Government / Executive Branch
Political Science / Political Process / Leadership
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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From George Washington's decision to buy time for the new nation by signing the less-than-ideal Jay Treaty with Great Britain in 1795 to George W. Bush's order of a military intervention in Iraq in 2003, the matter of who is president of the United States is of the utmost importance. In this book, Fred Greenstein examines the leadership styles of the earliest presidents, men who served at a time when it was by no means certain that the American experiment in free government would succeed.

In his groundbreaking book The Presidential Difference, Greenstein evaluated the personal strengths and weaknesses of the modern presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Here, he takes us back to the very founding of the republic to apply the same yardsticks to the first seven presidents from Washington to Andrew Jackson, giving his no-nonsense assessment of the qualities that did and did not serve them well in office. For each president, Greenstein provides a concise history of his life and presidency, and evaluates him in the areas of public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence. Washington, for example, used his organizational prowess--honed as a military commander and plantation owner--to lead an orderly administration. In contrast, John Adams was erudite but emotionally volatile, and his presidency was an organizational disaster.



Inventing the Job of President explains how these early presidents and their successors shaped the American presidency we know today and helped the new republic prosper despite profound challenges at home and abroad.

DIV The Buck Stops Here consists of twenty-eight engrossing accounts of the most important United States presidential decisions in history. They range from the abolition of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation to the acquisition of vast new territory with the Louisiana Purchase to the establishment of enduring institutions such as Medicare and America’s national parks. These decisions encompass, too, such less-well-known measures as the G.I. Bill of Rights, which cleared the way for more than two million veterans to receive a college education, as well as acts that reverberated worldwide, including Theodore Roosevelt’s construction of the Panama Canal, Harry S Truman’s deployment of the atom bomb, Richard Nixon’s visit to China, and John F. Kennedy’s pledge to put a man on the moon. Thomas J. Craughwell and Edwin Kiester Jr.’s fascinating survey of twenty-eight crucial presidential decisions opens a door into the White House’s corridors of power, giving readers an insider’s view of how and why these decisions were made, while providing a yardstick with which we might, perhaps, gauge the success of current and future presidents. Each chapter places the reader squarely in the historical period while presenting the issues at stake, the interests at work, and the obstacles encountered. This book takes the reader into the minds of some of American history’s greatest leaders and analyzes the enduring, often far-reaching, sometimes unforeseen consequences of these presidential decisions—in their own time, and right up to the present day. Some of these decisions were simply expedient; others required the courage of conviction in the face of intense opposition. Some were motivated by political loyalties, but many were evidently inspired by noble visions of a better nation, a fairer world. All were momentous, and helped define who we are and how we live now. /div
An original and engaging account of the Obama years from a group of leading political historians

Barack Obama's election as the first African American president seemed to usher in a new era, and he took office in 2009 with great expectations. But by his second term, Republicans controlled Congress, and, after the 2016 presidential election, Obama's legacy and the health of the Democratic Party itself appeared in doubt. In The Presidency of Barack Obama, Julian Zelizer gathers leading American historians to put President Obama and his administration into political and historical context.

These writers offer strikingly original assessments of the big issues that shaped the Obama years, including the conservative backlash, race, the financial crisis, health care, crime, drugs, counterterrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan, the environment, immigration, education, gay rights, and urban policy. Together, these essays suggest that Obama's central paradox is that, despite effective policymaking, he failed to receive credit for his many achievements and wasn't a party builder. Provocatively, they ask why Obama didn't unite Democrats and progressive activists to fight the conservative counter-tide as it grew stronger.

Engaging and deeply informed, The Presidency of Barack Obama is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand Obama and the uncertain aftermath of his presidency.

Contributors include Sarah Coleman, Jacob Dlamini, Gary Gerstle, Risa Goluboff, Meg Jacobs, Peniel Joseph, Michael Kazin, Matthew Lassiter, Kathryn Olmsted, Eric Rauchway, Richard Schragger, Paul Starr, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Thomas Sugrue, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and Jonathan Zimmerman.

With more than 200 photographs, videos, letters, and speeches, this Deluxe eBook edition of Decision Points brings to life the critical decisions of George W. Bush’s presidency.

       George W. Bush served as president of the United States during eight of the most consequential years in American history. The decisions that reached his desk impacted people around the world and defined the times in which we live.

        Decision Points takes readers inside the Texas governor’s mansion on the night of the 2000 election, aboard Air Force One during the harrowing hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, into the Situation Room moments before the start of the war in Iraq, and behind the scenes at the White House for many other historic presidential decisions on the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan, and Iran. In addition, it offers intimate new details on his quitting drinking, his discovery of faith, and his relationship with his family.

The Deluxe eBook edition also includes:

• Videos from the defining moments of the presidency, including Bush’s inspiring Ground Zero speech to the 9/11 rescue workers, intimate family home movies, and a special introduction to the edition from the president himself
• Full texts of his most important speeches, including his addresses to the nation about 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq, and his second Inaugural
• Handwritten letters from the president’s personal correspondence
• And more than 50 new photos not contained in the print version of Decision Points

      A groundbreaking first in bringing multimedia to presidential memoir, the Deluxe eBook edition of Decision Points will captivate supporters, surprise critics, and change perspectives on eight remarkable years in American history—and on the man at the center of events.
Michael Wolff, author of the bombshell bestseller Fire and Fury, once again takes us inside the Trump presidency to reveal a White House under siege.

Just one year into Donald Trump’s term as president, Michael Wolff told the electrifying story of a White House consumed by controversy, chaos, and intense rivalries. Fire and Fury, an instant sensation, defined the first phase of the Trump administration; now, in Siege, Wolff has written an equally essential and explosive book about a presidency that is under fire from almost every side.

At the outset of Trump’s second year as president, his situation is profoundly different. No longer tempered by experienced advisers, he is more impulsive and volatile than ever. But the wheels of justice are inexorably turning: Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” haunts Trump every day, and other federal prosecutors are taking a deep dive into his business affairs. Many in the political establishment—even some members of his own administration—have turned on him and are dedicated to bringing him down. The Democrats see victory at the polls, and perhaps impeachment, in front of them. Trump, meanwhile, is certain he is invincible, making him all the more exposed and vulnerable. Week by week, as Trump becomes increasingly erratic, the question that lies at the heart of his tenure becomes ever more urgent: Will this most abnormal of presidencies at last reach the breaking point and implode?

Both a riveting narrative and a brilliant front-lines report, Siege provides an alarming and indelible portrait of a president like no other. Surrounded by enemies and blind to his peril, Trump is a raging, self-destructive inferno—and the most divisive leader in American history.

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