Presidents and the Dissolution of the Union: Leadership Style from Polk to Lincoln

Princeton University Press
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The strengths and weaknesses of the presidents who led the United States to the Civil War

The United States witnessed an unprecedented failure of its political system in the mid-nineteenth century, resulting in a disastrous civil war that claimed the lives of an estimated 750,000 Americans. In his other acclaimed books about the American presidency, Fred Greenstein assesses the personal strengths and weaknesses of presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. Here, he evaluates the leadership styles of the Civil War-era presidents.

Using his trademark no-nonsense approach, Greenstein looks at the presidential qualities of James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln. For each president, he provides a concise history of the man's life and presidency, and evaluates him in the areas of public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence. Greenstein sheds light on why Buchanan is justly ranked as perhaps the worst president in the nation's history, how Pierce helped set the stage for the collapse of the Union and the bloodiest war America had ever experienced, and why Lincoln is still considered the consummate American leader to this day.

Presidents and the Dissolution of the Union reveals what enabled some of these presidents, like Lincoln and Polk, to meet the challenges of their times--and what caused others to fail.
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About the author

Fred I. Greenstein is professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University. His books include Inventing the Job of President: Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson (Princeton), The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to Barack Obama (Princeton), and The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
May 20, 2013
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781400846412
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
History / United States / 19th Century
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
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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Read aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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