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by Lewis L. Gould

  • ISBN: 0700612521
  • Category: Biographies
  • Author: Lewis L. Gould
  • Subcategory: Leaders & Notable People
  • Other formats: lrf lrf lit azw
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas (April 1, 2003)
  • Pages: 301 pages
  • FB2 size: 1674 kb
  • EPUB size: 1322 kb
  • Rating: 4.8
  • Votes: 994
Download The Modern American Presidency fb2

Lewis L. Gould's many books include The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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This analysis and critique of the modern American presidency aims to lay bare the current strengths and weaknesses of the office and remind the reader that the presidency remains a work in progress. It surveys the transformation of the White House over the 20th Century.

The modern American presidency. Lewis L. Gould is Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor Emeritus in American History at the University of Texas at Austin. After receiving his P. Gould (history, emeritus, Univ. of Texas, Austin; The Presidency of William McKinley) tries to make sense of the "modern American presidency" and the peculiar mixture of chief executives who have. from Yale University, he taught at Texas for 31 years before his retirement in 1998. He was honored for outstanding undergraduate and graduate teaching during his career. by. Gould, Lewis L. Publication date. Presidents, Presidents. Lawrence : University Press of Kansas. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. t on September 9, 2011.

Save up to 80% by choosing the eTextbook option for ISBN: 9780700623617, 0700623612. The print version of this textbook is ISBN: 9780700616848, 0700616845. Note that the availability of products for purchase is based on the country of your billing address. Some items may have regional restrictions for purchase. Canadian customers may purchase from our stores in Canada or the US. Canada. Gould is emeritus professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. His books include The Modern American Presidency; The Most Exclusive Club: A History of the Modern United States Senate; American First Ladies; and Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans.

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An interpretive synthesis of the twentieth-century presidency examines how the role of the president evolved into a celebrity figure, tracing a decline of the party system, the growing importance of the media, changes in the responsibilities of White Government)
Reviews about The Modern American Presidency (7):
I read this for a class during my senior year at Webster and really loved it. This book tells the story of the Office of the President of the United States in the modern era. It really gets into how the various men who have sat on the hot seat, have molded and shaped the Presidency over the past hundred years or so. I really enjoyed it as I said and it is one which is still on my bookshelf, as I am sure I will use it as a reference and possible resource in the classes I hope to teach after I finish grad school next year.
Lewis reserves one sentence for Wilson's virulent racism, a subject overlooked by so many so-called Wilson scholars. Another subject, FDR's decision not to welcome refugees from Nazi Germany in any large numbers, is altogether ignored. I wish I could suggest this, but studying the American presidency for six decades convinces me that Gould's book has little value.
Shipped fast. This was required for my American government class, and turned out to be an interesting read.
Lewis Gould mentions William Clinton's impeachment but not the reason for the impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice. Instead, Gould claims it was the result of "an unfortunate affair" in the White House. Gould was selective in his anecdotal treatment of other presidents. I did not find the book to be useful as a comprehensive research tool. It was more of a re-write of history, presenting some presidents in a favorable light and others, not so much.
This is a briskly paced overview of one hundred years' worth of presidents, from McKinley to Clinton (with a very brief mention of George W. Bush). That Gould starts with McKinley is notable, for historians have tended to place the origins of the modern presidency with his successor, Theodore Roosevelt. In tracing the development of the presidency as an institution, Gould follows a handful of key themes: (1) the rise of mass media and its effects on the presidency; (2) the rise of continual campaigning; (3) problem-ridden second terms; and (4) the decline of parties and its consequences. Only the fourth receives unsatisfactory treatment: Gould mentions it as a theme and never really follows up on it, and while parties as nominating and institutional forces may have declined with the spread of primaries, they surely play a larger role in today's polarized political atmosphere.

Each president is assessed, and except for the somewhat unique argument for McKinley, the analyses are not surprising. Gould, for the most part, agrees with other historians' assessments. Not enough time has lapsed since Clinton, and the chapter he gets is weak; Gould opted to focus on the scandals and controversies. Most interesting of all, perhaps, is Gould's conclusion that the modern presidency is ill-equipped to deal with the problems of this century.

Overall, a solid overview of the presidency.
This book is both erudite and accessible, and it's an excellent survey of the modern Presidency, which Gould, a respected University of Texas historian, points out has been transformed in roughly the past hundred years from an intimate, folksy, at times nearly one-man operation into an unwieldy, unworkable, and dangerously out-of-touch apparatus that has far less to do with running the country than it does with raising cash, making meaningless appearances and feeding the media, and getting re-elected to a Constitutionally-allowed (and historically-mandated) second term that in most cases is a failure compared with the first term. (Can you think of a President since Franklin Roosevelt whose second term was more successful than the first?)
Other reviewers of this book have pointed out that Gould's position on the evolution of the presidency is a paradox, since in order to be effective, the modern president must be a master of the perpetual campaign, and yet the perpetual campaign is what Gould believes is the bane of the presidency, transforming it into a position of celebrity and spectacle rather than one of leadership and policy. However, that is a paradox that needs to be examined more deeply in a philosophical context; this book is a survey, not a political science text, and Gould gets points for raising the paradox, which is a provocative one, in the first place.
The book is full of anecdotes and lucid detail about the modern presidents, along with Gould's snappy and precise evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of each, and the factors in the broader political culture of each man's term in office that changed the presidency forever. He is not particularly partisan in his political stance; he has good and bad to say about each president. There are many surprises in this short but rewarding book, and there are excellent suggestions for further reading at the back.
For our course on the modern presidency this semester, the professor has assigned three books: Gould's Modern American Presidency; McPherson's edited To the Best of My Ability; and Greenstein's The Presidential Difference. While each book has its strengths, I prefer Gould's treatment of the subject. He provides a concise overview of each president from McKinley to the present. He always stays on point: that is, he seeks to explain "how did the institution of the presidency evolve over the twentieth century?" Gould carefully describes exactly how each chief executive contributed to the making of a "modern" presidency. In our class discussions, other students have commented that they also prefer Gould's approach. He is thoroughly familiar with the history of each administration. We have speculated as to Dr. Gould's political affiliation but cannot reach a decision. He is even-handed throughout. Like most other college seniors, especially history majors, I often feel swamped with the heavy reading load. But I never mind the time I must spend with this book. In fact, I actually enjoy it.

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