Presidential Leadership in Political Time: Reprise and Reappraisal (Paperback)

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Renowned scholar Stephen Skowronek's insights have fundamentally altered our understanding of the American presidency. His seminal works have identified broad historical patterns in American politics and explained the dynamics at work behind them. His "political time" thesis has been particularly influential, revealing how presidents reckon with the work of their predecessors, situate their power within recent political events, and assert their authority to change things. In this new book, Skowronek revisits his political time thesis and focuses on how it helps us make sense of the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The essays--some of which predate his book The Politics Presidents Make, some of which followed it, and one of which is wholly original to this volume--make his arguments about the politics of leadership generally accessible while also drawing them forward and highlighting new issues for our times. Skowronek explains the typical political problems that presidents confront in political time, as well as the likely effects of their working through them. This allows him to draw out parallels in the politics of leadership between Andrew Jackson and Franklin Roosevelt and between James Polk and John Kennedy--and to develop a new and revealing perspective on the leadership of George W. Bush. All along the way, Skowronek considers contemporary innovations in the American political system that bear on the leadership patterns he draws from the more distant past. The impact of the 24-hour news cycle, of a more disciplined and homogeneous Republican party, of conservative advocacy of the "unitary theory" of the executive, and of progressive disillusionment with thepresidency--all come under fresh scrutiny. A provocative review of presidential history, Skowronek's book brims with fresh insights and opens a window on the institution of the executive office and the workings of the American political system as a whole. Intellectually satisfying for scholars, it also provides an accessible volume for students and general readers interested in the American presidency.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780700615759
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication Date: February 1st, 2008
Pages: 192