The Presidency in aspic ?,
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This review is from: The American Presidency, 1945-2000: Illusions of Grandeur (Hardcover)
This is a very thoughtful book about possibly the most important elected office in the world. Its starting point is the changing nature, not just of the Pesidency itself, but also of the expectations surrounding its incumbents. From Truman in the mid 1940's right through to Clinton in the late 90's, the book looks at the idea of the imperial presidency and questions whether the holders of the office have enhanced the Pesidency in the eyes of the world or whether, in some way, the expectations surrounding the office have in some way damaged the institutution itself and, in doing so, impliedly asks whether anyone is capable of being the President the founding fathers hoped for.
What makes this book a positive contribution to the debate about the nature of the American Pesidency is that its written by a British academic, someone able to look at the office and the events it has had to contend with, and to consider them from the outsiders point of view in a dispassionate manner. This has allowed for the author to be subjective in a way an American academic might not be able to. The book is also written in a style that allows the specialist to obtain much that is useful and relevant, but also in such a way that the interested layperson can read and largely understand the line of thought pursued by the author. The author, Dr Harry Bennett, has achieved his aim of making a contribution to the debate about what the Presidency now is in such momentous times.
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