Manual Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House (Wall Street Journal Book)

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Presidential Leadership by Leonard Leo. James Taranto Editor. Based on a completely new nationwide survey prepared exclusively for this edition of Presidential Leadership, two of America's most prominent institutions, The Wall Street Journal and the Federalist Society, explore just what it is that makes a president great and then rank each from best to worst. Now with updated chapters on Bush and "Leadership in the Midst of Controversy," a wide range of eminent scholars, journalists, and political leaders evaluate the competence of our nation's chief executives, including that of George W.

Bush's first complete term in office. Fascinating and often surprising, the book reveals who was voted the most controversial and who was the most over- and underrated from the nationwide survey of liberal and conservative scholars, balanced to reflect the political makeup of the U.

Presidential Leadership is a pleasure to read and an authoritative reference for every library. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published September 13th by Free Press first published January 1st More Details Original Title.

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Sort order. May 08, Scott L. This book is so obviously slanted to the political right. Some of the later Presidents, such as Bill Clinton so obviously hated by the Right are given very nasty assessments of their Presidency. Others, like Andrew Jackson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, are grudgingly given their due by the authors. I would have enjoyed this book much more had it been written with a more neutral position. It was OK, but I cannot really recommend it.

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Dec 13, Robbie rated it really liked it. Great for starting aruments amongst presidential nerds! Apr 08, Jeff rated it really liked it. A collection of historians, political scientists and presidential scholars were enlisted to rate the presidents from Washington to Clinton according to their effectiveness in leadership. The ratings give no surprises at the very top and bottom of the scale, but provide for some interesting discussion between the extremes. The editors were careful to pick scholars equally from the left and right of the political spectrum, which provides a more unbiased ranking than previous books of the same ilk A collection of historians, political scientists and presidential scholars were enlisted to rate the presidents from Washington to Clinton according to their effectiveness in leadership.

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The editors were careful to pick scholars equally from the left and right of the political spectrum, which provides a more unbiased ranking than previous books of the same ilk might have given. Each president is written about in a page chapter written by different people. This gives the book a variety of insight, but it also makes it somewhat uneven. Some chapter authors focus on the theme of book, leadership. Others give an overall synopsis of the presidency in question.


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Still others focus on one main event in a presidency as an example of the overall term. Some presidents who rated high in the survey are given critical reviews, while others who rated low are praised. Harding, for example, while rating near the bottom received a rave review in his chapter. Given that some chapters are better than others, this book is an overall interesting look at the leadership of American presidents, and should provide for some friendly debate over its conclusions.

Rating presidential leadership is a rather subjective undertaking. Nevertheless, the book takes a look at all the presidents and gives a summary of what went well and what did not. Really no surprises on who were the better presidents and who were the worst ones, but if you like presidential history, this will certainly stir your thinking.

Feb 10, Stacy rated it liked it. I say this so that you understand the editors and the conductors of the survey are from a strictly conservative viewpoint. This was not as much of an issue the first half of the book as the Presidents had all been dead a number of years. Once in the 20th century the reviews of each President became decidedly pointed.

Many could not resist unflattering comments about Bill Clinton even while writing about another President. It was distracting and diminished my belief that the writers could put petty party politics aside and write without bitterness.

And many spent a paragraph or more editorializing about their own views. Not everyone did this, but enough to notice and irritate me. Which leads to my next big problem with the book. There was absolutely no consistancy in these write ups. Feb 23, Dan Ragsdale rated it really liked it. A collection of good basic summaries of philosophies, contributions,and most interestingly, shortcomings of our first 43 presidents. The ratings are especially intriguing - Pierce and Buchanan had a rough go of it.

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What is not surprisingly is that leaders of character have often flourished wh A collection of good basic summaries of philosophies, contributions,and most interestingly, shortcomings of our first 43 presidents. What is not surprisingly is that leaders of character have often flourished while in office.

Also notable is that it appears that most successful presidents seem to be likable chaps - the surely codgers sp? Admittedly, these somewhat naive observations are not likely to be embraced by presidential scholars, but, nonetheless, they work for me! May 20, Peter rated it really liked it Recommends it for: history lovers. Shelves: history. How, then, do these essays stand up? A few are artful. For example, journalist Richard Brookheiser's essay on George Washington, political scientist Jeffrey Tulis's on Andrew Johnson, and historian Robert Dallek's on Lyndon Johnson demonstrate that it is possible to write a brief essay on a president and offer a trenchant and thoughtful treatment.

On the other hand, it is hard to get past the Access options available:. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.


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