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Inventing the American Presidency

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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Politics » Government » General

Inventing the American Presidency

By Thomas E. Cronin (Edited by)

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Format: Paperback, 440 pages
Published In: United States, 01 September 1989
Now widely regarded as the best available guide to the study of the Founding, the first edition of Interpreting the Founding provided summaries and analyses of the leading interpretive frameworks that have guided the study of the Founding since the publication of Charles Beard's An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution in 1913. For this new edition, Gibson has revised and updated his study, including his comprehensive bibliography, and also added a new concluding chapter on the "Unionist Paradigm" or "Federalist Interpretation" of the Constitution. As in the original work, Gibson argues in the new edition that scholarship on the Founding is no longer steered by a single dominant approach or even by a set of questions that control its direction. He features insightful extended discussions of pioneering works by leading scholars of the Founding--including Louis Hartz, Bernard Bailyn, Gordon Wood, and Garry Wills--that best exemplify different schools of interpretation. He focuses on six approaches that have dominated the modern study of the Founding-Progressive, Lockean/liberal, Republican, Scottish Enlightenment, multicultural, and multiple traditions approaches--before concluding with the Unionist or Federalist paradigm. For each approach, Gibson traces its fundamental assumptions, revealing deeper ideological and methodological differences between schools of thought that, on the surface, seem to differ only about the interpretation of historical facts. While previous accounts have treated the study of the Founding as the sequential replacement of one paradigm by another, Gibson argues that all of these interpretations survive as alternative and still viable approaches. By examining the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and showing how each has simultaneously illuminated and masked core truths about the American Founding, he renders a balanced account of the continuing and very vigorous debate over the origins and foundations of the American republic. Brimming with intellectual vigor and a based on both a wide and deep reading in the voluminous literature on the subject, Gibson's new edition is sure to reinforce this remarkable book's reputation while winning new converts to his argument.

Reviews

-Edited by an influential presidential scholar, this collection marks the bicentennial of the office of the presidency. It brings together a wealth of information and insights on the construction of the nation's highest office.---Jeffrey K. Tulis, author of The Rhetorical Presidency and coeditor of The Presidency in the Constitutional Order. -This book ought to be on the shelf of any serious student of the presidency. It sets forth with unusual clarity how the office originally got planned, built, and used. The authors press their interest beyond antiquity to the relevance of what we inherit today from those ancient inventors, and they candidly spell out the Founders' mistakes as well as their successes. This is a solid historical source for understanding the controversies that gave birth to the reality of the Presidency of the United States.---James David Barber, author of The Pulse of Politics: The Rhythm of Presidential Elections in the Twentieth Century -An illuminating guide to the events, personalities, and considerations that shaped the American presidency.---Fred Greenstein, author of The Hidden Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader and Evolution of the Modern Presidency -This book fills an important need through representative essays by able scholars and observers on neglected aspects of the presidency. While its authors voice similar differences to those debated in 1787, its editor brings unity to the volume through emphasis on historical experience, political consensus, and common themes.---Kenneth Thompson, Director of the Miller Center for Public Affairs, University of Virginia "Edited by an influential presidential scholar, this collection marks the bicentennial of the office of the presidency. It brings together a wealth of information and insights on the construction of the nation's highest office."--Jeffrey K. Tulis, author of The Rhetorical Presidency and coeditor of The Presidency in the Constitutional Order. "This book ought to be on the shelf of any serious student of the presidency. It sets forth with unusual clarity how the office originally got planned, built, and used. The authors press their interest beyond antiquity to the relevance of what we inherit today from those ancient inventors, and they candidly spell out the Founders' mistakes as well as their successes. This is a solid historical source for understanding the controversies that gave birth to the reality of the Presidency of the United States."--James David Barber, author of The Pulse of Politics: The Rhythm of Presidential Elections in the Twentieth Century "An illuminating guide to the events, personalities, and considerations that shaped the American presidency."--Fred Greenstein, author of The Hidden Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader and Evolution of the Modern Presidency "This book fills an important need through representative essays by able scholars and observers on neglected aspects of the presidency. While its authors voice similar differences to those debated in 1787, its editor brings unity to the volume through emphasis on historical experience, political consensus, and common themes."--Kenneth Thompson, Director of the Miller Center for Public Affairs, University of Virginia

EAN: 9780700604067
ISBN: 0700604065
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Age Range: 15+ years
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