American Civil Rights Policy from Truman to Clinton: The Role of Presidential Leadership

Synopsis

The President is the key actor in civil rights policy -- its advance, reversal, or neglect. This book documents the critical role presidents have played in setting the agenda, framing the terms of the debate, and formulating specific policy goals with respect to civil rights. By identifying the limits of presidential influence as well as the impact of presidential leadership vis-a-vis the Congress and federal agencies, Shull is able to compare presidents in terms of rhetoric, performance, and effectiveness in this most controversial policy arena.

Expanding upon his work in A Kinder, Gentler Racism? Shull here incorporates the Clinton years, including case studies of the 1996 same-sex marriage controversy and the nominations of Lani Guinier and William Lee for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.