The Exemplary Presidency: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition

By Philip Abbott | Go to book overview

Preface

One of the explanations James Bryce offered for his assertion that "great men are not chosen presidents" was that "brilliant intellectual gifts" were not only not valued by the American citizenry but that the office itself only required "firmness, common sense and most of all, honesty." "Eloquence," "imagination," "profundity of thought" were valuable assets, of course, but no more necessary for the successful execution of the demands of the office than they were to the chairman of a commercial company or to the manager of a subway. It is the argument of this book that Bryce, for all his insight, was wrong on this point and that students of the presidency, as well as students of American political thought, who seem to have accepted Bryce's statement, are wrong as well. Americans do value brilliance of thought in their presidents but our concept of profundity has escaped them.

Certainly Franklin Delano Roosevelt would appear to confirm Bryce's observation. FDR may be credited with holding the nation together during the catastrophe of the Great Depression, patching together a welfare state American-style, and bringing a reluctant citizenry to support the embattled nations of Europe. But the country squire interpretation of Roosevelt, first stated by Walter Lippmann in 1932 when he described him as a "pleasant man" who "would very much like to be President," still heavily influences the assessment of Roosevelt's presidency.

In general support of the approach put forth in this book, I would like to offer commentary from two very disparate observers, Niccolo Machiavelli and the staff of Walt Disney World. In The Prince Machiavelli prefaces his discussion of the "exalted instances" in which men found new dominions by noting that "men walk almost always in the paths trodden by others, proceeding in their acts by imitation." If copy he must,

-ix-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Exemplary Presidency: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Exemplary Governance 3
  • 2 - The Story Teller and the Theorist 22
  • 3 - Is There a Jefferson on the Horizon? 47
  • 4 - The Parade 63
  • 5 - Oh, Shade of Jefferson 77
  • 6 - The Jacksonian Turn 110
  • 7 - They Have Retired into the Judiciary 132
  • 8 - Black Easter and Other Lincolns 152
  • 9 - Which Romevelt Do I Imitate? 181
  • Notes 203
  • Index 227
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 233

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.