The Power of the Modern Presidency

The Power of the Modern Presidency

The Power of the Modern Presidency

The Power of the Modern Presidency

Excerpt

As this is being written in February 1974 America is in the midst of a continuing crisis over the Presidency of Richard M. Nixon. It is not immediately clear to what extent it is a crisis of the man or of the institution or of both. The general hope is for a restoration of integrity and constitutional rectitude to the Presidency. This suggests that the crisis is not really deep but will vanish with the man. However, another view would suggest that the Presidency itself has become a kind of republican monarchy by means of which the incumbent President can abuse his powers and be unreachable by any final check short of removal from office. The questions of character and institution thus come together. It is time that we begin to ask fundamental questions about Presidential power as it has developed in midcentury so that we understand the nature of the crisis in which we find ourselves. This is the principal purpose of this book.

Other more strictly professional purposes converge as well. A book is needed that brings together the many different approaches to the study of the Presidency: empirical research by political scientists and historians; memoirs by participants in Presidential government; the work of observant and thoughtful journalists who are direct observors of much of the Presidency; and finally the concepts and theories of the other behavioral sciences that might be brought to bear upon the questions of leadership and authority in the Presidency. This book tries to bring all these approaches together.

Particular attention is given to integrating several relatively new approaches to the study of policy making into the subject of the Presidency: the analysis of leadership that draws upon personality theory and that has of late been directed toward the Presidency; the . . .

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