Running Alone Presidential Leadership - JFK to Bush II - Why It Has Failed and How We Can Fix It

ISBN-10: 046500833X

ISBN-13: 9780465008339

Edition: N/A

Authors: James MacGregor Burns

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A disastrous war in Iraq, prisoner abuse, secret wiretaps--the presidency of George W. Bush represents a crisis in American democracy. How did this happen? In Running Alone the revered political scientist and commentator James MacGregor Burns sets the imperial presidency of George W. Bush in the context of half a century of presidential politics. In his 1960 campaign, John F. Kennedy turned his back on the Democratic Party. He relied instead on his personal charisma and his family's vast wealth to win office. Once elected, he governed much as he had run: alone. He ignored the Democratic platform and instead sought counsel from a small group of hand-picked advisors, including his own brother. Kennedy fundamentally reshaped the role of President, and each of his successors has built on this model. American presidents have become increasingly isolated from the parties that brought them to power. Democratic presidents--Johnson, Carter, and Clinton--did tremendous damage to the Democratic Party by abandoning its core principles. Republican presidents have managed to lead more effectively in isolation, but have imperiled the nation in the process. Drawing on his own personal letters, interviews, and recollections of America's presidents, Burns charts the decline of genuine leadership in the Oval Office and offers a stirring vision of what the presidency can and should be. America deserves better leaders, and with unsurpassed knowledge of American history and politics, Burns shows us the way forward.
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Book details

List price: $16.95
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 10/9/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.858
Language: English

James MacGregor Burns was born in Melrose, Massachusetts on August 3, 1918. After graduating from Williams College, he went to Washington and worked as a congressional aide. During World War II, he served as an Army combat historian in the Pacific and received a Bronze Star. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He did postdoctoral work at the London School of Economics. He taught at Williams College. His first book, Congress on Trial: The Legislative Process and the Administrative State, was published in 1949. After his second book, Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox, he ran for Congress in 1958 and lost. During the campaign he became acquainted with John F. Kennedy and received unrestricted access to Kennedy, his staff and his records. This resulted in the book John Kennedy: A Political Profile. His other works included The Deadlock of Democracy, The Power to Lead: The Crisis of the American Presidency, and Fire and Light: How the Enlightenment Transformed Our World. Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom won the Pulitzer Prize, the Parkman Prize, and the National Book Award. The first volume of The American Experiment also received a Pulitzer Prize. He died on July 15, 2014 at the age of 95.

"I Think You Underestimate Him"
The Tribal Thrust
Pushing and Shoving
The Power Broker
JFK and LBJ: Governing Together
Nixon-Reagan: The Grand New Party
The Carter-Clinton Connection
The Bushes: Standing Together Alone
Needed: Party Polarization
Empowering Followers
Bibliography and Notes
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