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The American Presidency

The American Presidency
Origins and Development, 1776–2021

Ninth Edition

January 2022 | 632 pages | CQ Press
The American Presidency examines the constitutional foundation of the executive office and the social, economic, political, and international forces that have reshaped it along with the influence individual presidents have had. Authors Sidney Milkis and Michael Nelson look at each presidency broadly, focusing on how individual presidents have sought to navigate the complex and ever-changing terrain of the executive office and revealing the major developments that launched a modern presidency at the dawn of the twentieth century. By connecting presidential conduct to the defining eras of American history and the larger context of politics and government in the United States, this award-winning book offers perspective and insight on the limitations and possibilities of presidential power.

Chapter 1 The Constitutional Convention
Chapter 2 Creating the Presidency
Chapter 3 Bringing the Constitutional Presidency to Life: George Washington and John Adams
Chapter 4 The Triumph of Jeffersonianism
Chapter 5 The Age of Jackson
Chapter 6 The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln
Chapter 7 The Reaction against Presidential Power: Andrew Johnson to William McKinley
Chapter 8 Progressive Politics and Executive Power: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson
Chapter 9 The Triumph of Conservative Republicanism
Chapter 10 The Consolidation of the Modern Presidency: Franklin D. Roosevelt to Dwight D. Eisenhower
Chapter 11 Personalizing the Presidency: John F. Kennedy to Jimmy Carter
Chapter 12 A Restoration of Presidential Power?: Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton
Chapter 13 George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Unilateral Presidential Power
Chapter 14 Trump, Biden, and the Struggle for a Peaceful Transfer of Power
Chapter 15 The Vice Presidency

It provided coverage of the Trump administration and Biden's early time in office.

Dr Elizabeth Erin Wheat
Public Environ Affairs Dept, Univ Of Wisconsin-Green Bay
December 28, 2022
Key features


  • Updated coverage of the entire presidency of Donald Trump, his two impeachments, the 2020 election and its violent aftermath, and the launch Joe Biden’s presidency.

  • Expanded content on race and the presidency from the Founding to the present.

  • New focus on social movements ranging in recent years from the Tea Party movement to Black Lives Matter.

  • New 15-chapter organization including condensed chapters Chapter 13 George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Unilateral Presidential Power, Chapter 14 Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the Struggle for a Peaceful Transfer of Power


  • The historical approach to the presidency integrates every aspect of the office in a way that accurately reflects the dynamic interaction of the various parts. This approach also brings to light the history of how the institution of the presidency was created and how it has developed during its more than two centuries of existence.  
  • A chronicle of the most important institutional characteristics of the presidency provide students with a foundational understanding of the Constitutional Convention and the earliest days of the Republic.  
  • Discussions of highly significant patterns and practices of presidential conduct show students how Jeffersonianism, the Jacksonian Democracy, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Abdication of Executive Power took shape.    
  • A critical look at the modern presidency as the leading instrument for popular rule enables students to see how Theodore Roosevelt’s and Woodrow Wilson’s practices strengthened the president as the nation’s popular and legislative leader. Students will also learn how Franklin Roosevelt and his successors institutionalized the president’s new leadership roles in ways that subsequent presidents have continued.  

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