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Accidental presidents [electronic resource] : death, assassination, resignation, and democratic succession /
Philip Abbott.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
description
233 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0230607667, 9780230607668
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
isbn
0230607667
9780230607668
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Succession and democratic theory -- John Tyler: "I can never consent to being dictated to" -- Millard Fillmore: "God save us from Whig vice presidents" -- Andrew Johnson : "I care not about my dignity" -- Theodore Roosevelt: "There's only one life between that madman and the presidency" -- Chester A. Arthur: "He isn't Chet anymore, he's the president" -- Harry S. Truman: "I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me" -- Lyndon Baines Johnson: "For millions of Americans I was still illegitimate, a naked man with no presidential covering, a pretender to the throne, an illegal usurper" -- Calvin Coolidge: "I thought I could swing it" -- Gerald Ford: "I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president" -- Conclusion: Refounding succession.
catalogue key
10492991
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [207]-225) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-06-01:
Abbott (Wayne State Univ.) examines the succession of "accidental" presidents: vice presidents who acceded to the presidency on the death, assassination, or resignation of the president. The author argues that the nine accidental US presidents have used one of three approaches to establish their authority: independent strategies, charting a new course (John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Theodore Roosevelt); homage strategies, accepting their predecessor's programs as a mandate (Chester Arthur, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson); and minimalist strategies, governing as a caretaker (Calvin Coolidge and Gerald Ford). Circumstances often dictate an approach. Homage strategies require that the predecessor had served with distinction. Calvin Coolidge, whom Abbott labels "one of the most successful accidental presidents," used a minimalist approach--the Harding scandals foreclosed homage, and Coolidge had insufficient time to steer an independent course. Each approach harbors risks. The independent president could appear as a usurper, the minimalist as a mere regent. This thoughtful treatise details the circumstances that led each man to choose an approach and examines the strategy's success or failure. Abbott grounds his study in a review of political theory and succession, and concludes with an overview of arguments for altering the means of succession following a presidential death or resignation. Summing Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. A. J. Dunar University of Alabama in Huntsville
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2009
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Accidental presidents, those who assume office as a result of death, assassination or resignation, struggle to establish their legitimacy. This title examines and evaluates the strategies of nine accidental presidents, from John Tyler to Gerald Ford, to demonstrate authority and their capacity to govern.
Description for Bookstore
Accidental presidents, those who assume office as a result of death, assassination or resignation, struggle to establish their legitimacy. This book examines and evaluates the strategies of nine accidental presidents, from John Tyler to Gerald Ford, to demonstrate authority and their capacity to govern.
Description for Bookstore
Evaluation of the strategies of nine accidental presidents, from John Tyler to Gerald Ford, to demonstrate authority and their capacity to govern
Long Description
One of the commonly stated virtues of modern constitutional democracies is their capacity to insure reliable and accepted methods of political succession through election. This book focuses on one particular, though not uncommon, complication in the democratic mode of political succession: American vice-presidents who assume office as a result of the death, assassination or resignation of a president. Three basic strategies by "accidental presidents" to establish and enhance their legitimacy are identified and evaluated. While none are reliably successful, each provides a lens to study the nature of presidential power and authority as well as to contribute to a democratic theory of succession.
Main Description
One of the commonly stated virtues of modern constitutional democracies is their capacity to insure reliable and accepted methods of political succession through election. This book focuses on one particular, though not uncommon, complication in the democratic mode of political succession: American vice-presidents who assume office as a result of the death, assassination or resignation of a president. Three basic strategies by 'accidental presidents' to establish and enhance their legitimacy are identified and evaluated. While none are reliably successful, each provides a lens to study the nature of presidential power and authority as well as to contribute to a democratic theory of succession.
Main Description
One of the commonly stated virtues of modern constitutional democracies is their capacity to insure reliable and accepted methods of political succession through election. This book focuses on one particular, though not uncommon, complication in the democratic mode of political succession: American vice-presidents who assume office as a result of the death, assassination or resignation of a president. Three basic strategies by "accidental presidents" to establish and enhance theirlegitimacy are identified and evaluated. While none are reliably successful, each provides a lens to study the nature of presidential power and authority as well as to contribute to a democratic theory of succession.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Succession and Democratic Theoryp. 1
Independent Strategies
John Tyler: "I can never consent to being dictated to"p. 23
Millard Fillmore: "God save us from Whig Vice Presidents"p. 39
Andrew Johnson: "I care not about my dignity"p. 57
Theodore Roosevelt: "There's only one life between that madman and the presidency"p. 73
Homage Strategies
Chester A. Arthur: "He isn't Chet anymore, he's the president"p. 93
Harry S. Truman: "I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me"p. 109
Lyndon Baines Johnson: "For millions of Americans I was still illegitimate, a naked man with no presidential covering, a pretender to the throne, an illega usurper"p. 131
Minimalist Strategies
Calvin Coolidge: "I thought I could swing it"p. 155
Gerald Ford: "I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President"p. 171
Conclusion: Refounding Successionp. 191
Notesp. 207
Indexp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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