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Wounded titans : American presidents and the perils of power /
Max Lerner ; edited, and with an introduction by Robert Schmuhl.
1st ed.
New York : Arcade Pub. ; [Boston, Mass.] : Distributed by Little, Brown and Co., c1996.
xx, 437 p. ; 24 cm.
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added author
New York : Arcade Pub. ; [Boston, Mass.] : Distributed by Little, Brown and Co., c1996.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1996-09-23:
Edited and with an introduction by Robert Schmuhl, this is a hefty collection of the late Max Lerner's (1902-1992) writings on the American presidency. From a magazine article first published in the 1940s (on why FDR would be reelected), through essays that appeared in the 1950s (on presidential style and on how the cumbersome democratic system responds to crises), to his last newspaper column, published in 1992 (on judging presidents: Truman is his "hero"), the book reflects Lerner's dual career as both an academic and a journalist. He discusses Jefferson (our "philosopher king") and Lincoln, the role of eros and the presidency (focusing on Kennedy) and makes the hardly startling observation that, although Americans confer considerable grandeur on their elected leaders, presidents are in fact simply men, wounded titans. The shorter newspaper columns‘on-the-spot observations of presidents from Roosevelt to Bush‘fill about half the book and make for the more lively reading. The brief notes by Schmuhl, chair of the department of American studies at Notre Dame, set the stage nicely. (Nov.)
Appeared in Library Journal on 1996-10-15:
Part historian, part journalist, Russian-born Lerner (1902-92) brought broad background and progressive perspective to commentary on American political culture, assuring his place among 20th-century political columnists. Lerner was noted for his clarity and his criticism of rigid thinking. Schmuhl, a longtime friend of Lerner's and chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame, presents a useful collection of Lerner's works on the presidency, with special focus on the presidents Lerner covered‘FDR through Clinton. While he considered FDR the century's greatest president, he came to admire Truman the most. This volume would have been enhanced by a biographical survey evaluating Lerner and his place in political commentary. Recommended for specialized collections.‘William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, September 1996
Publishers Weekly, September 1996
Booklist, October 1996
Library Journal, October 1996
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Table of Contents
Editor's Introduction
Author's Prologue
The Style and Genius of American Politicsp. 5
Presidency and Demosp. 13
Presidential Leadership in the New Americap. 24
Wounded Titansp. 31
The Shaping of American Presidentsp. 46
Eros and Powerp. 62
Desire and Power in the White Housep. 86
The Ardors and Tribulations of the Journey of Liberalismp. 103
Thomas Jefferson: America's Philosopher-Kingp. 127
Abraham Lincoln: From the People, For the Peoplep. 139
Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Flawed Paradigmp. 152
Harry S Truman: The Plutarchian Presidentp. 186
Richard Nixon: The Torturous Descent from Olympusp. 218
Ronald Reagan: Commander of a Counterrevolutionp. 252
1940: Roosevelt vs. Willkiep. 269
1944: Roosevelt vs. Deweyp. 276
1948: Truman vs. Deweyp. 290
1952: Eisenhower vs. Stevensonp. 299
1956: Eisenhower vs. Stevensonp. 310
1960: Kennedy vs. Nixonp. 327
1964: Johnson vs. Goldwaterp. 344
1968: Nixon vs. Humphreyp. 353
1972: Nixon vs. McGovernp. 371
1976: Carter vs. Fordp. 382
1980: Reagan vs. Carterp. 396
1984: Reagan vs. Mondalep. 405
1988: Bush vs. Dukakisp. 415
1992: Clinton vs. Bushp. 425
President Hunting in an Electronic Wonderlandp. 431
Coda: The Last Columnp. 436
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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