Catalogue


Presidents and the dissolution of the Union : leadership style from Polk to Lincoln /
Fred I. Greenstein with Dale Anderson.
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2013], c2013
description
188 p.
ISBN
0691151997 (hardback), 9780691151991 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2013], c2013
isbn
0691151997 (hardback)
9780691151991 (hardback)
abstract
"The United States witnessed an unprecedented failure of its political system in the mid-nineteenth century, resulting in a disastrous civil war that claimed the lives of an estimated 750,000 Americans. In his other acclaimed books about the American presidency, Fred Greenstein assesses the personal strengths and weaknesses of presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. Here, he evaluates the leadership styles of the Civil War-era presidents. Using his trademark no-nonsense approach, Greenstein looks at the presidential qualities of James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln. For each president, he provides a concise history of the man's life and presidency, and evaluates him in the areas of public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence. Greenstein sheds light on why Buchanan is justly ranked as perhaps the worst president in the nation's history, how Pierce helped set the stage for the collapse of the Union and the bloodiest war America had ever experienced, and why Lincoln is still considered the consummate American leader to this day.Presidents and the Dissolution of the Union reveals what enabled some of these presidents, like Lincoln and Polk, to meet the challenges of their times--and what caused others to fail"--
catalogue key
8908832
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 159-169) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"No one has provided such a compact comparative synthesis, using uniform investigative benchmarks as a means of judging all these presidencies. Students of the presidency--lay readers and academics--will surely want to read this masterful book. In a crowded field, Greenstein makes an important contribution."--Jean H. Baker, Goucher College
Flap Copy
"The American Civil War was somehow caused by slavery, but how was it that the slavery question could not be resolved short of bloodshed? Fred Greenstein rejects the notion of an irrepressible conflict, instead highlighting the failings of a series of presidents, contrasting their drift or dysfunction with Abraham Lincoln's mastery. Briskly argued and brimming with insight, this book will spark fresh conversation about the role of individuals versus social forces in the making of history."-- Michael Birkner, Gettysburg College "No one has provided such a compact comparative synthesis, using uniform investigative benchmarks as a means of judging all these presidencies. Students of the presidency--lay readers and academics--will surely want to read this masterful book. In a crowded field, Greenstein makes an important contribution."-- Jean H. Baker, Goucher College
Flap Copy
"The American Civil War was somehow caused by slavery, but how was it that the slavery question could not be resolved short of bloodshed? Fred Greenstein rejects the notion of an irrepressible conflict, instead highlighting the failings of a series of presidents, contrasting their drift or dysfunction with Abraham Lincoln's mastery. Briskly argued and brimming with insight, this book will spark fresh conversation about the role of individuals versus social forces in the making of history."--Michael Birkner, Gettysburg College "No one has provided such a compact comparative synthesis, using uniform investigative benchmarks as a means of judging all these presidencies. Students of the presidency--lay readers and academics--will surely want to read this masterful book. In a crowded field, Greenstein makes an important contribution."--Jean H. Baker, Goucher College
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
The chapters in this book cover the presidential difference in the Civil War era, the policy-driven political style of James K. Polk, the rough and ready leadership of Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore and the compromise of 1850, Franklin Pierce and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and much more.
Main Description
The United States witnessed an unprecedented failure of its political system in the mid-nineteenth century, resulting in a disastrous civil war that claimed the lives of an estimated 750,000 Americans. In his other acclaimed books about the American presidency, Fred Greenstein assesses the personal strengths and weaknesses of presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. Here, he evaluates the leadership styles of the Civil War-era presidents. Using his trademark no-nonsense approach, Greenstein looks at the presidential qualities of James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln. For each president, he provides a concise history of the man's life and presidency, and evaluates him in the areas of public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence. Greenstein sheds light on why Buchanan is justly ranked as perhaps the worst president in the nation's history, how Pierce helped set the stage for the collapse of the Union and the bloodiest war America had ever experienced, and why Lincoln is still considered the consummate American leader to this day. Presidents and the Dissolution of the Union reveals what enabled some of these presidents, like Lincoln and Polk, to meet the challenges of their times--and what caused others to fail.
Table of Contents
The Presidential Difference in the Civil War Erap. 1
The Policy-Driven Political Style of James K. Polkp. 13
The Rough and Ready Leadership of Zachary Taylorp. 29
Millard Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850p. 43
Franklin Pierce and the Kansas-Nebraska Actp. 57
The Disastrous Presidency of James Buchananp. 75
Abraham Lincoln: Consummate Leaderp. 93
What Difference Did the President Make?p. 111
Appendix: Background on the Civil War Era Presidentsp. 127
Notesp. 147
Further Readingp. 159
Acknowledgmentsp. 171
Indexp. 173
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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