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Opinions Throughout History: Presidential Authority

This volume looks at how American presidents have used the power of the presidency not only to shape America's domestic and foreign policy, but also for personal gain.

Now featuring frequent updates online, keeping readers and researchers informed on the presidency of Donald Trump.

Through the lens of presidential personality, chapters show individual approaches to the office, how the exercise of power is affected by partisan competition, economic and civil unrest, and the evolving perception of constitutional principles. Primary documents from periodicals, court cases, executive orders, and the personal correspondence of presidents, presidential advisors, friends, and critics, provide a window into how each president viewed his role and used his power. The work demonstrates how public perception of the office has changed and how this perception has enhanced or curtailed presidential power. 

This new edition starts with a detailed Introduction that highlights the unique characteristics of the U.S. presidency as defined by the Framers of the Constitution and briefly outlining the development and expansion of the executive office. A comprehensive Historical Timeline follows, highlighting significant events related to presidential authority from the election of George Washington in 1789 to the impeachment of Donald Trump in 2019.

Following the Timeline are 29 chapters covering every president who has served in the chief executive position of the United States. This book examines the waxing and waning of the influence of the presidency by exploring how each president approached his term in office. The checks and balances of the legislative and judicial branches are examined, as is the ability of individual presidents to gain the support of the American people.

Each chapter starts with a brief Introduction, List of Topics Covered,  and the source document discussed in the chapter. The body of the chapter includes analysis of the source document, which is reprinted in its entirety (with a few exceptions) and clearly distinguished by a shaded title bar. Dozens of photos, charts and other images support the text. Pull-quotes and other visual elements increase accessibility. Each chapter ends with a brief conclusion, thoughtful discussion questions, and list of works used.

This exciting new series offers a wide range of insights into long-standing issues that Americans are most concerned about, and those that have encouraged vigorous debate among politicians and citizens at large. Using carefully chosen original documents that cover a wide time span, Opinions Throughout History weaves a thoughtful and easy-to-understand analysis of how public opinion is formed and evolves, starting the discussion at a historical, seminal moment, and ending with where we stand today.

This comprehensive, timely volume is a must for large public libraries, university libraries, and social science departments, along with high school libraries.


Buyers of Opinions Throughout History: Presidential Authority receive FREE ONLINE ACCESS on the popular Salem Press/Grey House Platform, With unlimited users and remote access included, your students and researchers can now search this amazing collection of data, anytime & anywhere, all just a click away.

View a Full List of Titles from the Opinions Throughout History Series