The Development of the American Presidency

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9780415878814: The Development of the American Presidency
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Our understanding of the politics of the presidency is greatly enhanced by viewing it through a developmental lens, analyzing how historical turns have shaped the modern institution. The Development of the American Presidency pays great attention to that historical weight but is organized topically and conceptually with the constitutional origins and political development of the presidency its central focus. Through comprehensive and in-depth coverage, this text looks at how the presidency has evolved in relation to the public, to Congress, to the Executive branch, and to the law, showing at every step how different aspects of the presidency have followed distinct trajectories of change. All the while, Ellis illustrates the institutional relationships and tensions through stories about particular individuals and specific political conflicts.

Ellis's own classroom pedagogy of promoting active learning and critical thinking is well reflected in these pages. Each chapter begins with a narrative account of some illustrative puzzle that brings to life a central concept. A wealth of photos, figures, and tables allow for the visual presentations of concepts. A companion website not only acts as a further resources base―directing students to primary documents, newspapers, and data sources―but also presents interactive timelines, practice quizzes, and key terms to help students master the book's lessons.

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About the Author:

Richard J. Ellis is the Mark O. Hatfield Professor of Politics at Willamette University. He has been awarded Oregon Teacher of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as well as numerous other awards for both scholarship and teaching. He is the author or editor of over fifteen books, including Judging Executive Power: Sixteen Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped the American Presidency; Debating the Presidency: Conflicting Perspectives on the American Executive; and Presidential Travel: The Journey from George Washington to George W. Bush.

Review:

"Many presidency textbooks present the contemporary presidency as a relatively static institution, defined by its structure and its relationship to other political actors. Ellis is to be applauded for rejecting this model and for embracing a more dynamic vision of this political institution. By chronicling the historical development of the presidency, Ellis highlights the evolving character of presidential power and practices. In doing so, he encourages readers to think about the causes and processes of institutional change, as well as the consequences and desirability of such change."-Ann-Marie Szymanski, The University of Oklahoma "The Development of the American Presidency is a superb and distinctive textbook combining developmental and conceptual approaches to the presidency. It teaches students to see the presidency as an evolving institution in American history. At the same time, Ellis shows how individual incumbents have used the presidency and how their leadership, in turn, changed the institution."-Peri E. Arnold, University of Notre Dame "This book contributes an innovative developmental perspective to the American presidency's central topics. By doing so, it uncovers many insights missing from more conventional textbooks. The concluding chapter draws on the book's many original insights to provide a highly rewarding summary view of the contemporary presidency."-Steven E. Schier, Carleton College "This masterful book brings the development of the presidency to life for undergraduate students and graduate students alike. Ellis's command of presidential history is unmatched."-Terri Bimes, University of California, Berkeley "Astute analyses and vivid story-telling make The Development of the American Presidency fascinating reading. Richard Ellis's text is unique in examining presidential history topically and in paying extensive attention to the early presidents."-Bruce Miroff, SUNY Albany "For teachers of the presidency, Richard Ellis has squared the circle. The Development of the American Presidency is both topical and chronological and, as a result, it is an invaluable classroom text. More than that, it is also a handy reference for professors, graduate students, and anyone interested in the presidency."-Jeremy D. Bailey, University of Houston "This important new text takes presidential-and Constitutional-history seriously, and it teaches that history in a thematic manner that allows for its integration into a presidency course organized topically. Ellis has a keen eye, and an incisive pen. For those seeking to learn how past occupants of the Oval Office have both empowered and constrained its current tenant, this will be indispensable reading." -Andrew Rudalevige, Dickinson College

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