The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn't): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game

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9780465018901: The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn't): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game
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It's a perennial pastime to compare U.S. presidents, but our current ranking systems are riddled with flaws. In The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn't), Alvin Stephen Felzenberg offers logical categories of measuring presidential performance character, vision, competence, legacy, and so on while assessing, for each, the best and worst we've seen.

A fresh and imaginative look at how our presidents stack up against one another, The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn't) uniquely deliberates on the standard greats” of our country's history, giving them the critical consideration they deserve.

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About the Author:

Alvin Stephen Felzenberg is a Visiting Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and has held appointments including the principal spokesman for the 9/11 Commission and staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Review:

"Wall Street Journal" "Written in a breezy style, "The Leaders We Deserved" is clearly intended for anyone who wants to learn something about U.S. history while observing presidents compete with one another for top rankings." "Washington Times" "In this election year, anyone interested in the future of the nation's leadership will find this examination of the past a useful guide." "Star-Ledger" "Felzenberg has crafted a very interesting and worthwhile read." James M. McPherson, author of "Battle Cry of Freedom" and "This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War " "Alvin Felzenberg has written an incisive, readable book in which he offers detailed evaluations of presidents according to several key criteria. His rankings contain some surprises, with which not everyone will agree, but all readers will be stimulated and will come away better informed than before." Harold Holzer, Co-chairman, U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission "Alvin Felzenberg puts Lincoln and several other presidents in the full context of their times and ours, shedding much new light on those we thought we knew well, and taking a fresh look at some we need to know better. The sections on Abraham Lincoln, the most elusive of all presidents, adds much to the field of Lincoln studies and should not be missed." Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute and author of "Einstein: His Life and Universe" "This book goes beyond the parlor game of rating presidents and digs deeply into what qualities truly matter. By doing so, Al Felzenberg has produced a smart and fascinating look at the impact our great presidents have had." John J.DiIulio Jr., Frederic Fox Leadership Professor, University of Pennsylvania "This book sets a new standard, not only for presidential studies but for leadership studies generally. In an enlightening and entertaining fashion, Felzenberg lays bare how and why some presidents have translated vision into transformational and sustainable action while others have not. For political scientists and anyone else who thinks understanding leadership matters, this book is not only must-reading but must-knowledge." "National Review" "Felzenberg is to be credited with bringing to the presidential-ratings game a quality that had been sorely lacking: an opportunity to debate." "Roanoke Times" "This book should be regarded as a 'must read' for its remarkable and thought-provoking insights as to how all of us as responsible citizens should evaluate our leaders -- past, present and future."

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