Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents: George Washington to Barack Obama

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9780700618835: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents: George Washington to Barack Obama

In an era of extremist politics, Gil Troy argues, moderation and moderate leaders are needed more than ever. Challenges like managing the debt, preserving the environment, fighting terrorism, improving education—in short, protecting America today and building toward tomorrow—require the kind of consensus that can only come from leaders who seek the center.

As Troy reminds us, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 seemed to presage such a shift. Nearly four years later, however, political moderation remains as elusive as ever.

Troy champions the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. They succeeded not because of their bold political visions, he argues, but because of their moderation. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden mean—from George Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Jefferson and Hamilton; to Abraham Lincoln, who rescued the union with his principled pragmatism; to the two Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions; to the bracing can-do optimism of Kennedy and Reagan.

Troy explains how presidents can both hew to the center and address important political challenges. By his reckoning, the best presidents have exercised “muscular moderation.” In his afterword Troy cogently critiques President Obama’s fraught evolution from a “Magic Moderate” deeply committed to extending his election night civility as widely as possible to his gradual realization that a much more muscular moderation would be required. Obama’s increasingly tough-minded and much less forgiving rhetoric might not immediately heal the scars from our polarized politics but might be necessary in the short run.

Troy underscores in this new edition that moderation must be restored or greatness—for our presidents and our nation—will likely be denied.

First time in paperback. Originally published as Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents.

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George Washington, Abraham, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan—most would agree their presidencies were amongst the most successful in American history. But what made these very different men such effective leaders? According to presidential historian Gil Troy, these presidents succeeded not because of their bold political visions, but because of their moderation.

Although many presidential candidates claim to be moderates, the word cannot conceal a political climate defined by extreme rhetoric and virulent partisanship. In this book, Troy argues that this is a distinctly un-American state of affairs. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden mean—from George Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, to Abraham Lincoln, who rescued the union with his principled pragmatism, to the two Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions.

Moderation in politics is difficult to achieve in an age of excess—an anything-goes culture feeds an all-or-nothing politics. In the face of challenges both at home and abroad, Troy calls for a muscular moderation, a powerful affirmation of the values that united us and a commitment to a politics that builds from the center rather than playing to extremes.

As America lines up to select its next president, Gil Troy brilliantly reminds us of the finest traditions of presidential leadership from our nation's past.

First time in paperback. Originally published as Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents.

About the Author:

Gil Troy, a native of Queens, New York, and professor of history at McGill University, is the author of Mr. and Mrs. President: From the Trumans to the Clintons; Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s; and Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady.

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Troy, Gil
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Troy, Gil
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Book Description University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 2012. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Second Edition with a new Afterword. 360 pages. Softcover. New book. UNITED STATES PRESIDENTS. In an era of extremist politics, Gil Troy argues, moderation and moderate leaders are needed more than ever. Challenges like managing the debt, preserving the environment, fighting terrorism, improving educationÑin short, protecting America today and building toward tomorrowÑrequire the kind of consensus that can only come from leaders who seek the center. As Troy reminds us, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 seemed to presage such a shift. Nearly four years later, however, political moderation remains as elusive as ever. Troy champions the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. They succeeded not because of their bold political visions, he argues, but because of their moderation. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden meanÑfrom George Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Jefferson and Hamilton; to Abraham Lincoln, who rescued the union with his principled pragmatism; to the two Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions; to the bracing can-do optimism of Kennedy and Reagan. Troy explains how presidents can both hew to the center and address important political challenges. By his reckoning, the best presidents have exercised "muscular moderation." In his afterword Troy cogently critiques President Obama's fraught evolution from a "Magic Moderate" deeply committed to extending his election night civility as widely as possible to his gradual realization that a much more muscular moderation would be required. Obama's increasingly tough-minded and much less forgiving rhetoric might not immediately heal the scars from our polarized politics but might be necessary in the short run. Troy underscores in this new edition that moderation must be restored or greatnessÑfor our presidents and our nationÑwill likely be denied. First time in paperback. Originally published as Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents. Gil Troy, a native of Queens, New York, and professor of history at McGill University, is the author of Mr. and Mrs. President: From the Trumans to the Clintons; Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s; and Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady. "Moderate does not equal namby-pamby, and extremism is not an American norm; instead, the founders 'celebrated modesty, balance, self-denial, and rationality,?' none of which seems abundant in politics today. . . . Those sick to death of extremist rhetoric should be assured by Troy's conclusions."ÑKirkus "Troy's mastery of his material and ability to condense it elegantly reflect both deep immersion in his subject and an ability to see forest through trees."ÑHistory News Network "Troy constructs a presidential A-list of masters of the middle. . . . It's a good time to start getting passionate about moderation."ÑNew York Post (Key Words: United States Presidents, Gil Troy, George Washington, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, Moderates). book. Bookseller Inventory # 77387X1

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Troy, Gil
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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd edition. 232 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In an era of extremist politics, Gil Troy argues, moderation and moderate leaders are needed more than ever. Challenges like managing the debt, preserving the environment, fighting terrorism, improving education--in short, protecting America today and building toward tomorrow--require the kind of consensus that can only come from leaders who seek the centre. As Troy reminds us, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 seemed to presage such a shift. Nearly four years later, however, political moderation remains as elusive as ever. Troy champions the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. They succeeded not because of their bold political visions, he argues, but because of their moderation. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden mean--from George Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Jefferson and Hamilton; to Abraham Lincoln, who rescued the union with his principled pragmatism; to the two Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions; to the bracing can-do optimism of Kennedy and Reagan. Troy explains how presidents can both hew to the center and address important political challenges. By his reckoning, the best presidents have exercised muscular moderation. In his afterword Troy cogently critiques President Obama s fraught evolution from a Magic Moderate deeply committed to extending his election night civility as widely as possible to his gradual realisation that a much more muscular moderation would be required. Obama s increasingly tough-minded and much less forgiving rhetoric might not immediately heal the scars from our polarised politics but might be necessary in the short run. Troy underscores in this new edition that moderation must be restored or greatness--for our presidents and our nation--will likely be denied. First time in paperback. Originally published as Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780700618835

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Troy, Gil
Published by University Press of Kansas, United States (2012)
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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2nd edition. 232 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In an era of extremist politics, Gil Troy argues, moderation and moderate leaders are needed more than ever. Challenges like managing the debt, preserving the environment, fighting terrorism, improving education--in short, protecting America today and building toward tomorrow--require the kind of consensus that can only come from leaders who seek the centre. As Troy reminds us, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 seemed to presage such a shift. Nearly four years later, however, political moderation remains as elusive as ever. Troy champions the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. They succeeded not because of their bold political visions, he argues, but because of their moderation. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden mean--from George Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Jefferson and Hamilton; to Abraham Lincoln, who rescued the union with his principled pragmatism; to the two Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions; to the bracing can-do optimism of Kennedy and Reagan. Troy explains how presidents can both hew to the center and address important political challenges. By his reckoning, the best presidents have exercised muscular moderation. In his afterword Troy cogently critiques President Obama s fraught evolution from a Magic Moderate deeply committed to extending his election night civility as widely as possible to his gradual realisation that a much more muscular moderation would be required. Obama s increasingly tough-minded and much less forgiving rhetoric might not immediately heal the scars from our polarised politics but might be necessary in the short run. Troy underscores in this new edition that moderation must be restored or greatness--for our presidents and our nation--will likely be denied. First time in paperback. Originally published as Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780700618835

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Book Description University Press of Kansas. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents: George Washington to Barack Obama (2nd edition), Gil Troy, In an era of extremist politics, Gil Troy argues, moderation and moderate leaders are needed more than ever. Challenges like managing the debt, preserving the environment, fighting terrorism, improving education--in short, protecting America today and building toward tomorrow--require the kind of consensus that can only come from leaders who seek the centre. As Troy reminds us, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 seemed to presage such a shift. Nearly four years later, however, political moderation remains as elusive as ever. Troy champions the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. They succeeded not because of their bold political visions, he argues, but because of their moderation. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden mean--from George Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Jefferson and Hamilton; to Abraham Lincoln, who rescued the union with his principled pragmatism; to the two Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions; to the bracing can-do optimism of Kennedy and Reagan. Troy explains how presidents can both hew to the center and address important political challenges. By his reckoning, the best presidents have exercised "muscular moderation." In his afterword Troy cogently critiques President Obama's fraught evolution from a "Magic Moderate" deeply committed to extending his election night civility as widely as possible to his gradual realisation that a much more muscular moderation would be required. Obama's increasingly tough-minded and much less forgiving rhetoric might not immediately heal the scars from our polarised politics but might be necessary in the short run. Troy underscores in this new edition that moderation must be restored or greatness--for our presidents and our nation--will likely be denied. First time in paperback. Originally published as Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents. Bookseller Inventory # B9780700618835

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