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The Myth of the Modern Presidency

David K. Nichols

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ISBN 10: 0271013168 / ISBN 13: 9780271013169
Published by Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP16659648

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Myth of the Modern Presidency

Publisher: Pennsylvania State University Press

Publication Date: 1995

Book Condition: Good

About this title


The Myth of the Modern Presidency is a major contribution to how we ought to think about the American presidency, especially its constitutional roots and historical development. It forcefully challenges the reigning paradigm of the 'modern presidency,' arguing that all the essential elements of the post-FDR presidency were present in the constitutional design of the framers and were exhibited in practice well before the twentieth century. This is a book that presidential and constitutional scholars will be compelled to confront. "Joseph Bessette, Claremont McKenna College The idea that a radical transformation of the Presidency took place during the FDR administration has become one of the most widely accepted tenets of contemporary scholarship. According to this view, the Constitutional Presidency was a product of the Founders' fear of arbitrary power. Only with the development of a popular extra-Constitutional Presidency did the powerful "modern Presidency" emerge. David K. Nichols argues to the contrary that the "modern Presidency" was not created by FDR. What happened during FDR's administration was a transformation in the size and scope of the national government, rather than a transformation of the Presidency in its relations to the Constitution or the other branches of government. Nichols demonstrates that the essential elements of the modern Presidency have been found throughout our history, although often less obvious in an era where the functions of the national government as a whole were restricted. Claiming that we have failed to fully appreciate the character of the Constitutional Presidency, Nichols shows that the potential for the modern Presidency was created in the Constitution itself. He analyzes three essential aspects of the modern Presidency--the President's role in the budgetary process, the President's role as chief executive, and the War Powers Act--that are logical outgrowths of the decisions

About the Author:

David K. Nichols is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Montclair State University.

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