According to Niccolò Machiavelli, leaders must always be prepared for change, even in violent and dramatic forms, in order to retain some control of their fate. This incisive text applies the Machiavellian philosophy to U.S. presidents, who must learn how to adapt to these changes and/or alter them in order to excel, or even to survive, politically. This well-researched book divides the time line of the American presidency into six different periods embodying certain rules of behavior, which shift and vary within the political, economic, and international systems from period to period. The author maintains that, in the office of the presidency, the difference between power and impotence rests with how effectively a president responds to the changes within these systems during his tenure in office. With fascinating narratives and compilations of commentary by experts, this volume examines how each president met—or failed to meet—the challenges arising during his administration. Comprehensive bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter offer abundant opportunities for readers who wish to pursue topics in greater detail.
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Also by Philip Abbott and available from Waveland Press: Political Thought in America: Conversations and Debates, Third Edition (ISBN 1577663608).
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