The Complete Idiot's Guide to the American Presidency
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From George Washington to George W.
In the course of the 2008 presidential campaigns, Americans became involved in the political process at a level rarely seen in modern history. But even before the historic race, George W. Bush's tenure had left many Americans wondering how we got to where we are today. The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to the American Presidency takes readers from the first president to the one who just stepped down-exploring the legacies of the greatest leaders and the black marks against others, and showing the ways in which they left their stamp on both the nation and the presidency itself.
*Written by the author of the highly successful The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to American History, Fifth Edition
*Appendices that list the presidents and their vice presidents, the presidential elections, and further reading
at his word, yet he never succeeded in fully laying to rest suspicions of a dirty deal. Lame Duck in Chief Ford inherited a lame duck presidency and never succeeded in transforming it into anything else. Congress was decidedly unsympathetic to his domestic policies, especially his attempts to curb inflation by urging Americans to spend less. In foreign affairs, Ford tried in vain to coax from Congress $300 million in supplemental aid to South Vietnam in 1975. But the legislators had given up
States and its erstwhile ally France. French harassment of U.S. merchant shipping became so frequent that an undeclared naval war—historians call it the Quasi-War—erupted between the United States and France in 1798 and continued until 1800, all the time verging on an all-out declared conflict. Determined to avoid that eventuality, Adams dispatched three envoys, John Marshall, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Elbridge Gerry, on a diplomatic mission to France in an effort to patch up relations.
without as much of the disruptive and destructive drama the pugnacious Jackson brought to the White House. Polk provided an example of a strong presidency rather than an overbearing president. The authority that he claimed was claimed for the office, and not for himself personally. For this reason, some historians—and at least one president, Harry S. Truman—have judged Polk and “underappreciated” chief executive. If James K. Polk did not bring the Jacksonian presidency blazing back to its full
government itself, requiring the president to be compassionate and possessed of an unerring instinct for knowing the right thing to do and the will to do it. Beyond this, there is even a quasireligious coloring to the Lincoln heritage. He is widely seen as the president-savior, on whose infinitely expressive face were etched the sorrows of his people, as if he had taken them upon himself, in the end suffering Christ-like martyrdom. Although some of President Lincoln’s successors have approached
practice of geographical ticket balancing (see Chapter 3). Kennedy of Massachusetts, who spoke with a thick Brookline accent, was perceived as more liberal than he actually was; party leaders tapped the drawling Johnson to campaign in the South, especially his native Texas and neighboring Louisiana. A Transition Heartbreaking, Heroic, and Humble Kennedy and Johnson had not been close Senate colleagues. They weren’t friends. They didn’t even particularly like each other. In terms of style,