The Prudential Presidency: An Aristotelian Approach to Presidential Leadership

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - Political Science - 138 pages

Fishman argues that the model of political leadership based on the concept of prudence that Aristotle introduced 2300 years ago remains the most realistic and comprehensive paradigm available for comprehending the qualities necessary for American presidents to succeed in office. Aristotle is compared with such influential presidential scholars as Richard Neustadt, James David Barber, and George Edwards III. Aristotle's theory is also applied to critical presidential decisions from Washington to Clinton. Fishman's analysis of leading theories of the presidency reveals that Aristotle's model of prudent political leadership most efficiently accounts for presidential behavior.

Fishman reviews practical aspects of the presidency from the perspective of the history of Western political philosophy. While there has been much talk about the need for research that builds a bridge between political theory and empirical observations, Fishman is among the few to fulfill that interdisciplinary goal. This book is a provocative analysis for scholars, students, and other researchers dealing with the American presidency and political philosophy.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Aristotelian Prudence
17
Prudent Presidential Leadership
35
GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE NATIONS FOUNDING
39
THEODORE ROOSEVELT AND CONSERVATION
42
FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT AND FOREIGN POLICY
45
Idealistic Presidential Leadership
51
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AND PATRONAGE
56
THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIAL OF AARON BURR
73
FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT AND THE JAPANESE EXCLUSION ACT
77
BILL CLINTONS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
80
Pragmatic Presidential Leadership
87
DWIGHT EISENHOWER AND MCCARTHYISM
92
JOHN F KENNEDY AND THE BAY OF PIGS
97
BILL CLINTON AND GAYS IN THE MILITARY
102
Conclusion
107

JIMMY CARTER AND THE MARIEL BOAT LIFT
59
BILL CLINTONS HEALTH CARE INITIATIVE
63
Cynical Presidential Leadership
69

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About the author (2001)

ETHAN M. FISHMAN is Professor of Political Science at the University of South Alabama. His research deals with the application of classical Western concepts to American politics. Among his publications are Likely Stories: Essays on Political Philosophy and Contemporary American Fiction, Public Policy and the Public Good, and George Washington: Foundation of Presidential Leadership and Character edited with Mark Rozell and William Pederson.

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