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The Presidency of George Bush (American Presidency Series) Hardcover – January 4, 2000

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Product Details

  • Series: American Presidency Series
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; 1St Edition edition (January 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700609938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700609932
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cazenovia College historian Greene's verdict on George Bush's presidency will surprise no one: Bush triumphed in foreign policy, but stumbled fatally in domestic affairs. Greene traces what he perceives as Bush's failures on the home front, starting with Ronald Reagan's troubled legacy, which included the budget deficit, the savings and loan crisis and the failure of tax cuts to trickle down. (Some of these were, ironically, the exact problems Bush anticipated during his campaign against Reagan in 1980, when he labeled the policies of his future boss "voodoo economics.") Due partly to a hostile and overwhelmingly Democratic Congress, according to Greene, Bush was unable to solve these troubles, a failure eagerly pounced upon in 1992 by Bill Clinton. Greene argues that Bush did better in foreign affairs, where he was able to capitalize on the considerable experience he had gained as ambassador to China, CIA director and vice-president. The Gulf War is described as the outstanding achievement of Bush's presidency, a smashing victory that reversed an illegal invasion, accelerated the Mideast peace process and crystallized post-Cold War international relations. Greene only briefly considers whether Bush should have taken the next step and ousted Saddam Hussein. In the end, it was Bush's misfortune to be sandwiched between two equally great communicators, the smiling Teflon movie star and the good old boy who feels everyone's pain. Bush could live up to neither the memory of one nor the promise of the other. Diminished though his legacy may be, Bush, Greene points out, "brought no discredit to the office" and produced "a nation more stable than he had inherited". A fine contribution to presidential biography, this should become the essential introduction to Bush's abbreviated, but still consequential, tenure in office. (Feb.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Highly respected presidential historian Greene has written what may well be the finest single volume account of the presidency of George Bush so far. Balanced, fair, and thorough, the book begins by explaining the difficult set of problems Bush inherited from Ronald Reagan--especially economic troubles. Reagan's problems, he argues, came home to roost in the Bush years. Greene argues that Bush attempted to govern with limited opportunities, that he pursued a limited agenda in large part because of them. Was Bush overcautious (as many critics contend), or, Greene asks, did he make the most out of difficult circumstances? Bush, he concludes, "made few mistakes" and left "a more than adequate legacy." And although he is sympathetic to the former president, he does not pass softly over his faults--and he admits he wouldn't call Bush a "great" president. An excellent work of contemporary history, this book is highly readable. It merits the attention of all serious students of the American presidency.
-Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Todd Winer on January 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The title of this book is "The Presidency of George Bush." Needless to say, to adequately cover even the most insignificant president you need more than the paltry 200 pages that this book provides. So if Mr. Greene believes that he has written a major book on the Bush administration, he falls well short. Nevertheless, perhaps Mr. Greene sought to write a book offering fewer facts but more analysis. In that case, he also falls a bitshort. The final result is a hybrid of newspaper reporting, old and new facts, and a sprinkle of original analysis. It makes for a repectable work that is worth reading. Mr. Greene's final analysis of the Bush presidency is a positive one. He finds that "Poppy's" virtues of prudence and patience worked well in dealing with foreign countries and in conducting the Persian Gulf War. While admitting a dearth of domestic accomplishments, the author does praise Bush for the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Clean Air Act, both passed in 1990. One thing that stands out in particular is the author's emphasis on Bush's charcater. He sees the ex-president as a genuinely warm friend and gentle family man. This is absolutely true. In comparison to the other post-WWII presidents, George Bush probably would be the one you would most want to be your father. Nevertheless, I do not see why this quality should be an end in and of itself. This goes back to the recent debate over the role that character has for those who preside in the Oval Office. I do not believe that private values are an end. Instead, they should be a means to articulating public values. This lesson has been imprinted on Bill Clinton.Read more ›
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More About the Author

AVAILABLE FOR SIGNINGS, READINGS, AND LECTURES: contact author at: rgreene@cazenovia.edu

John Robert Greene is the Paul J. Schupf Professor of History and Humanities at Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY, where he has taught for the past thirty-five years. He is the director of the Social Science program, and serves as the College Archivist.

Dr. Greene's teaching and writing specialty lies in American Political History, particularly the American presidency. He has written or edited seventeen books.

His most recent book is a revised edition of his critically acclaimed The Presidency of George Bush (June, 2015 release). Of this book, Lewis Gould, author of many highly praised books on the American presidency, wrote: "The revised edition of Bob Greene's study of the George H. W. Bush presidency is even better than the very good first edition. Wise, balanced, and lively, Greene's narrative does ample justice to an administration whose achievements and failures deserve just this kind of lucid, fair-minded, and absorbing treatment."

Greene's other books include one on the election of Dwight Eisenhower, one on the Nixon presidency, three on the Ford presidency, a biography of Betty Ford, three on the presidency of George H.W. Bush, and one on the presidency of George W. Bush. His America in the Sixties (2010) is rich in both anecdotes, stories, and thoughtful analysis, as it utilizes the author's three decades of teaching and publishing on that fascinating and volatile period. Of his four books on the history of higher education, his Generations of Excellence: A History of Cazenovia College continues to raise funds for scholarships at Cazenovia College. He is presently updating his a history of the presidential election of 1952.

Both his students and his colleagues have honored Dr. Greene. At Cazenovia College, he was awarded the school's first endowed chair. He has been chosen to speak to the graduating class on several occasions, and in 1993 the faculty voted him the honor of Distinguished Faculty Member.

Greene is also a regular political commentator on several radio call-in shows around the country, and is a regular panelist on WCNY-TV's weekly political talk show, "Ivory Tower" (see http://www.wcny.org/television/ivory-tower/). He has recently offered commentary on C-SPAN, MSNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio.

Born and raised in Syracuse, N.Y., Greene received his undergraduate degrees from St. Bonaventure University, and his Ph.D. in Modern American History from Syracuse University. In other lives, he was a radio disc jockey, played in a very bad small rock band, and taught the visually handicapped.

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