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Debating the Presidency: Conflicting Perspectives On the American Executive 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1568029146
ISBN-10: 1568029144
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard J. Ellis teaches American politics at Willamette University. He has written widely on the history of the American presidency and American political culture. His most recent books are To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance (2005) and Democratic Delusions: The Initiative Process in America (2002).


Michael Nelson teaches courses on U.S. politics, presidency, and the Constitutional Convention at Rhodes College. In addition, he participates in the college's humanities course: The Search for Values in the Light of Western History and Religion. Before coming to Rhodes in 1991, he taught at Vanderbilt University for thirteen years and was the editor of The Washington Monthly. His most recent books are The Presidency and the Political System, 8th ed. (2006), The Elections of 2004 (2005), The Evolving Presidency, 2nd ed. (2004), The American Presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2002, 4th ed. (with Sidney M. Milkis, 2003), Governing Gambling: Politics and Policy in State, Tribe, and Nation (with John Lyman Mason, 2001), and Celebrating the Humanities: A Half Century of the Search Course at Rhodes College (1996).


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 197 pages
  • Publisher: CQ Press; 1 edition (January 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568029144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568029146
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By S. J. Boatwright on August 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a phenomenally fun and informative read. The book takes the most contentious issues relating to the executive branch and has the most brilliant scholars of the topics argue their respective points. The chapters address century old debates like whether we should abolish the electoral college, to less conventional debates like the abolition of the vice presidency.

The format is perfect for those new to the debates or well-versed in them. First, a synopsis and historical background of a particular controversy is given, followed by two thorough, but totally dichotomous perspectives. My only criticism is due to the fact only two arguments are presented for each topic. Obviously, due to space constraints, the book can not present a full-length explanation of each and every perspective, but at times the book makes it seem as if there are only two perspectives on the topic at hand, which is almost always false. This is a small critique given the overall quality of the work presented. The book, which is intended to be didactic, ends up being a very entertaining and thought provoking read.
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The book presented interesting topics to consider for reform purposes. I also liked his other book on the reform of the American political system. It too contained food for thought.
However the main reform that is needed that the author did not address in either book was the idea of open primaries and run off elections to obtain a candidate that is truly the choice of an absolute majority of the electorate in all federal state and local elections in america. In most states whoever is elected is merely the choice of some plurality of the voters, but not the majority of the voters. I want real democracy. And I want it now!
terry jennrich
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Provides specific details about various presidencies and theories involving the way that Executive branch operates. Making it a better source, it has very minimal bias and provides various perspectives on why certain events are.
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the pro con of this book is great it gives you the issues in layman's terms and then a pro and a con of the issue discussed.
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