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The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to Barack Obama, Third Edition Third Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691143835
ISBN-10: 0691143838
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "Illuminating. . . . A perceptive view of the leadership qualities and the events that shaped the triumphs and tragedies of the modern presidency."--Phil Gailey, New York Times

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "If I were to assign just one short book on the modern presidency, this would be it."--Stephen Hess, Globe and Mail

From the Back Cover

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "A wonderful book. . . . For journalists, it is a great checklist as to what we ought to be--but probably are not likely to be--looking for in a presidential candidate."--David Broder

Praise for Princeton's previous editions: "Among the many excellent books on the American presidency, Greenstein's The Presidential Difference will occupy a unique position. . . . . His descriptions and evaluations make it a book that can be read with profit by everyone who cares about American political life."--Robert A. Dahl, author of On Democracy

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Third edition (August 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691143838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691143835
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Robison on July 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Greenstein's work is a necessary point of interest for any scholar of the American presidency. Often, when one considers the presidency, chief among the considerations is a president's accomplishments or his chief policy failures. Focus is given to the opposition just as it is given to the president's party in judging whether a chief executive has lived up to his fullest potential.

What is often overlooked, however, is the personality of the man in office. This has, as Greenstein notes, a tremendous impact on not only his organizational ability but his ability to retain and gather support. Clearly, too, the president's affability is of vital importance in today's media, as his charisma. Greenstein's work allows comparison among all presidents since FDR. Obviously this should not be read without some knowledge of the American presidency, yet it is an easy and entertaining read that delves into a facet of our nation's power that many overlook yet, in reality, may have one of the biggest impacts of all.

This book does not compare substantively to James David Barber's "The Presidential Character," yet it does provide a more concise and readable summary of the subject that would be a warm-up to Barber's masterpiece work.
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Bought for a class, but I liked this enough that I've read it twice. It's insightful, humorous and thought-provoking (though the final chapter on President Obama now seems less than accurate). I lent it to my dad and he enjoyed it as well. Great book, worth getting even if it's not for class. It gives a short (ten page) summary of a president's background, rise in politics, and actions in the White House before rating each president on six traits: public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, vision, cognitive style, emotional intelligence. He then sums up what we can learn from each president. It has a surprising amount of depth and information but the fluid prose and balance between formal and informal makes it a pleasure to read. In fact, I think I'll go do so again.
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This is a great book. Greenstein writes an easy, riveting read that properly analyzes each presidency. For anyone who would like to know more about the modern presidency in a quick and easy read this is it.
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I use The Presidential Difference to stimulate discussion in a college-level White House simulation about the factors that account for presidential success. Students grasp the concepts quickly and are able to apply the factors to other leadership settings.
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I had to get this for a class, and I actually really liked it. The class was required for me so this isn't a subject I am very interested, but as a US citizen this book was really informational and something other people should read.
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