Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today
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About the Author
A Guggenheim Award-winning historian, James M. Banner, Jr., was on the Princeton faculty in 1974 when he contributed to the presidential misconduct report and is now an independent historian in Washington, DC. He was a co-founder of the History News Service, a moving spirit behind the National History Center, the author of many books, including Being a Historian, and the editor of Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today (The New Press).
Praise for Presidential Misconduct
"A definitive account of America's longstanding love/hate affair with the office of the Presidency."
--Joseph J. Ellis, CNN.COM
"A fascinating glimpse into a largely unstudied aspect of U.S. political history."
"[Presidential Misconduct] insists we must look back to look forward. The book provides a comprehensive study of American presidents' misconduct and their response to charges against them."
--Susan P. Liebell, New Books in Political Science
"This useful study supplies the scales on which more recent wrongdoing can be weighed."
"A highly relevant, well-documented study . . . [that] offers a comparative gauge on executive misdeeds."
"Presidents have misbehaved since they wore powdered wigs. The battles to hold them accountable--in which investigators, Congress, and the courts struggled with a sometimes lawless chief executive--are among the most riveting chapters of American history. This book is a treasure, an eye-opening look at presidential recidivism. It is both a compelling historic document and an urgently current warning about what we will lose if we tolerate a president who is above the law."
--Michael Waldman, president, Brennan Center for Justice
"A very useful compendium, which allows important conclusions to be drawn about the present occupant of the White House."
--Elizabeth Holtzman, former congresswoman and member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate era
"The Trump presidency has raised to the forefront deeply troubling questions of corruption and unchecked executive power. These questions have been with us for decades, and this book offers invaluable historical evidence and context for this debate."
--K. Sabeel Rahman, president, Demos
"A highly informed and reliable account of attempts to corrupt our laws and constitutional principles that provides essential context for today's events. Facts do matter--and they are brilliantly presented here."
--Richard Ben-Veniste, author of The Emperor's New Clothes: Exposing the Truth from Watergate to 9/11
"Written by a powerhouse roster of America's leading historians, this is an indispensable resource for the study of presidential power and democratic resilience that will be relevant and resonant for years to come."
--Margaret O'Mara, Howard and Frances Keller Professor of History, University of Washington
"A careful and nuanced look at presidential misconduct that helps readers understand the different kinds of misdeeds, and the precedents set, in presidential history."
--Julian E. Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs, Princeton University
"By resurrecting and substantially expanding this classic study, James Banner has performed an especially timely public service. The distinguished contributors to this invaluable volume reassure us that American democracy has time and again had the resilience to survive any number of presidential misdeeds, trivial as well as grave."
--David M. Kennedy, professor of history emeritus, Stanford University
"This careful consideration of evidence is just what Americans desperately need to move beyond the distorting hoopla of cable news and social media."
--Lizabeth Cohen, author of the forthcoming Saving America's Cities