The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.2 X 2.6 X 9.3 inches | 2.8 pounds
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About the Author

William E. Leuchtenburg is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Over the course of six decades, he taught at Columbia University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and, as a visiting professor, at Harvard, Cornell, Duke, William and Mary and otherAmerican universities, as well as at Oxford where he held the Harmsworth chair. He served as presidential elections analyst for NBC and as presidential inauguration consultant for CBS, PBS, and C-SPAN. Elected president of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Society of American Historians, he is the first recipient of the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Award for Distinguished Writing in American History of Enduring Public Significance. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Perils of Prosperity, 1914-32, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the NewDeal, 1932-1940, In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, The FDR Years: On Roosevelt and His Legacy, and Herbert Hoover.


"[T]he author presents a highly readable and informative history of the twentieth century....Leuchtenburg has written a wonderful book."--Daryl A. Carter, The Journal of Southern History

"A top-notch historian brings together recondite research with felicitous prose. An excellent choice for students of 20th-century American history."--Kirkus Review

"Wow! What an achievement by this 93-year-old historian...At 70, I am in awe of what William Leuchtenburg has accomplished in this doorstopper of a book. He is perhaps today's greatest presidential historian, and not of the presidency as some insular realm, but as it intersected with national life, which makes this book also a history of the nation in the 20th century."--Michael Sherry, American Scholar

"Mr. Leuchtenburg's books are known for original research, effective writing and persuasive analysis. For the "capstone" of a lifetime of publishing important works Mr. Leuchtenburg has assembled a compelling study. This is not a book to be devoured at one sitting. But surely Mr. Leuchtenburg has earned the right to deal with the presidents as seems best to him, given his rich research, abundant insights and distinguished career. Mr. Leuchtenburg hits his stride in 20 artful essays that capture what each president did and how their tenure impacted the office. As current presidential candidates woo Iowa caucus-goers, tramp through the snows of New Hampshire, and eventually turn south for Super Tuesday, they each could benefit from reading Mr. Leuchtenburg's informed and wise treatments of men who once held the office they now seek with such ardor."--Lewis Gould, Wall Street Journal

"This is a riveting narrative, written by someone with a deep knowledge of the Presidents and our complicated country. It seems an almost effortless work, but, of course, it's not. William Leuchtenburg has spent the better part of a century studying the mechanics of this Republic and the men (so far) charged with leading it. The result here is a fast-paced, dramatic literary achievement that will be around and used for centuries."--Ken Burns, filmmaker

"A rare gift, The American President is the unique product of more than seven decades of research and close observation of one of the twentieth century's most important political developments: the growth of the American presidency. This is a magisterial work, the perfect match of subject and author. Few historians today can write with authority on even two or three presidencies; Leuchtenburg alone can expound fluently on the institution across an entire century. This is narrative history at its finest."--Russell L. Riley, Co-chair, Presidential Oral History Program, The Miller Center, University of Virginia

"Based on decades of study in countess archival collections and a wide array of published volumes, William Leuchtenburg's The American President brilliantly captures the central role of America's twentieth-century presidents in shaping the nation's domestic and foreign affairs. His book will join a very short list of essential studies of the modern presidency, the men who shaped the office, and American life in the more than the hundred years since Teddy Roosevelt entered the White House. The book is a compelling refutation of the argument that the 'imperial presidency' has become an 'imperiled' institution. It is above all a lucid portrayal of the seventeen men from Teddy Roosevelt to Clinton who occupied the country's highest office and led the country through its many challenges."--Robert Dallek, author of presidential studies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan