The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History

The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History

by Ken Gormley (Editor)


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Shines new light on America's brilliant constitutional and presidential history, from George Washington to Barack Obama.

In this sweepingly ambitious volume, the nation’s foremost experts on the American presidency and the U.S. Constitution join together to tell the intertwined stories of how each American president has confronted and shaped the Constitution. Each occupant of the office—the first president to the forty-fourth—has contributed to the story of the Constitution through the decisions he made and the actions he took as the nation’s chief executive.

By examining presidential history through the lens of constitutional conflicts and challenges, The Presidents and the Constitution offers a fresh perspective on how the Constitution has evolved in the hands of individual presidents. It delves into key moments in American history, from Washington’s early battles with Congress to the advent of the national security presidency under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to reveal the dramatic historical forces that drove these presidents to action. Historians and legal experts, including Richard Ellis, Gary Hart, Stanley Kutler and Kenneth Starr, bring the Constitution to life, and show how the awesome powers of the American presidency have been shapes by the men who were granted them. The book brings to the fore the overarching constitutional themes that span this country’s history and ties together presidencies in a way never before accomplished.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479839902
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 771,913
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Ken Gormley is President and Professor of Law at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
He is the award-winning author of the New York Times best seller The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, and Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation.

Table of Contents

Introduction: An Unfinished Presidency Ken Gormley 1

Part I The Founding Era

1 George Washington Richard J. Ellis 17

2 John Adams Louis Fisher 34

3 Thomas Jefferson Cliff Sloan Louis Fisher Moshe Spinowitz 47

4 James Madison Ralph Ketcham 61

5 James Monroe Gary Hart 75

6 John Quincy Adams Jonathan L. Entin 89

Part II The Age of Jackson

7 Andrew Jackson Mark A. Graber 103

8 Martin Van Buren Michael J. Gerhardt 116

9 William Henry Harrison David Marks Shribman 126

10 John Tyler Robert J. Spitzer 136

11 James K. Polk Frank J. Williams 149

Part III The Pre-Civil War Era

12 Zachary Taylor Paul Finkelman 161

13 Millard Fillmore Joseph F. Rishel 173

14 Franklin Pierce Paul Finkelman 181

15 James Buchanan Thomas A. Horrocks 194

Part IV Civil War and Reconstruction

16 Abraham Lincoln William D. Pederson 211

17 Andrew Johnson Michael Les Benedict 227

18 Ulysses S. Grant John F. Marszalek 239

Part V The Gilded Age

19 Rutherford B. Hayes Michael A. Ross 253

20 James A. Garfield Thomas C. Sutton 266

21 Chester A. Arthur Thomas C. Sutton 276

22 Grover Cleveland, First Term Donald Grier Stephenson Jr. 288

23 Benjamin Harrison Allan B. Spetter 297

24 Grover Cleveland, Second Term Donald Grier Stephenson Jr. 308

25 William McKinley Thomas C. Sutton 316

Part VI The Progressive Era

26 Theodore Roosevelt William D. Bader 331

27 William Howard Taft Francine Sanders Romero 343

Part VII World war I and the Great Depression

28 Woodrow Wilson Saladin M. Ambar 357

29 Warren G. Harding James D. Robenalt 371

30 Calvin Coolidge John W. Johnson Dale E. P. Yurs 385

31 Herbert Hoover John Q. Barrett 395

Part VIII The New Deal and World War II

32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt William D. Pederson 409

33 Harry S. Truman James N. Giglio 427

Part IX The Civil Rights Era

34 Dwight D. Eisenhower Richard V. Damms 443

35 John F. Kennedy Barbara A. Perry 459

36 Lyndon B. Johnson John L. Bullion 473

Part X The Watergate Era and Reform

37 Richard M. Nixon Stanley Kutler 491

38 Gerald R. Ford Jeffrey Crouch 507

39 Jimmy Carter Scott Kaufman 521

Part XI New Conservatives, New Democrats, and Polarization

40 Ronald Reagan Kenneth W. Starr 539

41 George H.W. Bush Lori Cox Han 557

42 William Jefferson Clinton Ken Gormley 570

Part XII National Security Era: Post-9/11

43 George W. Bush Benjamin A. Kleinerman 589

44 Barack Obama Michael J. Gerhardt 605

Conclusion: An Evolving American Presidency Ken Gormley 623

Acknowledgements 657

About the Contributors 659

Photo Credits 667

Index 671

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