The Strategic President:
Persuasion and Opportunity in Presidential Leadership
George C. Edwards III

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"The Strategic President makes explicit an underlying theme of George Edwards's long and illustrious career: presidents exercise influence not through persuasion, but instead through the exploitation of political opportunities not of their making. For Edwards, facilitation, rather than transformation, establishes the foundation of presidential power. This important book challenges the dominant conception of power that has preoccupied presidential studies for decades, just as the book invites altogether new thinking about how and when presidents can effect change in a system of governance that all too often appears stacked against them."--William Howell, University of Chicago

"George Edwards is the dean of presidency scholars, and this book shows us why. Presidential studies usually narrate the tale of how a president obtained office, recognized a major problem, mobilized public opinion, persuaded Congress, and transformed the policy and political arena. Edwards establishes how little evidence there is for any of these propositions, and does so using the most difficult cases. This book will fundamentally change the way political scientists and the Washington community think about presidential power."--Richard Pious, Barnard College, Columbia University

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File created: 7/7/2015

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