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Inventing the Job of President:
Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson
Fred I. Greenstein

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"This latest addition to the Greenstein corpus will find a receptive audience in scholars of the Presidency and those interested in leadership and American political history. Highly recommended."--Stephen K. Shaw, Library Journal

"In this brief text, eminent scholar Greenstein examines the role the first seven presidents of the U.S. played in establishing the presidency as an institution."--Choice


"An elegant and absorbing analysis of the early presidents and their political styles and how they helped shape this decidedly consequential leadership institution."--Thomas E. Cronin, Colorado College

"How have the American presidents stacked up as individual performers? In his earlier work, Greenstein asked this question of modern presidents. Here, exhibiting the same cool analytic discipline, he applies his lens to the first seven presidents. Yes, the Adamses were bumblers. Jefferson in office went downhill. Washington merits his place on Mount Rushmore. The big surprise is James Monroe, who was pretty good. Another surprise is the sheer variety in these early performances."--David Mayhew, Yale University

"In Inventing the Job of President, Greenstein applies to the early republic the insights he developed in his studies of the modern presidency. He assesses the first seven presidents in terms of their abilities to communicate publicly, their skills in managing colleagues and legislators, and the ways in which they handled their own emotions. By such means, Greenstein reminds us of an important matter--that it does matter who is president."--John Stagg, University of Virginia

"Fred Greenstein, one of the nation's best-regarded observers of the modern American presidency, has turned his attention to our first seven presidents and renders characteristically succinct and sage judgments on their performance. This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to understand how our early presidents invented the job of president."--Richard J. Ellis, Willamette University

"Valuable and important. Inventing the Job of President will appeal not only to scholars and students but also to general readers interested in the presidency. Greenstein shows that a variety of leadership styles--some that worked well, others that did not--existed among the early presidents. An interesting and thought-provoking work."--Todd Estes, author of The Jay Treaty Debate, Public Opinion, and the Evolution of Early American Political Culture

"Captivating. Inventing the Job of President teaches about the past so that old events take on a contemporary significance. It is a book that introduces readers to the wonders--and good fortune--of this nation's first decades. Greenstein is hands down the best, most careful, and wisest presidential scholar."--William Ker Muir, Jr., author of The Bully Pulpit: The Presidential Leadership of Ronald Reagan

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File created: 4/21/2017

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