Where They Stand The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-06-26
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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For the 2012 presidential race, the author of the acclaimed and successful biography of President James Polk offers a fresh, playful, and challenging way of playing "Rating the Presidents"America's favorite gameby pitching historians' views and subsequent experts' polls against the judgment and votes of the presidents' own contemporaries. Merry examines how and why presidents succeed and fail by recounting the judgments of historians and comparing them to how the voters saw things. Was the president re-elected and, then, did his party hold office in the subsequent election? Where They Stand explores the chief executives Merry calls "Men of Destiny," those who set the country toward new directions. Contemporaries and historians agree on Lincoln, Washington, and FDR. He describes the "Split-Decision Presidents" (Wilson and Nixon)successful in their first terms and reelected; less successful in their second terms, succeeded by the opposition party; the "Near Greats" (Jefferson, Jackson, Polk, TR, Truman); the flat out failures (Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Fillmore, Pierce); and those whose standing has fluctuated (Grant, Cleveland, Eisenhower). This voyage through all our history provides a sometimes surprising analysis of how presidential politics works, and how the country sets its course. Where They Stand invites readers to pitch their opinions against the voters of old, the historians, the pollstersand, against the author himself. In this year of presidential politics, Where They Stand will have a huge political presence.

Author Biography

Robert Merry is the editor of The National Interest. He has been a Washington correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and the Executive Editor of the Congressional Quarterly. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The American Spectator, and The National Interest. He has appeared in Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Newsmakers, and many other programs. He lives in McLean, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Great White House Rating Gamep. xiii
The Historians
The Judgment of Historyp. 3
The Vagaries of Historyp. 20
The People
The Making of the Presidencyp. 43
The Presidential Referendump. 51
The Judgment of the Electoratep. 67
The Stain of Failurep. 90
The Test of Greatness
War and Peacep. 117
Split-Decision Presidentsp. 144
Leaders of Destinyp. 164
Reputations in Flux
Republican Resurgencep. 193
The Post-Cold War Presidentsp. 212
Conclusion: Clear and Present Dangerp. 235
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Academic Pollsp. 243
Presidents by Category Based on Voter Responsep. 247
Notesp. 251
Bibliographyp. 273
Indexp. 283
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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