Leadership in the Modern Presidencyby Fred I. Greenstein

Download Leadership in the Modern Presidencyby Fred I. Greenstein

Post on 31-Jan-2017

214 views

Category:

Documents

1 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

<ul><li><p>Leadership in the Modern Presidency by Fred I. GreensteinReview by: Leo P. RibuffoThe American Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 1 (Feb., 1990), pp. 287-288Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2163178 .Accessed: 28/06/2014 10:38</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>Oxford University Press and American Historical Association are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize,preserve and extend access to The American Historical Review.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 91.220.202.31 on Sat, 28 Jun 2014 10:38:10 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=ouphttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=ahahttp://www.jstor.org/stable/2163178?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>United States 287 </p><p>understanding of the dynamic of urban and suburban growth. </p><p>DAVID SCHUYLER </p><p>Franklin and Marshall College </p><p>DOUGLAS L. SMITH. The New Deal in the Urban South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 1988. Pp. 287. $29.95. </p><p>According to Douglas L. Smith, the impact of the Great Depression and the New Deal caused southern cities to become somewhat more like their northern counter- parts and like the modern metropolitan areas they would later become, yet that impact did not depose the reigning conservative ethos, regional values, and com- mercial-business elite that maintained traditional racial and socioeconomic patterns in the urban South of the 1930s. As such, Smith's book buttresses the scholarship of Blaine Brownell and David Goldfield, emphasizing the uniqueness of the South's cities in the twentieth century. And it augments the current prevailing inter- pretation that rejects both the view of the New Deal as a watershed that fundamentally changed the American system and the New Left argument that the so-called "Roosevelt Revolution" neither altered nor improved American life significantly. </p><p>While never minimizing the shortcomings of the New Deal, Smith credits it with promoting municipal service activities and with advancing the principle of public welfare and an urban consciousness in the South. In his discussion of Atlanta, Birmingham, Mem- phis, and New Orleans, the four largest southeastern cities of the time, Smith demonstrates how the various federal assistance programs of the 1930s proved both the worth of welfare projects and the necessity for urban planning as well as for permanent local welfare institutions. Similarly, despite mighty forces arrayed against it, the New Deal housing effort provided jobs and shelter for many thousands in need, while it also stimulated local agencies to confront the problems of urban blight and poverty as public responsibilities. The growth of organized labor and of an increasingly militant civil rights movement, moreover, prodded the four cities to accept some changes in the traditional southern way of life. Gradually, such values as social order and fiscal parsimony grudgingly accommodated new concepts of community well-being. </p><p>This book is hardly exciting or easy reading. It is bereft of a single vivid quotation or colorful character, and the abundance of data overwhelms the minimal effort at analysis and interpretation. Too often, Smith fails either to grapple with the meaning of the evidence he presents or to articulate the judgments he has reached. Yet, Smith's extensive and careful research in the records of New Deal agencies, the manuscripts of southern municipal leaders, and the relevant daily, labor, and black newspapers gives us a gold mine of vital information on the workings of the New Deal at the local level. His industriousness and careful objec- </p><p>tivity make his book a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on southern cities. Perhaps it will stimulate other monographs that can match the excel- lent works on the New Deal and the agrarian South. </p><p>HARVARD SITKOFF </p><p>University of New Hampshire </p><p>FRED I. GREENSTEIN, EDITOR. Leadership in the Modern Presidency. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1988. Pp. 430. $29.95. </p><p>In this uneven collection, nine authors discuss the presidents who have served since 1933. Five historians who have written notable books on U.S. presidents here reiterate or reconsider their earlier views. Al- though William E. Leuchtenburg remains impressed with Franklin D. Roosevelt's legislative leadership and shrewd use of the media, he concedes that Roosevelt may have contributed to what Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., calls the "imperial presidency." Alonzo L. Hamby writes that Harry S. Truman transcended provincial- ism and an erratic personality to lead a largely success- ful administration, marked especially by the "dazzling achievement" (p. 70) of bipartisan foreign policy. Still convinced that Dwight D. Eisenhower is insufficiently appreciated, Fred I. Greenstein presents Eisenhower's sensible reflections on the nature of leadership and demolishes the notion that he brought a "military" style to the White House. Chronicling the John F. Kennedy administration's underrated legislative record, ambiva- lent foreign policy, and strained alliance with the civil rights movement, Carl M. Brauer stresses that Ken- nedy himself was "inspirational in a way that few Presidents have been" (p. 109). After briefly showing that the Great Society offered "something for every- body" (p. 135), Larry Berman concentrates on Lyndon B. Johnson's conduct of the Vietnam War, concluding that Johnson's suspicion, hypersensitivity, and pen- chant for secrecy kept him from understanding the conflict he escalated. </p><p>The two most interesting essays present synopses of larger works in progress. Joan Hoff-Wilson notes Ri- chard M. Nixon's fondness for acting boldly in real or imagined crises, adding that such behavior trans- formed Watergate from a "second-rate, second-story job into a first-rate constitutional crisis" (p. 168). Yet she deliberately slights both Nixon's personality and the Watergate scandal to concentrate on his efforts to reorganize and centralize government administration, social services, and foreign policy. Though properly skeptical of his foreign policy, she gives Nixon too much credit for extensions of the welfare state that occurred during his term. Erwin C. Hargrove rightly places Jimmy Carter in the southern Progressive, as opposed to Populist, tradition, sees his obsession with "comprehensive" solutions as a major strategic handi- cap, and acknowledges important similarities between the Carter and Ronald Reagan administrations. This attempt to move beyond prevailing cliches is admirable </p><p>This content downloaded from 91.220.202.31 on Sat, 28 Jun 2014 10:38:10 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>288 Reviews of Books </p><p>and generally successful. But Hargrove misinterprets the impact of Carter's "born again" religion, offers unduly generous assessments of his energy policy and the Camp David Accords, and takes at face value Carter's claim to stand above politics. </p><p>The weakest essays deal with Gerald R. Ford and Reagan. After recounting the major decisions and internal squabbles of Ford's "healing" administration, Roger Porter concludes that the president used dif- ferent leadership styles on different occasions. Porter makes no further effort to appraise Ford's record, perhaps because he relies too much on self-serving memoirs and oral histories; apparently he examined none of the contemporary records now available at the Ford presidential library. Quoting extensively from interviews with White House speech writers, William K. Muir, Jr., analyzes Reagan's rhetoric instead of his policies. This approach might be productive if the analysis were less thin. According to Muir, Reagan used religious themes, revived the "traditional notion of evil" (p. 273), which he temporarily applied to the Soviet Union, and stressed national "teamwork." From the reverent explication here, we might mistake Rea- gan for an original theorist on a par with Herbert Hoover if not John C. Calhoun. Unfortunately, Muir does not seem to know, for example, that emphasis on national unity has been a rhetorical convention since the Progressive era and that Eisenhower and Nixon promoted "teamwork," too. </p><p>In introductory and concluding essays, Greenstein tries hard to draw the articles together. Yet the book as a whole seems internally contradictory because, with the exception of Berman, the authors praise their respective presidents, presidents who would not neces- sarily have praised one another. For example, if read- ers hail Roosevelt, Truman, and Johnson for creating a welfare state in chapters 1, 2, and 5, how can they share the authors' enthusiasm for Eisenhower, Ford, and Reagan, who try to shrink the welfare state in chapters 3, 7, and 9? Moreover, although iconoclastic books on the presidency are scarce, Greenstein's selection of contributors so fond of their respective subjects makes this one unusually bland. We might have learned more if Greenstein had asked Leuchtenburg to write on Reagan (whom he has elsewhere compared to Roosevelt), asked Hamby to write on Ford (who com- pared himself to Truman), and assigned Roosevelt to Hoover's biographer George Nash. As it now stands, this volume may appeal most to optimists who believe that there has never been a really bad president. </p><p>LEO P. RIBUFFO </p><p>George Washington University </p><p>NIELS AAGE THORSEN. The Political Thought of Woodrow Wilson, 1875-1910. (Supplementary Volumes to the Papers of Woodrow Wilson.) Princeton: Princeton Uni- versity Press. 1988. Pp. xiv, 272. $34.50. </p><p>Politics, religion, and pathology have dominated mod- ern scholarship on Woodrow Wilson. In his many works, especially in Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, 1910-1917 (1956), Arthur Link has concentrated on Wilson as governor of New Jersey, party leader, president, and diplomat. John Morton Blum, in Wood- row Wilson and the Politics of Morality (1956), stressed the religious framework within which Wilson's politics op- erated. Alexander George and Juliette George, in Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House (1956), focused on the pathology of Wilson's family situation and the psychological consequences of his relationship to his father. Some of the best recent work clearly derives from these books: John M. Mulder's Woodrow Wilson: The Years of Preparation (1978) is an excellent example of works in the tradition of Blum, incorporating re- cently published primary sources to come to conclu- sions friendlier to Wilson than Blum's were. Edwin A. Weinstein, in Woodrow Wilson: A Medical and Psycholog- ical Biography (1981), has displaced psychobiography and substituted instead an emphasis on strokes and Wilson as physically rather than psychologically ill at crucial times. </p><p>What none of these books has done is examine Wilson, the public administrator, as intellectual. Niels Aage Thorsen has filled this gap in a thorough and competent way. Writing in the tradition of Link, he has all but taken for granted that Wilson was chiefly a political animal. He was neither neurotic nor ill in any crippling way, and religion, although important in his life, was not the straitjacket that it seems to be in other volumes. At times, Thorsen conducts a running debate with Mulder, on page after page showing how the same letters and speeches that Mulder used to demonstrate the primacy of religion really deserve a more political reading. Both sides of this debate have merit, and both books are well done. I am firmly committed to the assumption that religion and morality were primary, but those who are more secular and political in their views of Wilson will be happy with Thorsen's book. </p><p>Of necessity, Wilson scholars tend to repeat each other. Many pages of this volume could have been shorter, and a significant number of block quotations needed condensing or paraphrasing. This said, the book makes an imaginative case for Wilson as a pioneer of public administration. It reviews the criticisms that Wilson's work has received and demonstrates that a close study of Wilson's intentions, and the context of his terminology, reveals a mind more original than many of us have thought. Thorsen makes an especially appealing case for Wilson's Congressional Government (1890) and has some fresh information about Wilson's European sources. Few political scientists have received such detailed study. </p><p>The major problem with this volume is that, careful as the author is in his phraseology, he still falls into the elementary fallacy of assuming that religiosity in Wil- son meant in practice an interest in theology. "While it is no doubt true that Wilson's views were deeply informed by Calvinist moral psychology, his writings </p><p>This content downloaded from 91.220.202.31 on Sat, 28 Jun 2014 10:38:10 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p>Article Contentsp. 287p. 288</p><p>Issue Table of ContentsThe American Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 1 (Feb., 1990), pp. i-xiv+1-330+1(a)-48(a)Front Matter [pp. i-xiv]The Future of the American Historical Association [pp. 1-8]Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose: A Free Black Town in Spanish Colonial Florida [pp. 9-30]Prosperous Blacks in the South, 1790-1880 [pp. 31-56]The Nose, the Lie, and the Duel in the Antebellum South [pp. 57-74]Class and State in Postemancipation Societies: Southern Planters in Comparative Perspective [pp. 75-98]Race and Class in the South African Countryside: Cultural Osmosis and Social Relations in the Sharecropping Economy of the South Western Transvaal, 1900-1950 [pp. 99-123]Reviews of BooksGeneralReview: untitled [p. 124]Review: untitled [pp. 124-125]Review: untitled [pp. 125-127]Review: untitled [p. 127]Review: untitled [pp. 127-128]Review: untitled [pp. 128-130]Review: untitled [pp. 130-131]Review: untitled [pp. 131-132]Review: untitled [p. 132]Review: untitled [pp. 132-133]Review: untitled [pp. 133-134]Review: untitled [p. 134]Review: untitled [pp. 134-135]Review: untitled [p. 135]Review: untitled [pp. 135-136]Review: untitled [pp. 136-138]Review: untitled [pp. 138-139]Review: untitled [p. 139]Review: untitled [pp. 139-140]</p><p>AncientReview: untitled [pp. 140-141]Review: untitled [p. 141]Review: untitled [pp. 141-142]Review: untitled [pp. 142-143]Review: untitled [pp. 143-144]Review: untitled [pp. 144-145]R...</p></li></ul>