By analyzing the leadership skills of seven recent American presidents, this book seeks to de-mystify the elements and dynamics of effective presidential leadership which our democracy has come to depend upon and value. Building on the pioneering work of political scientist Fred Greenstein and others, this book argues that leadership in the White House can be explained and assessed by using a consistent set of criteria to analyze presidential performance. Siegel shows that presidential leadership is exercised by real, flawed human beings, and not by superheroes or philosopher-kings beyond the reach of scrutiny or critique.
New to the Second Edition
Praise for the Second Edition
Michael Siegel’s The President as Leader is an outstanding book on the American presidency and political leadership from the founding to present. It is challenging, fresh and comprehensive. This book should be read by students of American politics and by policy makers in Washington.
James A. Thurber, American University
Michael Siegel’s book could not be more timely. Required reading for any citizen interested in better understanding the ambiguous definition of "presidential leadership." More important today than ever before.
Kenneth R. Feinberg, Former Administrator of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and the BP Oil Spill Fund
Rare is it for a book to succeed on so many levels. Reading the new edition of The President as Leader makes you feel as if you are standing next to presidents as they make decisions that will define their tenures in office. Providing excellent information on leadership strategies and styles, the book is a pleasure to read and captures American history like few before it.
Douglas W. Burris, Chief U.S. Probation Officer, Eastern District of Missouri
The President as Leader is a compelling text for students and scholars of the presidency, and equally persuasive for curious observers of American politics. The second edition includes a comprehensive analysis of Obama’s two terms and an initial glimpse of Trump’s first few months using Michael Siegel’s four-part leadership framework, reinforcing the point that "presidential leadership is exercised by real, flawed human beings, and not by superheroes or philosopher-kings beyond the reach of scrutiny or critique."
Shaik L. Ismail, Linfield College
1. Introduction: The Presidency from the Beginning to the Trump Era
2. Richard Nixon, Watergate, and the Transformation of the Presidency
3. The Presidency of James Earl Carter
4. The Presidency of Ronald Reagan
5. The Presidency of George H. W. Bush
6. The Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton
7. The Presidency of George W. Bush
8. The Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama
9. Conclusion: And Looking Ahead to The Trump Presidency