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A Clear Chapter by Chapter Synopsis of The President as Leader by Erwin C. Hargrove - Essay Example

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Following a distinguished career as a scholar f the American presidency, Erwin C. Hargrove in The President as Leader offers his capstone appraisal f presidential leadership. …
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A Clear Chapter by Chapter Synopsis of The President as Leader by Erwin C. Hargrove

Download file to see previous pages... Case studies οf real-life leaders help clarify Hargrove's complex model: Franklin Roosevelt, whom Hargrove regards as the model modern president because he used rhetoric to gain support for such significant policies as social security and an end to isolationism; Lyndon Johnson, who, although he inspired the public on civil rights, was frustrated by Vietnam because οf his obsession with control; and Ronald Reagan, who connected with the public on values but faltered because he failed to verify the accuracy οf his rhetoric. Primarily οf interest to political scientists, the book is recommended for larger public and academic presidential studies collections.The chapter one of the book, Power and Purpose in Political Leadership, Hargrove defines characteristics of political leadership. As the title suggest, the chapter discusses as examples powers used by some American presidents. Hargrove argues that Carter's approach eschewed political advantage as a criterion for formulating policy, but that compromise might be necessary. The second chapter, Conceptions of Leadership, explains leadership qualities. The power οf the policy to sustain itself is strengthened by comprehensiveness, which implies a long-term view rather than a quick fix.
The importance of culture is discussed in the third chapter of the book, Cultural Leadership, where Hargrove has discussed cultural background of many American presidents.
For Carter, political leadership was not so much doing what's right instead f what's political as it was doing the political in the right way. Consequently, existing theory is hard-pressed to classify the Carter administration on the basis f a predisposition for or against centralization. As a Democrat and political leader following a public goods approach to governing, it would not be unreasonable to expect a tendency toward centralization f policy making in the White House, especially on domestic priorities. This would allow Carter to control the content f policy important for his substantive approach. On the other hand, like most presidents, Carter entered office with an eye toward cabinet government and a reliance on expertise as a guiding force for policy making. Carter's public goods philosophy led him to choose experts to head governmental departments. This foreshadowed an approach to governance based on specialization and on a willingness to formulate substantive policy addressing major problems. Neither politics nor the strategy f politicization had much to do with cabinet appointments. Nelson Polsby notes that the Carter cabinet in particular was characterized by curious neutrality...toward the vast stew f interest groups...that make up the traditional Democratic coalition.
In sum, using Carter as a case study presents a theoretical paradox. On the one hand, his theory f governing leads to the expectation that policy making, especially on domestic priorities, would be centralized. On the other, he valued expertise, which leads one to expect that he would place a high value on policy developed by civil servants in the bureaucracy. Thus, the analyst f presidential administration can learn much by examining the Carter experience.
The fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the books, tiled Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan, respectively, have discussed three great presidents of the United States as case studies. In these chapters, the writer has explained leadership, decision making and some other qualities of these president.
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