Inventing the Job of President: Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson

Inventing the Job of President: Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson

Fred I. Greenstein

Language: English

Pages: 176

ISBN: 0691133581

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From George Washington's decision to buy time for the new nation by signing the less-than-ideal Jay Treaty with Great Britain in 1795 to George W. Bush's order of a military intervention in Iraq in 2003, the matter of who is president of the United States is of the utmost importance. In this book, Fred Greenstein examines the leadership styles of the earliest presidents, men who served at a time when it was by no means certain that the American experiment in free government would succeed.

In his groundbreaking book The Presidential Difference, Greenstein evaluated the personal strengths and weaknesses of the modern presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Here, he takes us back to the very founding of the republic to apply the same yardsticks to the first seven presidents from Washington to Andrew Jackson, giving his no-nonsense assessment of the qualities that did and did not serve them well in office. For each president, Greenstein provides a concise history of his life and presidency, and evaluates him in the areas of public communication, organizational capacity, political skill, policy vision, cognitive style, and emotional intelligence. Washington, for example, used his organizational prowess--honed as a military commander and plantation owner--to lead an orderly administration. In contrast, John Adams was erudite but emotionally volatile, and his presidency was an organizational disaster.

Inventing the Job of President explains how these early presidents and their successors shaped the American presidency we know today and helped the new republic prosper despite profound challenges at home and abroad.
















ranged across the multitude of subjects on which he was conversant, including philosophy, natural history, and architecture. The exception was politics, which Jefferson reserved for other occasions, knowing that his political leadership would be enhanced by the harmony fostered in the dining room.14 3. Be visibly republican. Jefferson carried out his responsibilities in a manner that advertised his republicanism. He walked from his boarding house to Capitol Hill to be inaugurated, taking the oath

an agreement with Britain that would resolve the problem of maritime rights. The result was the proposed Monroe-Pinckney Treaty, which remedied a number of the American grievances. However, Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison refused to send the pact to the Senate for ratification, because it was silent on impressment.18 They were inclined to let the matter rest for a while, but in the summer of 1807, the British frigate HMS Leopard sought to inspect an American naval vessel for deserters.

of the responsibilities of the secretary of state himself. The resulting cabinet turned out to be so faction-ridden that Madison sometimes chose to paper over policy disagreements, rather than seek to arrive at an agreed-upon administration policy.11 Madison’s cabinet also was marked by high turnover. Over the eight years of his presidency, the State, Treasury, War, and Navy departments were headed by a total of sixteen incumbents. Jefferson, by way of contrast, retained the same four department

Cromwell, Oliver, 15 Crowninshield, Benjamin, 67 Cuban Missile Crisis, 1, 4–5 Cunningham, Noble, 72 Dahl, Robert A., 103 Dearborn, Henry, 41 decentralized government, 18–19, 79 Declaration of Independence: Adams, John, and, 27; Jefferson and, 35, 38; preamble of, 35, 38; Wythe and, 37 Defense of the Constitutions of the United States of America (Adams), 32 Delaware River, 14 Democrats, 67, 93 Diary (Adams), 25 Dinwiddie, Robert, 12 diplomacy: Cuban missile crisis and, 1, 4–5; French language and,

59–60; Monroe and, 71; Washington and, 21 Pacificus. See Hamilton, Alexander Palladio, Andreas, 37 Panama, 79 Pan-American conference, 79 Papers of James Monroe, The, 68 Parliament, 15, 26, 37, 42 party system: centralization issues and, 18; illegitimacy of, 2; Jefferson and, 36; Monroe and, 67; political skill and, 2–3; Twelfth Amendment and, 5. See also specific party paternalism, 90–91 Pennsylvania, 6, 14, 20, 41 Napoleon, 43, 55, 66 Napoleonic Wars, 7, 93 National Intelligencer newspaper:

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