The Imperiled Presidency: Presidential Leadership in the 21st Century calls for a dramatic re-evaluation of the American president's role within the separation of powers system. In contrast with claims by academics, pundits, media, and members of Congress, this provocative new book argues that the contemporary American presidency is too weak rather than too strong. Cal Mackenzie offers the contrarian argument that the real constitutional crisis in contemporary American politics is not the centralization and accumulation of power in the presidency, but rather that effective governance is imperiled by the diminished role of the presidency. The product of more than three years of research and writing and nearly four decades of the author's teaching and writing about the American presidency, The Imperiled Presidency is the first book-length treatment of the weaknesses of the modern presidency, written to be accessible to undergraduates and interested citizens alike. It engages with a wide range of literature that relates to the presidency, including electoral politics, budgetary politics, administrative appointments, and the conduct of foreign affairs. It would be a useful complement to courses that rely primarily on a single textbook, as well as courses that are built around more specific readings from a range of books and articles.
About the Author
G. Calvin Mackenzie is Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of Government at Colby College where he has taught since 1978. His specialty areas include presidential transitions and the politics of presidential appointments, and he has been a consultant on these matters to presidential staff and congressional committees. He is the author or editor of scores of articles and nearly twenty books, including The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s (co-authored with historian Robert Weisbrot), which was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History.