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This Author: Fred I. Greenstein
This Narrator: Ralph Cosham
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Inventing the Job of President by Fred I. Greenstein

Inventing the Job of President

Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson

by Fred I. Greenstein

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
3 Hrs. 32 Min.
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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. He takes us back to the very founding of the republic to apply 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. Greenstein 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.

Fred I. Greenstein is professor of politics emeritus at Princeton University. His books include The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to Barack Obama, The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader, and How Presidents Test Reality: Decisions on Vietnam, 1954 and 1965.

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