Inventing the Job of President: Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson
Fred I. Greenstein
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.
a major political failure. Cognitive Style. Jefferson’s intelligence and fluency served him well. He was able to carry out a voluminous correspondence, compose many of his administration’s state papers, and even compose unsigned contributions to the National Intelligencer. In the first year of his presidency alone, Jefferson wrote more than six hundred letters.25 However, his thinking was neither consistent nor systematic, and he tended defend his arguments by assertion rather than by appealing
“strong” presidents who seek to place a personal stamp on public policy.1 Formative Years Monroe was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Spence and Elizabeth Monroe on April 28, 1758. Like the two members of the Virginia presidential dynasty who preceded him, he came from a slaveholding plantation family. Unlike them, his parents were not in Virginia’s upper stratum. However, he had a prosperous uncle who made it possible for him to attend a leading preparatory academy. Monroe entered the
Presidents, Leadership Qualities, and Political Development The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. . . . The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States. . . . He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, providing two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public
Transcontinental Treaty and, 69, 78 Stamp Act, 26 State Department, 16, 36, 60 State of the Union message, 42, 96 steamboats, 6 Summary View of the Rights of British North America, A (Jefferson), 38 Supreme Court, 30, 102; Adams, John, and, 109; Adams, John Quincy, and, 119; Jackson and, 120; Jefferson and, 111; Madison and, 114; Monroe and, 116; Washington and, 107 surveying, 12, 36 Taney, Roger B., 89, 92–93 tariffs, 58, 61, 80, 91–92, 119, 122 taxes: Adams, John Quincy, and, 80; British,
John, and, 25; Adams, John Quincy, and, 77; administration policies of, 19–20; American Revolution and, 12–16; background of, 11–12, 105; Battle of Trenton and, 64; British taxation and, 13–14; cabinet of, 16–17, 106; cognitive style and, 22, 95, 101; contingency issues and, 102; Continental Army and, 11, 14–15, 21, 27; crossing of the Delaware and, 14; education of, 11; elections of, 15–16; 105–6; emotional intelligence and, 22–23; esteem of, 11, 15–16, 20–21; executive powers and, 9–11, 16–20;