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Description - Leading from the Center by Gil Troy

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy-most would agree their presidencies were among the most successful in American history. But what made these very different men such effective leaders? According to presidential historian Gil Troy, these presidents succeeded not because of their bold political visions, but because of their moderation. Although many of the presidential hopefuls for 2008 will claim to be moderates, the word cannot conceal a political climate defined by extreme rhetoric and virulent partisanship. In Leading From the centre , Gil Troy argues that this is a distinctly un -American state of affairs. The great presidents of American history have always sought a golden mean-from Washington, who brilliantly mediated between the competing visions of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, to Lincoln, who rescued the Union with his principled pragmatism, to the two Roosevelts, who united millions of Americans with their powerful, affirmative, nationalist visions. As America lines up to select a president for the future, Gil Troy astutely reminds us of the finest traditions of presidential leadership from our nation's past.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780465002931
ISBN-10: 0465002935
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 165mm x 29mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Basic Books
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 6-Mar-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - Leading from the Center by Gil Troy

Book Reviews - Leading from the Center by Gil Troy

US Kirkus Review » Moderate does not equal namby-pamby, and extremism is not an American norm; instead, the founders "celebrated modesty, balance, self-denial, and rationality," none of which seem abundant in politics today.Against those who hold that America has become bitterly divided between red and blue, Troy (History/McGill Univ.; Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady, 2006, etc.) observes that "a rich web of common cultural, political, economic, and social ties" tightly binds the nation. The best presidents, recognizing this network of elective affinities, have governed from a moderate, centrist position and shunned extremes on either side of the aisle. But neither does moderate equal passive: By Troy's reckoning, the best have exercised "muscular moderation," as with George Washington's straight-edged governance over a still tumultuous time and Theodore Roosevelt's refusal both to play to class loyalties and to accept the notion that capital and labor were necessarily inimical. By that reckoning, Dwight Eisenhower gets solid marks for his detestation of partisan politics and his quaint notion that the president was meant to be a unifier. Some presidents in Troy's account were set on moderate paths but turned less moderate by events, as with Lyndon Johnson in the face of the Vietnam debacle; some were moderately inclined but so sensitive to public opinion as to be swayed off course, as with Bill Clinton. As for the president who once trumpeted himself as a unifier, Troy joins with a growing majority in finding George W. Bush to be a disaster who "damaged America's national fabric by failing to lead the country as a whole" and insisted instead that he owed attention only to "everyone who shares our goals."Fans of Millard Fillmore, that noted moderate, won't find much new in these pages, but those sick to death of extremist rhetoric should be assured by the author's conclusions. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Gil Troy

A native of Queens, New York, Gil Troy is currently Professor of History at McGill University. He is the author of several books, including Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s and Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady. He comments frequently about the American presidency on television and radio, and has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and USA Weekend.

Books By Gil Troy

Moynihan's Moment by Gil Troy
Hardback, December 2012
Living in the Eighties by Gil Troy
Paperback, April 2010
Reagan Revolution: A Very Short Introduction by Gil Troy
Paperback, December 2009
Morning in America by Gil Troy
Paperback, February 2007