Skip over navigation

The Presidency

Readings and Links

The Presidency Quiz

How to Cite This SparkNote

Suggested Reading

Allison, Graham T., and Philip Zelikow. Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis. 2nd ed. New York: Longman, 1999.

A classic text in decision-making theory. Allison and Zelikow present three models of decision-making, each of which accounts for some of the decisions made during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Barber, James David. Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House. 4th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1992.

Barber’s classic of psychological studies of the presidents has influenced many scholars, who use his conclusions to study candidates.

Eisinger, Robert M. The Evolution of Presidential Polling. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

All modern presidents consult polls, but the way they use them has changed. Eisinger chronicles the use of polls since Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency.

Frum, David. The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George Bush. New York: Random House, 2003.

Frum served as a speechwriter in George W. Bush’s White House, and he recounts his experiences during the eventful first year of Bush’s presidency.

Janis, Irving J. Groupthink: Psychological Studies of Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. 2nd ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1982.

Janis’s description of how groupthink can lead to policy disasters has influenced many decision-making studies of the presidents.

Kernell, Samuel. Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2006.

Kernell examines the power of going public and how it can help the president in his relations with Congress.

Neustadt, Richard E. Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan. New York: Free Press, 1990.

Neustadt’s account of the limits of presidential power is a classic. He argues that the key to presidential power is persuasion.

Walcott, Charles E., and Karen M. Hult. Governing the White House: From Hoover Through LBJ. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.

A clever study of how the structure of the White House affects a president’s success and failure.

Woodward, Bob and Carl Bernstein. All the President’s Men. 2nd ed. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

A classic of investigative journalism, Woodward and Bernstein broke open the Watergate scandal through their relentless reporting.

Useful Websites

http://uselectionatlas.org

An excellent source for information about presidential elections.

www.bartleby.com/124

This site publishes the texts of every presidential inaugural address.

www.vote-smart.org/index.htm

This nonpartisan website provides information about American elections, including presidential races.

www.whitehouse.gov

The website for the White House. It includes the latest executive orders, text of key speeches, and information on the president’s policy priorities.

Follow Us