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The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President

Aaron David Miller
Format
Book
Published
New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
ISBN
9781137279002 (hardback), 1137279001 (hardback)
Related Resources
Cover image
Summary
"There is one thing that has haunted all of America's modern presidents: Americans' expectations of greatness in the man and the office. While it was impossible for the Framers of the Constitution to predict the circumstances that would make America the greatest and most consequential power on Earth, the Founders never intended this spotlight on the presidency. Venerating our past great presidents has always been safe, compelling, and inspiring. But when it also tempts us with the possibilities of their return, it may not be so benign. The End of Greatness offers a new way to appreciate and evaluate the presidency, a mode of understanding that gives conventional achievement ratings their place but ultimately makes the counterintuitive argument that, in expecting greatness, we have made goodness simply impossible. This book looks at the concept of greatness in presidents--the ways in which it is essential to a nation and the ways in which it has been detrimental. Miller argues that greatness in presidents is an overrated virtue, one that eclipses--and perhaps even thwarts--the real contributions of our presidents"--
Contents
  • Greatness revealed. The indespensibles: greatness with a capital g ; The three c's of greatness in presidence ; Capacity: getting things done ; Close but no cigar
  • Greatness gone. FDR's high bar ; Not your grandfather's crisis ; The president of America the ungovernable? ; Boxers or briefs: media and the personalized presidency ; Traces of greatness?
  • What's so great about being great, anyway. Too ambivalent about greatness ; Too rare to be relevant and too dangerous to be desirable ; Distorts history and our politics too ; Disappointer in chief?
  • Greatness with a small g.
Description
viii, 280 pages ; 25 cm
Notes
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View

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