Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Gormley, "The Presidents and the Constitution"

New from New York University Press: The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History (May 2016), by Ken Gormley (Duquesne University). A description from the Press:
In this sweepingly ambitious volume, the nation’s foremost experts on the American presidency and the U.S. Constitution join together to tell the intertwined stories of how each American president has confronted and shaped the Constitution. Each occupant of the office—the first president to the forty-fourth—has contributed to the story of the Constitution through the decisions he made and the actions he took as the nation’s chief executive.
By examining presidential history through the lens of constitutional conflicts and challenges, The Presidents and the Constitution offers a fresh perspective on how the Constitution has evolved in the hands of individual presidents. It delves into key moments in American history, from Washington’s early battles with Congress to the advent of the national security presidency under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to reveal the dramatic historical forces that drove these presidents to action.  Historians and legal experts, including Richard Ellis, Gary Hart, Stanley Kutler and Kenneth Starr, bring the Constitution to life, and show how the awesome powers of the American presidency have been shapes by the men who were granted them.  The book brings to the fore the overarching constitutional themes that span this country’s history and ties together presidencies in a way never before accomplished.
Exhaustively researched and compellingly presented, The Presidents and the Constitution shines new light on America’s brilliant constitutional and presidential history.
A few blurbs:
“Everything you ever wanted to know about the Supreme Court and the Presidency but were afraid to ask.” —Nina Totenberg

"An indispensable book on a touchy subject. The American Constitution is not abstract art, it is the foundation of all of our laws. We cut ourselves adrift at great risk to the survival of our civilization. Reviewing the constant, ongoing battle between each successive president and the laws that limited his power offers a perspective that we haven't seen. Gomley has connected the dots and the results offer lessons beyond American history. This is a book about human nature and the struggle for power. As we can see, getting to the White House was not the end of that struggle. It was just the beginning."—Doug Wead,
More information is available here.