War and the American Presidency

War and the American Presidency

Large Print - 2005
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Bryce, "needs great leaders as much as democracy." And so Schlesinger skillfully ties the very future of democracy to the question of war and the American presidency. Book jacket.
Finally, what of democracy itself? The world got along without democracy until two centuries ago, and Schlesinger notes chillingly that there is little evidence that constitutional democracy will triumph in the century ahead. The challenge to twentieth-century democracy was secular totalitarianism; that of the twenty-first appears to be religious fanaticism. The search for a democratic alternative is urgent. "Perhaps no form of government," said the great constitutional historian James
with the preventive war argument: it requires an accurate crystal ball. Unfortunately, history can suggest nothing but humility with respect to our ability to forecast the future. Schlesinger goes on, pointing out that wartime involves a predictable expansion of presidential power and suppression of dissent. He wonders about the tainted election of 2000 and offers a plan to revamp the electoral college so that the people's choice would more likely make it to the White House.
Furthermore, the traditional argument for war has focused on deterrence and containment. The war in Iraq, however, was undertaken on the principle of preventive war, now known as the Bush Doctrine. Schlesinger notes a long line of presidents who have rejected the preventive war argument. It includes no less a figure than Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said, "preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility." Eisenhower had military caution in mind, but Schlesinger also points out another problem
American history but that the Second World War marked a turning point. Presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton advanced the principle of collective action; with the Iraq War, however, the younger President Bush reverted to unilateralism.
The gravest decision in a democracy is the one to go to war. In this essential new book, which brings a magisterial command of history to the most urgent of contemporary questions, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., explores the war in Iraq, the presidency, and the future of democracy. Should the United States go it alone, or should it involve the institutions of collective security? Schlesinger points out that unilateralism is the oldest doctrine in
Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2005
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 0786273445 (lg. print : alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: LP 327.160973 SCH
Characteristics: 199 p. (large print) ; 22 cm

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