When Life Strikes the President, Thomas J. Knock, Jeffrey A. Engel Hardcover
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Description & Features+
In asking such questions, the essays in this volume -- written by twelve leading scholars noted for their expertise on their respective subjects -- reveal alternately the frailty, the humanity, and the strength of character of some of America's most controversial presidents. Three of them deal with the death of children--the impact of the loss of a young son on Franklin Pierce, Abraham Lincoln, and Calvin Coolidge. Another shows how, when his father suffered a stroke, John F. Kennedy lost his most important adviser as the crisis in Cuba loomed. Three essays tell stories about notorious, self-inflicted scandals during the presidencies of Andrew Jackson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. Several of them focus on the effects of disability or illness in the Oval Office -- on Woodrow Wilson's stroke at the end of World War I; Franklin Roosevelt's paralysis while leading the country through the Great Depression and World War II; Ronald Reagan's struggles and changed priorities in the wake of an assassination attempt; and the bearing of depression and personality disorders of one kind or another on the actions Jackson, John Tyler, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon during their crucial years in office.
While illuminating a considerable span of American history and providing new and significant analyses of American politics and foreign policy, these fascinating essays remind us about the personal side of presidential leadership, and that tomorrow is promised to no one.
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