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The Presidential Expectations Gap by Richard Waterman; Hank Jenkins-Smith; Carol L. SilvaFor decades, public expectations of U.S. presidents have become increasingly excessive and unreasonable. Despite much anecdotal evidence, few scholars have attempted to test the expectations gap thesis empirically. This is the first systematic study to prove the existence of the expectations gap and to identify the factors that contribute to the public’s disappointment in a given president. Using data from five original surveys, the authors confirm that the expectations gap is manifest in public opinion. It leads to lower approval ratings, lowers the chance that a president will be reelected, and even contributes to the success of the political party that does not hold the White House in congressional midterm elections. This study provides important insights not only on the American presidency and public opinion, but also on citizens’ trust in government.
A Presidential Nation by Michael A. GenoveseThe Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial. Why do we devote monuments to the presidents? Why do we honor them, instead of Congress, or the courts?A Presidential Nation examines how the presidency--an office limited by the Constitution and separation of powers--became the centerpiece of American government. Michael A. Genovese argues that in rebelling against the British, the Framers of the Constitution invented a circumscribed presidency to guard against executive tyranny. Yet, over time, presidential power has risen and congressional power declined to a point where the United States has a near imperial presidency. Reexamining the status of presidential power in the post-9/11 world, Dr. Genovese considers the alternatives, if any, to the current model of presidential power.A Presidential Nation is perfect for students of American Presidency and Federal Governance courses and anyone interested in the changing authority of the American political system.
James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights by Richard Labunski
Call Number: KF4749 .L32 2006 (DPC)
The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance by Nat Hentoff
Call Number: JC599.U45 H46 2003 (DPC)
In Defense of Liberty: The Story of America's Bill of Rights by Russell Freedman.
Call Number: KF4750 .F74 2003 (DPC)
The Supreme Court and the Second Bill of Rights: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Nationalization of Civil Liberties by Richard C. Cortner
Call Number: KF4749 .C66 (DPC)
American Public Opinion, Advocacy, and Policy in Congress by Paul BursteinBetween one election and the next, members of Congress introduce thousands of bills. What determines which become law? Is it the public? Do we have government "of the people, by the people, for the people?" Or is it those who have the resources to organize and pressure government who get what they want? In the first study ever of a random sample of policy proposals, Paul Burstein finds that the public can get what it wants - but mainly on the few issues that attract its attention. Does this mean organized interests get what they want? Not necessarily - on most issues there is so little political activity that it hardly matters. Politics may be less of a battle between the public and organized interests than a struggle for attention. American society is so much more complex than it was when the Constitution was written that we may need to reconsider what it means, in fact, to be a democracy.
Call Number: JK1764 .B88 2014 (RHC)
Publication Date: 2014
Act of Congress by Robert G. KaiserAn eye-opening account of how Congress today really works--and doesn't--that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008. The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power. When Congress is broken--as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggest--so is our democracy. Here, Robert G. Kaiser, whose long and distinguished career at The Washington Post has made him as keen and knowledgeable an observer of Congress as we have, takes us behind the sound bites to expose the protocols, players, and politics of the House and Senate--revealing both the triumphs of the system and (more often) its fundamental flaws. Act of Congress tells the story of the Dodd-Frank Act, named for the two men who made it possible: Congressman Barney Frank, brilliant and sometimes abrasive, who mastered the details of financial reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who worked patiently for months to fulfill his vision of a Senate that could still work on a bipartisan basis. Both Frank and Dodd collaborated with Kaiser throughout their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to share every step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500-page law that transformed America's financial sector. Kaiser explains how lobbying affects a bill--or fails to. We follow staff members more influential than most senators and congressmen. We see how Congress members protect their own turf, often without regard for what might best serve the country--more eager to court television cameras than legislate on complicated issues about which many of them remain ignorant. Kaiser shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails. Act of Congress, as entertaining as it is enlightening, is an indispensable guide to a vital piece of our political system desperately in need of reform.
Call Number: HG181 .K25 2013 (DP)
Publication Date: 2013
The Oxford Handbook of the American Congress by Eric Schickler (Editor); Frances E. Lee (Editor)No legislature in the world has a greater influence over its nation's public affairs than the US Congress. The Congress's centrality in the US system of government has placed research on Congress at the heart of scholarship on American politics. Generations of American government scholars working in a wide range of methodological traditions have focused their analysis on understanding Congress, both as a lawmaking and a representative institution. The purpose ofthis volume is to take stock of this impressive and diverse literature, identifying areas of accomplishment and promising directions for future work.