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Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents

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3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  10 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy-most would agree their presidencies were among the most successful in American history. But what made these very different men such effective leaders? According to presidential historian Gil Troy, these presidents succeeded not because of their bold political visions, but ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Basic Books (first published June 9th 2008)
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Erik
Mar 03, 2009 Erik rated it really liked it
An articulate, objective bit of research probing a question we've heard for the last eight years, "Where's the center?"

In his pursuit of the question, Troy was close to getting five stars from me. The problem lies in the fact that Troy does not explain his premise well. "Center" in the political context tends to refer to the center of the spectrum between the extremes. However, you'll find that this is far too narrow a definition as time goes on.

"Center," in Troy's context, refers to any center
...more
Joe Rodeck
Mar 22, 2013 Joe Rodeck rated it really liked it
Unexpected high ratings for George Washington and JFK. And I now have a much higher opinion of FDR.

Not expected: scathing reviews of LBJ and Clinton, both whom I considered to be at least highly capable politicians.

Upshot: You can count decent American presidents on two hands. Most were useless or worse.

Complaints. Troy should have followed his own wisdom and had a history expert review this book for possible oversights before publication. Ex. In a book about making tough decisions, how can
...more
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Gil Troy is the author of "The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s" to be published October 6 by Thomas Dunne Books of St. Martin's Press. An American presidential historian and a regular columnist for the Daily Beast, this will be his eleventh book. He is Professor of History at McGill University and will be in Washington DC this fall as a Visting Scholar at the Brookings Institution. Troy wrote ...more
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