THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY by Harold J. Laski
Kirkus Star

THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

With the impetus of the Book of the Month Club selection, and the assured space in the press the book will receive, we are placing this book here. It is a brilliant, theoretical interpretation of the institution of the American Presidency, but we hold this reservation as to its popularity -- it is too intellectual a book for the layman. Laski analyzes the Presidency, that ""strange amalgam of monarchy and parliamentarism"" over the perspective of the whole history of the United States. He shows historically that as an institution the presidency has changed with the needs of the different periods through which this country has gone. The five most critical periods have produced our greatest leaders, from Washington to Roosevelt. In the present Laski deals at some lengths with the President's relations to the Court and Congress, showing how the Constitution inevitably creates a clash of interest between the President and Congress, impairing the President's ability to act at times of greatest need. He admires Roosevelt for having made his office one of great leadership and power, despite the checks of the Court and Congress, and advocating the responsibility of the President to the people rather than to any fixed group. Controversial, no doubt -- but an incisive, learned critical commentary.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1940
Publisher: Harper