IN THE SHADOW OF PRESIDENTS: The American Vice Presidency and Succession System by Michael Harwood

IN THE SHADOW OF PRESIDENTS: The American Vice Presidency and Succession System

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This throws the spotlight on the over-shadowed role of the American Vice President, with second-degree thoroughness. Each V.P. is handled separately, chronologically, and it's a surprisingly unfamiliar roster. The chapters are each introduced with a paragraph-long biographical entry; but the concentration is on the evolving methods of choosing the Vice-President, the influential political factors, the relationship between the President and his successor, and the ways in which the Vice- Presidents behaved and their contributions to the office. The major emphasis is on the frequency with which the insufficiencies of the Constitutional provisions for succession have almost led to national disaster. (The weak line of succession is capsulized here, too.) Incorporated in the book are discussions of the attempts which have been made to make the Constitutional succession clause more precise, ending with the Bayh Amendment which is currently before the states for ratification and which would resolve some of the problems relating to the designation of successors and the possibility of Presidential incompetence. This is a well-informed, well-organized handling of the problem and indirectly it reveals many of the realities of executive politics. Interested, civic-minded teenagers will be pleased with the approach and adults looking for a solid survey will find this useful too.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1966
Publisher: Lippincott