Presidential misconduct From George Washington to today

C. Vann (Comer Vann) Woodward, 1908-1999

Book - 2019

"A reissue of the 1974 report for the House Committee on the Judiciary updated to cover presidents Nixon through Obama"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : New Press 2019.
Language
English
Item Description
"The introduction by C. Vann Woodward and the chapters from George Washington through Lyndon B. Johnson were originally published in the United States as Responses of the Presidents to Charges of Misconduct by Dell Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1974"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
xxxviii, 480 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781620975497
1620975491
Other Authors
C. Vann (Comer Vann) Woodward, 1908-1999 (writer of introduction)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Historian Banner presents here essays by notable historians about instances of presidential misconduct as well as misdeeds by members of each presidential administration, with no president exempt from close examination, even the chaste George Washington. Pages devoted to presidents Grant and Nixon naturally take up primacy of space in this rigorous account, which serves better as a reference source than a cover-to-cover read. The primary lesson learned here is that hints of corruption spring up both where anticipated as well as where least expected. This book is an updated version of a report commissioned in 1974 for the House Committee on the Judiciary. Its reissue and revision make it very suitable for most history and current-events collections. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Historian Banner presents here essays by notable historians about instances of presidential misconduct as well as misdeeds by members of each presidential administration, with no president exempt from close examination, even the chaste George Washington. Pages devoted to presidents Grant and Nixon naturally take up primacy of space in this rigorous account, which serves better as a reference source than a cover-to-cover read. The primary lesson learned here is that hints of corruption spring up both where anticipated as well as where least expected. This book is an updated version of a report commissioned in 1974 for the House Committee on the Judiciary. Its reissue and revision make it very suitable for most history and current-events collections. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A group of distinguished presidential historians, in a major publishing event, come together to chronicle the misdeeds and malfeasance of presidents Washington through Obama, offering unparalleled historical context for assessing the behavior of the Trump administration. 15,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A reissue of the 1974 report for the House Committee on the Judiciary updated to cover presidents Nixon through Obama"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Named a best book of the year by The Economist and Foreign Affairs

"A whole book devoted exclusively to the misconduct of American presidents and their responses to charges of misconduct is without precedent." —from the introduction to the 1974 edition by C. Vann Woodward, Pulitzer Prize–winning Yale historian

The historic 1974 report for the House Committee on the Judiciary, updated for today by leading presidential historians

In May 1974, as President Richard Nixon faced impeachment following the Watergate scandal, the House Judiciary Committee commissioned a historical account of the misdeeds of past presidents. The account, compiled by leading presidential historians of the day, reached back to George Washington's administration and was designed to provide a benchmark against which Nixon's misdeeds could be measured.

What the report found was that, with the exception of William Henry Harrison (who served less than a month), every American president has been accused of misconduct: James Buchanan was charged with rigging the election of 1856; Ulysses S. Grant was reprimanded for not firing his corrupt staffer, Orville Babcock, in the "Whiskey Ring" bribery scandal; and Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration faced repeated charges of malfeasance in the Works Progress Administration.

Now, as another president and his subordinates face an array of charges on a wide range of legal and constitutional offenses, a group of presidential historians has come together under the leadership of James M. Banner, Jr.—one of the historians who contributed to the original report—to bring the 1974 account up to date through Barack Obama's presidency. Based on current scholarship, this new material covers such well-known episodes as Nixon's Watergate crisis, Reagan's Iran-Contra scandal, Clinton's impeachment, and George W. Bush's connection to the exposure of intelligence secrets. But oft-forgotten events also take the stage: Carter's troubles with advisor Bert Lance, Reagan's savings and loan crisis, George H.W. Bush's nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, and Obama's Solyndra loan controversy.

The only comprehensive study of American presidents' misconduct and the ways in which chief executives and members of their official families have responded to the charges brought against them, this new edition is designed to serve the same purpose as the original 1974 report: to provide the historical context and metric against which the actions of the current administration may be assessed.