Why Presidents Fail takes a fresh look at cases that became defining events in presidencies from Dwight D. Eisenhower through George W. Bush and uses these cases to draw generalizations about presidential power, authority, rationality, and legitimacy. Rather than assigning blame for past failures, this book focuses on why presidents fail and how future presidents might avoid making these same disastrous mistakes.
Richard M. Pious is Adolf S. and Effie E. Ochs Professor of American Studies in the political science department at Barnard College and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Presidential Fiascoes Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Reputation: Eisenhower and the U-2 Flights Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Power Stakes: Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Compellence: Johnson and the Vietnam Escalation Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Command: Ford and the Mayaguez Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Rhetoric: Carter and the Energy Crisis Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Prerogative: Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair Chapter 8 Chapter 7. Gamesmanship: Bush and the Budget Chapter 9 Chapter 8. Program Innovation: Clinton and Health Care Chapter 10 Chapter 9. Parallel Governance: Bush and Iraqi WMD Chapter 11 Chapter 10. Presidents Unbound: Crises of Authority and Legitimacy Chapter 12 Chapter 11. Risk and Resilience: Toward a White House Learning Curve