The Nature and Limits of Presidential Power: An Analysis

History / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
A review of Richard Neustadt’s 1964 work,` Presidential Power,` which examines the real sources and uses of American presidential power.

`In his 1964 work, Presidential Power, Richard Neustadt, a former aide of President Harry Truman, examines the power of the President as an individual. Neustadt asserts that the President indeed possesses great power as an individual. For not only does the President have significant formal powers, but the most influential power of a President, asserts Neustadt, is the power of the President to persuade others. Because of this, claims Neustadt, the President must maintain an excellent reputation, both with his political cronies in Washington and with the general public, for the President’s power to persuade is reflected in others’ perception of him. Throughout the book, Neustadt refers to three main examples to analyze the nature of Presidential power. His first example is President Truman’s 1951 dismissal of General MacArthur, Truman’s 1952 seizure of the steel mills, and Eisenhower’s 1958 dispatching of forces to secure the integration of Little Rock’s schools. `

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