You have successfully enrolled in The Ordinary University. Congratulations! Few have dreamed of this day, but many have achieved it!
As noted yesterday by Chancellor R. Tod Kelly, the first course on your schedule will be “The Presidency: An American Tyranny Two Centuries in the Making?” (or “Thanks a lot, Obama!”), offered through OU’s School of Asocial and Misbehavioral Sciences.
Following is the syllabus. The first lecture will be posted tomorrow, and I will try to post a new one each Monday, my real-life schedule permitting. The readings I use here are the same as I use in my for-real/for-credit Presidency course. When they are available on-line I will link to them. If you’re interested in the actual books, I have linked to a source for (relatively)inexpensive used copies. But I will do my best to explain them well enough that you can profit from this course without buying them.
The Ordinary University—Syllabus for U.S. Presidency
The two main books are:
- Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced, by Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg. (buy cheap)
- The Presidency and the Political System, Michael Nelson, ed. (buy, but not exactly cheap)
2. The 19th Century Presidency (“We Are the Mediocre Presidents”).
– Chapter 2, “Choosing Presidents,” of Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced, by Crenson and Ginsberg.
3. Re-envisioning the Presidency as the Tribune of the People
– “Woodrow Wilson and the Defense of Popular Leadership,” Chapter 9 in The American presidency: Origins and Development, 1776-2007, by Sidney M. Milkis, Michael Nelson. (buy cheap)
– “The Two Constitutional Presidencies,” Jeffrey Tulis, in The Presidency and the Political System
4. Institutional Change and the Modern Presidency–From Conventions to Primaries.
— “The Presidency and the Nominating Process,” by Lara Brown, in The Presidency and the Political System (ed. Nelson).
— Portions of chapters 3, 4 and 5 and 7 in Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced.
5. Institutional Change and the Modern Presidency–Growth in Executive Powers.
– Crenson & Ginsberg pp. 15-28 of chapter 1, and chapter 5.
6. The Institutional Presidency
– “The Institutional Presidency,” John Burke, in The Presidency and the Political System.
– “The Presidency and the Bureaucracy: The Levers of Presidential Control” David Lewis and Terry Moe, in The Presidency and the Political System.
7. The Impossible Demands of the Office
– “The Powers of the Presidency,” in The American Presidency, Clinton Rossiter. (buy cheap)
– “The Presidency and Its Paradoxes,” Thomas Cronin (Full article a href=“http://polis.wikispaces.com/file/view/Paradoxes+of+the+American+Presidency.pdf” target=“_blank”>here, list of paradoxes without explanation here.)
B. The Presidency in the Political System
8. Presidents and their Parties
– “The Presidency and Political Parties,” Sydney Milkis, in The Presidency and the Political System.
9. Congress and the Presidency
– “The President and Congress,” Matthew Dickinson, in The Presidency and the Political System.
10. The Presidency, the Press, and Spectacle
– “The Presidency and the Press: The Paradox of the White House Communications War” Lawrence Jacobs, in The Presidency and the Political System.
– “The Presidential Spectacle,” Bruce Miroff
C. The Imperial Presidency: Unchecked and Unbalanced
11. Presidential Selection
– “Making the President Imperial,” (Crenson & Ginsberg) Presidential Power: Unchecked and Unbalanced
– “The Presidency and the Nominating Process,” Richard Pious, in The Presidency and the Political System.
12. The Imperial Presidency
– “The Runaway Presidency,” Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
– “The Presidency and Unilateral Power, Andrew Rudalevige, in The Presidency and the Political System.
13. The Presidency and War
– “The Presidency at War,” Andrew Polsky, in The Presidency and the Political System.
– “The Clinton Theory of the War Power,” (David Gray Adler)
14. Concluding Thoughts
[Logo by Johanna.
Mascot information is here.]