The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power

By Gene Healy - Rating: 6/10

This book analyzes America’s proclivity towards an ever expansive and powerful executive branch—admittedly not the most exciting read. As one might expect, there’s plenty in here documenting the post 9/11 Bush White House’s power grabs. That’s fine, but I was expecting it to delve a little more deeply into public expectations of our Presidents. Do you really think the guy sitting in the Oval Office can create jobs? Change gas prices? End our social ills? I don’t think so, but since the Progressive era, each subsequent executive has grabbed more and more power in the name of fixing these things and Congress has more or less stood by while their powers were stripped. Despite the Bush-centric core of the book, it does make it clear that that administration’s actions were in no way atypical. The foundation was set with T. Roosevelt and kicked into high gear with Wilson and FDR. I now have a new respect for Calvin Coolidge.

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