Fishman argues that the model of political leadership based on the concept of prudence that Aristotle introduced 2300 years ago remains the most realistic and comprehensive paradigm available for comprehending the qualities necessary for American presidents to succeed in office. Aristotle is compared with such influential presidential scholars as Richard Neustadt, James David Barber, and George Edwards III. Aristotle's theory is also applied to critical presidential decisions from Washington to Clinton. Fishman's analysis of leading theories of the presidency reveals that Aristotle's model of prudent political leadership most efficiently accounts for presidential behavior.
Fishman reviews practical aspects of the presidency from the perspective of the history of Western political philosophy. While there has been much talk about the need for research that builds a bridge between political theory and empirical observations, Fishman is among the few to fulfill that interdisciplinary goal. This book is a provocative analysis for scholars, students, and other researchers dealing with the American presidency and political philosophy.
About the Author:
ETHAN M. FISHMAN is Professor of Political Science at the University of South Alabama. His research deals with the application of classical Western concepts to American politics. Among his publications are Likely Stories: Essays on Political Philosophy and Contemporary American Fiction, Public Policy and the Public Good, and George Washington: Foundation of Presidential Leadership and Character edited with Mark Rozell and William Pederson.