The Presidential Power: The Politics of Leadership.

First edition of The Presidential Power: the politics of leadership; warmly inscribed by Richard Neustadt

The Presidential Power: The Politics of Leadership.

NEUSTADT, Richard.


Item Number: 117229

New York and London: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1960.

Rare first edition of Neustadt’s fundamental examination of presidential power, which upon publication immediately prompted John F. Kennedy to hire him as his advisor, speechwriter and confidante. Octavo, original half cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “For Lou Kushnick with warm regards and the hope that he’ll enjoy the career we got him into! Richard E. Neustadt November 26,1962.” The recipient Lou Kushnick is an academic specializing in race relations and a was a friend of the author. With Kushnick’s name in pencil to the front free endpaper, a few notes in the recipients hand, near fine in the rare original dust jacket which is in very good condition.

It was at Columbia University that Neustadt wrote the book Presidential Power, in which he examined the decision-making process at the highest levels of government. He argued that the President is actually rather weak in the U.S. government, being unable to effect significant change without the approval of the Congress, and that in practice the President must rely on a combination of personal persuasion, professional reputation "inside the Beltway", and public prestige to get things done. With his book appearing just before the election of John F. Kennedy, Neustadt soon found himself in demand by the President-elect, and began his advisory role with a 20-page memo suggesting things the President should and should not try to do at the beginning of his term. During the 1960s, Neustadt continued to advise Kennedy and later Lyndon B. Johnson.

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