Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era
Princeton University Press 2013
Joseph Nye‘s latest book is Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era (Princeton University Press, 2013). Professor Nye is University Distinguished Professor and former dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Nye’s long career and major contributions to scholarship on international relations and American foreign policy make this new book a welcome new publication.
He reaches some surprising conclusions about how to judge the leadership of former US presidents in the international arena. He writes “I conclude below that some presidents matter, but not always the ones who are most dramatic or inspiring” and continues “I found to my surprise that while transformational presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan changed how Americans see the world, transactional presidents like Dwight Eisenhower and George H. W. Bush were sometimes more effective and more ethical. I would not have come to this unconventional conclusion before I undertook this study.” It is these surprises that make this such a great read.