The Clinton Presidency: First Appraisals

Colin Campbell, Author, Bert A. Rockman, Joint Author
Colin Campbell, Author, Bert A. Rockman, Joint Author Chatham House Publishers $30 (416p) ISBN 978-1-56643-013-5
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-1-56643-014-2
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Four years ago, the editors offered a midterm evaluation of the Bush presidency. Now, in this anthology, a dozen political scientists assess the successes and failures of the Clinton presidency and the structural obstacles Clinton faced upon entering office. The contributors look critically at Clinton's reliance on public opinion polls, his management of the White House, his inclination to try to please too many conflicting interest groups and his foreign policy, but they are more forgiving of his inability to loosen Congressional gridlock and even praise his handling of the economy. The essays are somewhat repetitive, as several contributors rehearse the same events of Clinton's first two years in office to illustrate their points about his governing style. This brand of political science is only two steps removed from journalism. Unfortunately, those steps appear to be accessibility and lively writing, while the play-by-play approach of some of the contributors sometimes obscures the big picture. Still, the anthology's exhaustiveness makes it useful for anyone trying to make sense of Clinton's struggles in office. (Oct.)
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