Higher Education

The Modern Presidency, 6th Edition

  • James P. Pfiffner George Mason University
  • ISBN-10: 0495802778  |  ISBN-13: 9780495802778
  • 304 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2008, 2005, 2000
  • © 2011 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $86.50
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THE MODERN PRESIDENCY is a concise, accessible and sophisticated text that uses cases to illustrate important aspects of presidential action and decision-making. Written by a top scholar on the presidency and thoroughly updated through the summer of 2009 to include the presidency of Barack Obama, the book looks at presidents as individuals and at the large institutions that make up the modern presidency.

Features and Benefits

  • The text provides a concise, 'nuts-and-bolts' approach to the study of the American Presidency from FDR through Barack Obama.
  • Two- to four-page "Case Studies" on Presidential confrontations with Congress illustrate important aspects of presidential action and decision-making.

Table of Contents

1. The Presidency: Origins and Powers.
2. The President and the Public.
3. The White House Staff and Organization.
4. The White House and Executive Branch.
5. The President and Congress.
6. The President and National Security.
7. Presidential Greatness and Abuse of Power.

What's New

  • Section on the 2008 nomination campaigns in Democratic and Republican parties, additional analysis of primaries and caucuses.
  • Chapters Four and Five were Merged into one Chapter Four: "The White House and Executive Branch."
  • New section on Bush and commander in chief power as compared with Watergate, Iran-Contra, Clinton impeachment, as abuse of power.

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: The Road to the White House 2012, 9th + The Modern Presidency, 6th

ISBN-10: 1133224229 | ISBN-13: 9781133224228

List Price = $224.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $166.50

This Bundle Includes:

  • The Road to the White House 2012
    List Price = $116.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $87.75
  • The Modern Presidency
    List Price = $114.95  | CengageBrain Price = $114.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $86.50

Efficacy and Outcomes


"The Modern Presidency is a fine book for covering the institutional presidency and providing historical context of the modern presidency....Perhaps most important, The Modern Presidency is built on a foundation of scholarship but updated with more journalistic accounts interpreted by Pfiffner, who integrates recent events into a long-standing framework." Wayne Steger, DePaul University

— Wayne Steger

"Students who read this book will emerge with a working knowledge of the office and the tools to understand its evolving role and place in our nation....This book is a winner in every way!"David Gray Adler, Idaho State University

— David Gray Adler

"The integration of detail into thematic chapters was impressive to me." -Julia R. Azari, Marquette University

— Julia R. Azari

Meet the Author

Author Bio

James P. Pfiffner

James P. Pfiffner is a University Professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He has also taught at the University of California, Riverside and California State University, Fullerton. He has written or edited ten books on the presidency, including THE STRATEGIC PRESIDENCY: HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING, 2nd Edition ( 1996) and THE CHARACTER FACTOR: HOW WE JUDGE AMERICA'S PRESIDENTS (2004). He has also published more than 80 articles and book chapters on the presidency, American government, and public management. As an elected member of the National Academy of Public Administration, he has been a panel member or on project staffs of the National Commission on the Public Service (the Volcker Commission), the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Center for the Study of the Presidency.