Cover

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Series Page, Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. i-v

CONTENTS

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pp. vi-vii

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PREFACE

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pp. viii-xv

...Washington as a founder of the republic and celebrated Jefferson and Jackson as champions of democracy, Whitman saw little in the recent history of the United States to make the power of the chief executive appealing. Indeed both conviction and experience made him suspicious of the popular...

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INTRODUCTION: “The Executive Disease”: Presidential Power and Literary Imagination

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pp. 1-32

...occasioned by his crime. He is frightened by the ruthlessness of the district attorney and by the bloodthirstiness of the press and the white public; shamed by the humiliation of his family and friends; angered by the manipulation of his mother’s minister; and unnerved by the friendship extended to him by his leftwing lawyer Boris Max and by Mary’s bereaved Communist...

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CHAPTER ONE: Masters of Their Constitution: Gertrude Stein and the Promise of Progressive Leadership

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pp. 33-66

...audience by confronting them with premises inconsistent with their own. Responding to journalists who were preoccupied by the historical evidence of the changing characteristics of life in the United States, Stein proposed instead a formal definition that implied the narrowness of the concerns of the press. Americans were Americans by citizenship; whatever they did they would...

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CHAPTER TWO: Governable Beasts: Hurston, Roth, and the New Deal

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pp. 67-99

...and, in the person of a policeman—who takes the child from the crowd and carries it back to the Schearl’s apartment—confronts his now broken father. Having attempted to kill his “false son” with his bare hands mere hours before, Albert, now “slack-mouthed” and “stooped,” humbly acknowledges to the cop who has entered his home, and to the neighborhood...

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CHAPTER THREE: The Myth of the Public Interest: Pluralism and Presidentialism in the Fifties

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pp. 100-138

...central to the social democratic writing that flourished during the thirties and early forties. Like much of the “new liberalism” that arose along with the ColdWar, the advice offered to Holden Caulfield by his former teacher Mr. Antolini seems a repudiation of the affective power of sacrifice. “The mark of the immature man,” Mr. Antolini says, “is that he wants...

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CHAPTER FOUR: Come Home, America: Vietnam and the End of the Progressive Presidency

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pp. 139-177

...reader is informed that the novel’s protagonist, a testosterone-charged Texas teenager named D.J., is due to ship out to Vietnam the following morning. Avoiding the banal concern with the details of public policy that he elsewhere dismissed as “housing projects of fact and issue,” Mailer instead...

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EPILOGUE: Philip Roth and the Waning and Waxing of Political Time

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pp. 178-196

...also dramatized an understanding of the condition of the federal government that had gained increasing prominence among political scientists and public intellectuals over the previous two decades. If at one time, the visions of activist government and presidential leadership advanced by the likes of James McGregor Burns and Richard Neustadt earned widespread assent...

Notes

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pp. 197-242

Index

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pp. 243-248