Distinguished Professor Philip Abbott publishes new book


Dr. Philip Abbott, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, is one of the most prominent scholars at Wayne State University and is a nationally-recognized authority on American political thought and the American presidency. A member of the WSU Academy of Scholars, he is the author or editor of over 15 books, among which is his new work, Bad Presidents: Failure in the White House, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013. This innovative work reorients thinking about the presidency. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt are always at the top of presidential rankings. But what about those presidents who consistently appear at or near the bottom of these lists? Based on the insights found in Shakespeare's treatment of two bad kings, Professor Abbott identifies two kinds of bad presidents and examines the case for including eleven in this category. In each case study, from John Tyler to Richard Nixon (and possibly George W. Bush), he finds a tipping point that places them in this unenviable category. Dr. Abbott concludes by discussing why we elected these bad presidents in the first place and how we might avoid adding future bad presidents to the list. The work has received critical acclaim from notable academics such as Cal Jillson, (Professor of Political Science, Southern Methodist University): "Philip Abbott is one of the nation's leading presidency scholars. His edge is a deep historical understanding of executive power. We all know how much we learn from the study of great presidents, but Abbott has again surprised by showing us just how much there is to learn from a close and candid look at failed presidents."

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