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Mr. President by Ray Raphael
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Mr. President

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Mr. President by Ray Raphael
Paperback $16.00
Jan 22, 2013 | ISBN 9780307742384

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    Jan 22, 2013 | ISBN 9780307742384

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  • Mar 06, 2012 | ISBN 9780307958563

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“In Mr. President, historian Ray Raphael explores the birth and early molding of the presidency. The journey is an illuminating one, throwing off wisdom that resonates as the nation prepares to choose its president again. . . . Mr. President provides a rich harvest of insights for reflection during the next five months of political bloodletting.” —The Washington Post

“In Mr. President, Raphael . . . provides a careful, engaging and at times surprising account of the origins and early evolution of what is now the most powerful political office in the world. . . . Mr. President also presents lively and lucid lessons in civics.”  —Glenn Altschuler, Tulsa World
“In a time when many find themselves questioning the efficacy of the presidency (seemingly regardless of party affiliation), the eligibility of future candidates, and the efficiency of the election process, a look back at the origins of the highest office in the U.S. is particularly timely. In this engaging narrative, Raphael elucidates the goings-on of the Federal Convention. . . . Meticulously detailed and thoroughly researched—Raphael cites the papers of many icons of the nation’s birth, such as Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin—this is a valuable read for Democrats and Republicans, as well as historians and those interested in contemporary American politics.” —Publishers Weekly
“Far from dryly legalistic, Raphael’s presentation, with its context of the partisan 1790’s, ensures the avid interest of early-republic buffs.” —Gilbert Taylor, Booklist
“Renowned historian Raphael delivers an authoritative biography of the Constitutional Convention and the herculean task faced by the representatives. . . .  Raphael’s exceptional history of the beginning years of the United States should be required reading, especially in an election year.” —Kirkus (*starred review*)

“[A]n insightful narrative. . . . The author’s lucid treatment explores in grand detail how delegates . . . constructed what became the most powerful office is US politics. . . .  Raphael’s superb study is well suited as a general introduction to the topic.”  —CHOICE

“It’s not easy to find something new to say about the most powerful office in the world. Ray Raphael succeeds through the ingenious expedient of taking us back to the time when we had a country but no president, and reminding us how much work it took to fill that void. All fans of presidential history will need this book.” –Ted Widmer, Director, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University and author of Ark of the Liberties: America and the World

“This is a fascinating and fresh narrative that takes the reader from the fierce debates establishing the federal executive at the Constitutional Convention through Thomas Jefferson’s election which tested the framers’ handiwork. It makes you wonder why it’s never been told before.” –Joyce Appleby, author of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism

“Ray Raphael’s Mr. President presents to the reader a careful, lively, and in many respects, wholly surprising history of the origins and early development of the American presidency. His analysis of the years immediately preceding the Constitutional Convention of 1787 helps us understand better why the job of creating an American presidency was such a difficult one for the framers; and his meticulous examination of the records of the Convention yields a wholly novel conclusion: the man who played the most important role in determining the character of America’s executive branch was not James Madison or James Wilson, but the flamboyant, outspoken delegate from Pennsylvania, Gouverneur Morris. This book will command the attention of both professional historians and the general reader for decades to come.” –Richard Beeman, author of Plain Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution

“Ray Raphael’s Mr. President is a brilliant analysis of why our Founding Fathers thought a Chief Executive was necessary for the American democratic experiment to flourish. The shrill arguments between Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Mason (and other law wizards) are recounted in these pages in vivid detail. A classic work of history!” –Douglas Brinkley, Professor of History at Rice University, author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America

Table Of Contents

Prologue: A Pregnant Moment 

PART I: Precedents (for better and mostly worse)

1. “Little Gods on Earth”: Monarchs and Their Governors
2. Revolution and the Retreat from Executive Authority

PART II: Conjuring the Office

3. First Draft
4. Second Guesses
5. Gouverneur Morris’s Final Push 

PART III: Field Tests

6. Selling the Plan
7. The Launch
8. Washington and the Challenge to Transcendent Leadership
9. System Failure: Partisan Politics and the Election of 1800
10. Jefferson Stretches the Limits

Epilogue: Then and Now—Translations

Postscript: Why the Story Has Not Been Told

A Note on Capitalization

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