Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7425-6263-9 • Hardback • September 2011 • $121.00 • (£93.00)
978-0-7425-6264-6 • Paperback • December 2013 • $50.00 • (£38.00)
978-1-4422-1215-2 • eBook • September 2011 • $44.50 • (£34.00)
THOMAS PRESTON is C.O. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of The School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University. He is a faculty research associate at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, New York, and at CRISMART (The National Center for Crisis Management, Research, and Training) at the Swedish National Defense College, Stockholm, Sweden. His current research involves a number of projects on nuclear/biological weapons proliferation, presidential leadership and leader-adviser interactions in foreign policy decision making, and the psychology of bioterrorism. He frequently serves as a consultant for various U.S. governmental departments and agencies. Dr. Preston has published numerous articles and books, including From Lambs to Lions, The President and His Inner Circle, and Introduction to Political Psychology.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: A Tale of Two Texans: the Leadership Styles of George W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson
Chapter 3: The Politics of Blame Avoidance: Presidential Strategies for Surviving the Washington 'Blame Game'
Chapter 4: Opening Pandora's Box: Blame Avoidance, 9/11, and the Push for War with Iraq
Chapter 5: Opening Pandora's Box: Blame Avoidance During the Iraq War
Chapter 6: Bush and Iraq: Revisiting the Vietnam Analogy
Thomas Preston illuminates the unattractive underside of the making of U.S. foreign policy. He shows how and why the public face of some major decisions has diverged substantially from the inside reality.
— Paul R. Pillar, Georgetown University
Preston's work adds significantly to the key scholarly debate in presidential studies over whether institutional forces or idiosyncratic aspects of each president determine policy outcomes. The author argues that 'leaders matter!' Preston uses his earlier work on leadership style to compare the decision-making styles of Lyndon Johnson during Vietnam and George W. Bush during the Iraq War. Though the political contexts of Vietnam and Iraq differed greatly, the Johnson and G.W. Bush decision-making styles were similar enough--lack of foreign policy experience, lack of nuanced thinking, passionate belief that they were right, and insular decision making--that both followed a path to intervention. The book is theoretically elegant and empirically dense. Rooted in literature on cognitive styles, the theoretical structure is based on two frameworks. The first measures the leader's need for control and his prior experience in the policy area. The second measures the leader's sensitivity to context and conceptual complexity. Through this framework a typology of leadership styles is developed for use in comparing actual decision making in case studies, here Iraq and Vietnam. An outstanding contribution to the literature. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.
— Choice Reviews