A new book by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Presidents Creating the Presidency: Deeds Done in Words (University of Chicago), was previewed in a recent issue of Publishers Weekly. The book is an update of a 1990 volume written by the authors.
An excerpt from the Publishers Weekly blurb follows: Campbell and Jamieson argue that the powers and parameters of the presidency are negotiated through rhetoric. “The institutions of our government constitute an experiment in rhetorical adaptation in which the initiatives of any one branch can be modified and refined by the reactions of the others,” write the authors, providing fascinating examples of how each president has expanded or contracted the powers of the executive branch. In this updated version, the authors have made significant structural changes to their 1990 book, adding sections on national eulogies, Clinton and Bush’s oratory, and “de facto item vetoes” (presidential statements that accompany and modify legislation passed by Congress).