David Priess' HOW TO GET RID OF A PRESIDENT
Please join us for a reading and discussion with David Priess, author of How to Get Rid of a President: History's Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives!
In America, the simplest and cleanest way to get rid of a president is to vote out the incumbent and promote someone else to the highest government office—and it has happened to ten of the first forty-five presidents. But sometimes the easy route isn’t an option...
In HOW TO GET RID OF A PRESIDENT, former CIA daily intelligence briefer and author of The Presidents Book of Secrets DAVID PRIESS shows that just as the presidency has grown in power over the last 200 years, so have the means by which the American people can either curtail a president’s authority or remove him or her from office entirely. During that time, the US has developed several safety valves through which unpopular, unable, or unfit leaders could be flushed—some constitutional, others less so.
Presidents have been (or can be) ousted by voters, rejected by their own parties, removed in place by opponents or subordinates, dismissed pre-emptively, displaced by death, taken out by force, declared unable to serve, or impeached and removed. Though the US has gone decades without assassination or resignation, the ability to get rid of a president—or a potential president—remains a political reality. Just ask not president Hillary Clinton.
HOW TO GET RID OF A PRESIDENT presents the dark side of the nation's history, from the Constitutional Convention through the aftermath of the shocking 2016 election. Priess documents a stew of election dramas, national tragedies, and presidential exits—all rife with party intrigue, political betrayal, and backroom scheming—in this briskly paced, darkly humorous narrative. As he discusses the myriad ways presidents have been undermined and expelled from office, he questions how each case offers opportunities and dangers for the republic, and the thorny ethical issues that surround the choice to resist, disobey, or eject a president.
Priess argues that the overwhelming focus that politicians, pundits, and scholars put on electing leaders needs to be balanced by attention to the odd mix of elegant and distasteful ways those leaders have left office. There may be pomp and circumstance attending the arrival of new presidents, but the more lasting lessons about the health and happiness of the body politic can be found in the nature and style of their departures.
DAVID PRIESS is author of the The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents. He has a PhD in Political Science from Duke University and served at the CIA during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as an intelligence officer, manager, and daily intelligence briefer and at the State Department. Priess writes, speaks, and appears often on broadcast media about the presidency and national security.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 6:00pm
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - November 13th, 2018
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