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    By: Morton Keller

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    "Barack Obama came into office in the midst of one of the worst financial crises in American history and had to extract the US from two grinding foreign wars. He succeeded in enacting the most progressive legislative agenda since the Great Society years,and has pivoted American foreign policy toward East Asia. In The Obama Presidency, political historian Morton Keller provides the first major historical assessment of the still-unfolding Obama presidency, examining his presidential persona and governing style, his domestic and foreign policies, and his place in the larger context of modern American politics. Obama came into the presidency with a unique set of assets: the first African-American president, with a transformative, messianic view of what he hoped to accomplish as President; and the capacity to excite the hopes of large segments of the electorate. That expectation has been tempered not only by his Republican opposition, but by larger realities: the play of interests and contingency, and the institutional weight of the presidency. The major tension in Obama's presidency has been between his strong commitment to an active federal government and the powerful counter-forces in contemporary American public life. Obama is in a sense haunted by his presidential predecessors in the twentieth century Democratic reform tradition, and constantly either looks to them or invokes them. But he has had to contend with the unique set of difficulties surrounding the active, centralized, bureaucratic state in our time. The eventual outcome of Obama's presidency, and its place in the American political tradition, has still to be determined. But this pioneering attempt at a historical assessment of the Obama presidency highlights the tensions, achievements, and failures that are sure to influence future interpretations"--

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