The Presidency and Domestic Policy: Comparing Leadership Styles, FDR to Obama

Presidency and Domestic PolicyGenovese (Loyola Marymount Univ.), Belt (Univ. of Hawaii, Hilo), and Lammers (Univ. of Southern California) examine and compare the domestic policy leadership styles and strategies of presidents since 1933; this new edition adds George W. Bush’s and Barack Obama’s presidencies. They assess presidents’ leadership styles and strategies for governing by looking at their approaches to advising processes and decision making, administrative strategies, public leadership, and congressional leadership. Importantly, the book considers presidential leadership in the context in which presidents serve, recognizing that presidents have different opportunities to lead based on the times in which they are in office. They thus categorize presidents based on the political environments they faced (high-opportunity presidents, moderate-opportunity presidents, and low-opportunity presidents), and evaluate their leadership and success based on their opportunities. They argue that, given their levels of opportunity, different presidents overachieved while others underachieved. Each president has one chapter dedicated to discussing his presidency, and each chapter follows the same format. The book is clearly written, easy to understand, and full of interesting anecdotes to help support its arguments.   R. L. Welch West Texas A&M University Copyright 2014 American Library Association.

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Children Living in Transition: Helping Homeless and Foster Care Children and Families

Children Living in TransitionSharing the daily struggles of children and families residing in transitional situations (homelessness or because of risk of homelessness, being connected with the child welfare system, or being new immigrants in temporary housing), this text recommends strategies for delivering mental health and intensive case-management services that maintain family integrity and stability. Based on work undertaken at the Center for the Vulnerable Child in Oakland, California, which has provided mental health and intensive case management to children and families living in transition for more than two decades, this volume outlines culturally sensitive practices to engage families that feel disrespected by the assistance of helping professionals or betrayed by their forgotten promises. Chapters discuss the Center’s staffers’ attempt to trace the influence of power, privilege, and beliefs on their education and their approach to treatment. Many U.S. children living in impoverished transitional situations are of color and come from generations of poverty, and the professionals they encounter are white, middle-class, and college-educated. The Center’s work to identify the influences or obstacles interfering with services for this target population is therefore critical to formulating more effective treatment, interaction, and care.

Student Assessment: Fast, Frequent and Formative

Student AssessmentIn this book, the author provides strategies and techniques, such as the use of graphic organizers, quick writes, and journaling, to be used as formative assessments. Specific information about each tool and recommendations for data analysis and implementation are provided, helping teachers to implement formative assessment effectively and efficiently and allow their students to “preset the reset button” and master the skills they need to be successful in the classroom.

Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

Manufactured Crisis “Manufactured Crisis provides unique and timely background to the ongoing diplomacy around Iran’s nuclear technology program. In it, award-winning investigative journalist Gareth Porter offers a well documented critique of the official ‘western’ account of what the Iranian government has been doing, and why. In Manufactured Crisis, Porter brings together the results of his many years of research into the issue–including numerous interviews with former insiders. He shows that the origins of the Iran nuclear “crisis” lay not in an Iranian urge to obtain nuclear weapons but, rather, in a sustained effort by the United States and its allies to deny Iran its right, as guaranteed in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to have any nuclear program at all. The book highlights the impact that the United States’ alliance with Israel had on Washington’s pursuit of its Iran policy and sheds new light on the US strategy of turning the International Atomic Energy Agency into a tool of its anti-Iran policy.” — Amazon.com

Timing and Turnout : How Off-Cycle Elections Favor Organized Groups

.Timing and Turnout

Public policy in the United States is the product of decisions made by more than 500,000 elected officials, and the vast majority of those officials are elected on days other than Election Day. And because far fewer voters turn out for off-cycle elections, that means the majority of officials in America are elected by a politically motivated minority of Americans. Sarah F. Anzia is the first to systemically address the effects of election timing on political outcomes, and her findings are eye-opening.
The low turnout for off-cycle elections, Anzia argues, increases the influence of organized interest groups like teachers’ unions and municipal workers. While such groups tend to vote at high rates regardless of when the election is held, the low turnout in off-cycle years enhances the effectiveness of their mobilization efforts and makes them a proportionately larger bloc. Throughout American history, the issue of election timing has been a contentious one. Anzia’s book traces efforts by interest groups and political parties to change the timing of elections to their advantage, resulting in the electoral structures we have today. Ultimately, what might seem at first glance to be mundane matters of scheduling are better understood as tactics designed to distribute political power, determining who has an advantage in the electoral process and who will control government at the municipal, county, and state levels.