The New York Times on the Presidency, 1853-2008
This exciting volume offers a unique perspective on the Oval Office. The first title in an imprint that pairs expert political analysis with rich historical news coverage, The New York Times on the Presidency is a fascinating reference book that uses nearly 150 years of New York Times’ reporting to explore the dynamic nature of the presidency in the American political system. Presidential scholar Meena Bose has selectively chosen a variety of news articles, editorials, and data from The Times for which she has written context-providing narrative that discusses the key issues, leadership challenges, and turning points in each president’s administration, from Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) through George W. Bush (2001-2008). The New York Times on the Presidency provides readers with insight into the stories ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Chapter 1: The Presidency of Franklin Pierce, March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
- Chapter 2: The Presidency of James Buchanan, March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861
- Chapter 3: The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
- Chapter 4: The Presidency of Andrew Johnson, April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
- Chapter 5: The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
- Chapter 6: The Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes, March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
- Chapter 7: The Presidency of James A. Garfield, March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
- Chapter 8: The Presidency of Chester A. Arthur, September 20, 1881 – March 4, 1885
- Chapter 9: The Presidency of Grover Cleveland, March 4, 1885 – March 4, 1889, March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897
- Chapter 10: The Presidency of Benjamin Harrison, March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893
- Chapter 11: The Presidency of William McKinley, March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
- Chapter 12: The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
- Chapter 13: The Presidency of William Howard Taft, March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
- Chapter 14: The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921
- Chapter 15: The Presidency of Warren G. Harding, March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
- Chapter 16: The Presidency of Calvin Coolidge, August 3, 1923 – March 4, 1929
- Chapter 17: The Presidency of Herbert Hoover, March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
- Chapter 18: The Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
- Chapter 19: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
- Chapter 20: The Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
- Chapter 21: The Presidency of John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
- Chapter 22: The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
- Chapter 23: The Presidency of Richard Nixon, January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
- Chapter 24: The Presidency of Gerald Ford, August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
- Chapter 25: The Presidency of Jimmy Carter, January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
- Chapter 26: The Presidency of Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
- Chapter 27: The Presidency of George H. W. Bush, January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
- Chapter 28: The Presidency of Bill Clinton, January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
- Chapter 29: The Presidency of George W. Bush, January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
Copyright by Sage Publications, Inc.
About the Editorial Cartoons in The New York Times on the Presidency
Franklin Pierce: Whig presidential candidate Gen. Winfield Scott pulls the “Presidential Chair” out from under Democrat Franklin Pierce in this Currier cartoon, exclaiming “Sorry to disappoint you Pierce, but the people wish me, to take this chair.” Although Franklin Pierce won only a slim majority of the popular vote, he won decisively in the Electoral College (see Cartoon).
James Buchanan: The only president never to be married, James Buchanan is shown in this 1856 Currier cartoon repairing his coat, which references his lack of family, his 1828 conversion from a Federalist to a Democrat, and U.S. designs on annexing Cuba in the 1850s (see Cartoon).
Abraham Lincoln: After losing to Stephen A. Douglas in a race for the U.S. Senate in 1858, Abraham Lincoln faced him in the 1860 presidential election. In this 1860 cartoon, Douglas and Lincoln are shown sparring in front of the White House (see Cartoon).
Andrew Johnson: A bedraggled Andrew Johnson holds a leaking teapot representing the post–Civil War South in this 1866 cartoon. Columbia, cradling a baby representing the yet-to-be ratified 14th Amendment, encourages haste in Johnson's Reconstruction policies (see Cartoon).
Ulysses S. Grant: Cartoonist Joseph Keppler presents Ulysses S. Grant clutching a “Whiskey Ring” and a “Navy Ring” (references to scandals during his presidency) while supporting members of his administration associated with corruption (see Cartoon).
Rutherford B. Hayes: Contrasting the aggressive Reconstruction policies of Grant with those of Rutherford B. Hayes, James Wales shows Hayes plowing under a carpetbag and bayonets while agricultural commerce thrives in the background. Hayes ended military rule in the South, thereby bringing an end to Reconstruction. [The original cartoon appeared juxtaposed with a view of Grant riding a carpetbag filled with bayonets and other weapons.] (see Cartoon.)
James A. Garfield: Frederick Opper shows former president Hayes (dressed as a woman fleeing around the corner) leaving a screaming baby labeled “Civil Service Reform” on President James A. Garfield's doorstep in this 1881 cartoon. Civil service reform was a major priority for Hayes and remained so for Garfield (see Cartoon).
Chester A. Arthur: Joseph Keppler depicts Chester A. Arthur as a showman attempting to satisfy all of the divergent factions of his Republican Party, shortly after assuming the presidency in 1881. Despite implications of patronage, Arthur continued his predecessors' fight for civil service reform (see Cartoon).
Grover Cleveland: In Frank Beard's 1884 cartoon, Glover Cleveland holds his ears as he runs by a child who cries, “I want my Pa.” Cleveland came under fire during the election for having fathered a child out of wedlock (see Cartoon).
Benjamin Harrison: In this 1890 parody of Poe's “The Raven,” Joseph Keppler depicts Benjamin Harrison dwarfed by an enormous hat, with a burst of sunshine illuminating the classical bust of his grandfather, President William Henry Harrison. His secretary of state, James Blaine, perches atop the bust as the raven (see Cartoon).
William McKinley: In this 1899 cartoon, Grant Hamilton shows William McKinley swatting at a mosquito representing General Emilio Aguinaldo, who led Filipino forces against the United States following the Spanish-American War (see Cartoon).
Theodore Roosevelt: Depicted here by cartoonist Louis Dalrymple as a globe-dominating policeman swinging his big stick of “New Diplomacy,” Theodore Roosevelt became known for acting first and sorting out the details later (see Cartoon).
William Howard Taft: As Theodore Roosevelt left the White House in the hands of his successor, it was expected that William Howard Taft would continue Roosevelt's bold and progressive agenda. In this 1909 cartoon by S.D. Ehrhart, Roosevelt leaves Taft with his policy baby—who bears a strong resemblance to Roosevelt—at the White House steps (see Cartoon).
Woodrow Wilson: Although in the end staunch Republican opposition prevented U.S. ratification of a “general association of nations,” Woodrow Wilson is shown here roosting on the League of Nations, an organization for which he campaigned tirelessly (see Cartoon).
Warren G. Harding: Following the international turmoil of World War I, Warren G. Harding promised a “return to normalcy.” Here, Rollin Kirby references Harding's “America First” speech, in which he spoke of “patriotic devotion” and the need to focus on U.S. interests. The sign refers to Sen. Boies Penrose, R-Pa., whose support helped Harding win the 1920 nomination (see Cartoon).
Calvin Coolidge: Rollin Kirby highlights Calvin Coolidge's involvement in Latin American affairs in this 1928 cartoon. Coolidge not only attended the Pan-American Conference in Havana, but also continued U.S. military involvement in Nicaragua to quell violence and allow for national elections (see Cartoon).
Herbert Hoover: Otto Soglow depicts Herbert Hoover looking on as World War I veterans march through Washington. Hoover was strongly criticized for his handling of the 1932 “Bonus March,” during which veterans who demanded early payment of their bonuses were teargassed and forcibly removed from makeshift quarters by the army (see Cartoon).
Franklin D. Roosevelt: In 1937 Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to increase the number of Supreme Court justices to as many as fifteen in hopes of establishing a more administration- friendly bench. The proposal faced staunch public disapproval and congressional opposition, as evidenced in this cartoon (see Cartoon).
Harry S. Truman: This Clifford Berryman cartoon reflects the prevailing notion that Thomas Dewey would beat Harry S. Truman in the 1948 election (see Cartoon).
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Dwight D. Eisenhower is simply looking on as the “Civil Rights Crisis” burns, in this 1956 Herb Block cartoon. Although he was not an active proponent of civil rights reform, Eisenhower dispatched the National Guard to enforce school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 (see Cartoon).
Richard Nixon: John Pierotti depicts Richard Nixon lamenting the growing Watergate investigation. In 1973 Nixon's counsel, John Dean, agreed to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee (see Cartoon).
Jimmy Carter: Parodying artist Grant Wood's painting “American Gothic,” Mike Peters presents Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn in place of the farmer and his wife—with the White House as the backdrop (see Cartoon).
George H.W. Bush: The savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s resulted in a substantial federal bailout of failing financial institutions. In this 1990 Herb Block cartoon, George H.W. Bush is depicted as providing an insufficient solution to the crisis (see Cartoon).
George W. Bush: Cartoonist Gary Markstein shows George W. Bush as a (lame) duck flying from the White House (see Cartoon).
About TimesReference from CQ Press
The books in the TimesReference from CQ Press series present unique documentary histories on a range of topics. The lens through which the histories are viewed is the original reporting of The New York Times and its many generations of legendary reporters.
Each book consists of documents selected from The New York Times newspaper accompanied by original narrative written by a scholar or content expert that provides context and analysis. The documents are primarily news articles, but also include editorials, op ed essays, letters to the editor, columns, and news analyses. Some are presented with full text; others, because of length, have been excerpted. Ellipses indicate omitted text. Using the headline and date as search criteria, readers can find the full text of all articles in The Times' online Archive at nytimes.com, which includes all of The Times' articles since the newspaper began publication in 1851.
The Internet age has revolutionized the way news is delivered, which means that there is no longer only one version of a story. Today, breaking news articles that appear on The Times' Web site are written to provide up-to-the-minute coverage of an event and therefore may differ from the article that is published in the print edition. Content may also differ between early and late editions of the day's printed paper. As such, some discrepancies between these versions may be present in these volumes.
The books are illustrated with photographs and other types of images. While most of these appeared in the print and/or online edition of the paper, not all were created by The Times, which, like many newspapers, relies on wire services for photographs. There are also editorial features in these books that did not appear in The Times—they were created or selected by CQ Press to enhance the documentary history being told. For example, in The New York Times on the Presidency, we chose an editorial cartoon and a created a quick fact box for each president.
[Page xii]Readers will note that many articles are introduced by several levels of headlines—especially in pieces from the paper's early years. This was done to emphasize the importance of the article. For very important stories, banner headlines stretch across the front page's many columns; every attempt has been made to include these with the relevant articles. Over the years, The Times added datelines and bylines at the beginning of articles.
Typographical and punctuation errors are the bane of every publisher's existence. Because all of the documents included in this book were re-typeset, CQ Press approached these problems in several different ways. Archaic spellings from the paper's early days appear just as they did in the original documents (for example, “employe” rather than “employee”). CQ Press corrected minor typographical errors that appeared in the original articles to assist readers' comprehension. In some cases, factual or other errors have been marked [sic]; where the meaning would be distorted, corrections have been made in brackets where possible. In addition, for clarity, CQ Press has italicized the names of ships, airplanes, publications, and the like, even though that is not “newspaper” style.About the Author
Meena Bose is the Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies at Hofstra University, where she teaches courses on the U.S. presidency, politics, and foreign policy. She has written or coedited several books, including Classic Ideas and Current Issues in American Government (2007), The Uses and Abuses of Presidential Ratings (2003), From Cold War to New World Order: The Foreign Policy of George H. W. Bush (2002), and Shaping and Signaling Presidential Policy: The National Security Decision Making of Eisenhower and Kennedy (1998). She is a contributor to American Government: Institutions and Policies, 11th ed. (2008) by James Q. Wilson and John J. DiIulio Jr. Her current research focuses on the changing role of the United Nations in American foreign policy.
For more than 150 years, The New York Times has covered American politics and the American presidency. Since 1851, when the paper was called the New-York Daily Times, it has reported on the activities of presidential campaigns, recorded significant details of historic events such as presidential inaugurations, and followed the frequently tumultuous tussle among presidents, their advisers, Congress, interest groups, and others over policymaking. Both in the early days and more recently, the coverage has sparked controversy over issues ranging from the abolition of slavery to the Vietnam War to government surveillance of suspected terrorists since the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001. Despite sometimes heated criticism from government officials and other sources, The Times is indisputably recognized today as the essential locus of information on presidential politics.
The purpose of this volume is to trace the evolution of the American presidency through the lens of The Times’ coverage. The book examines every presidential administration that the paper has followed from start to finish, beginning with the successful candidacy of Franklin Pierce in 1852 and continuing through the influence of the George W. Bush presidency on the 2008 presidential election. In so doing, it illustrates the rise of the president as the central figure in American politics as well as the expansion of the institution of the presidency.
As U.S. responsibilities have developed both domestically and internationally, so, too, has presidential authority expanded to encompass those expectations. The growth of presidential power is not strictly linear. After the strong leadership asserted by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, executive initiative was less evident for the rest of the nineteenth century. But the vast and enduring expansion of presidential responsibilities in the twentieth century, beginning with the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which is widely recognized as the advent of the “modern presidency,” is unmistakable.
Tracking The Times’ coverage of the American presidency requires some understanding of the history of the paper itself. The Times was founded in 1851 by a banker, George Jones, and a reporter, Henry J. Raymond, who was its first publisher. Raymond helped to create the [Page 2]Republican Party in the 1850s; he also served in the New York State Assembly, as lieutenant governor of New York, and in Congress. He was a strong supporter of President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. After Raymond's death, Jones became publisher, and during his tenure The Times gained prominence for its exposure of corruption in the New York City political machine known as Tammany Hall.
In 1896 Adolph Ochs purchased the paper, and this event began the evolution of The Times as the leading chronicler in American journalism. Ochs added the famous motto “All the News That's Fit to Print,” which still graces the front page of the paper today. Ochs's descendants, whether by marriage or birth, have continued to manage The Times, and the current publisher is his great-grandson, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
The Times’ reporting on American chief executives reveals some important transitions in the presidency that coincided with critical periods in American politics. The first period starts with the paper's founding before the Civil War and continues to the 1896 presidential campaign. The second begins with the successful candidacy of President William McKinley, who presided over the rise of the United States as a global power, and goes through the depths of despair during the Great Depression in the Herbert Hoover administration. The third follows the unprecedented four presidential terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt and continues into the divisive debates over the Vietnam War in the Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon administrations. The fourth period commences with the conclusion of Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal during the Nixon presidency and continues through the current controversies over the George W. Bush administration's actions in combating terrorism and waging the Iraq War.The Early Years
From the outset, The Times combined factual reporting with keen observation and analysis, particularly for momentous events in the American presidency. Before Franklin Pierce's inauguration in 1853, for example, the president-elect and his wife experienced a horrific tragedy in which their young son died in a railway accident. The Times reporter conveyed the news poignantly, noting that the boy “was a fine little fellow.” He also wrote in the first person, “I glean this information …”—even though bylines typically were not included at the time. We do find exceptions to the byline rule, such as the vivid portrayal of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 titled “Our Special Army Correspondence” and prepared by Mr. Lorenzo L. Crounse, one of The Times’ chief correspondents in the Civil War. His first-person account traced the three days of the battle, recounting “the ferocity and desperation with which it was fought by both armies.”
Many of the documents selected from this period are editorials. They stand out because of their incisive summary of events combined with crisply strong, sometimes passionate, commentary. The editorial about Lincoln's second inaugural address, for example, which was published after his assassination, describes the speech as “earnest, humane, truly but not technically religious, filled with forgiveness and good will.” In some cases, documents are identified as articles in The Times’ database, but appear to be editorials, such as the March 6, 1869, selection titled “President Grant's Cabinet,” which declares, “The Cabinet is eminently and evidently one of the President's own selection.”
Letters to the editor vary in length and often reveal as much about the writer as they do about the subject. An 1860 letter from a minister presents seven reasons why he endorses Lincoln for president, including his view that the candidate “is a fair man in ability, up to the average of our Presidents hitherto.” Fifteen years later, a letter writer strongly opposes a third term for President Ulysses S. Grant: “Twice I voted for Gen. Grant. That's enough! I wouldn't give a third term to George Washington himself.”
In its early years The Times was considered a Republican paper, which was not surprising given that the first publisher helped to create the Republican Party. But in 1884 The Times for [Page 3]the first time endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate, Gov. Grover Cleveland of New York. Cleveland won the election—and indeed became the only U.S. president to date who served two nonconsecutive terms—but the paper paid a price for its choice. It lost advertising revenue from Republican sources, and its financial situation became so precarious that its viability seemed uncertain. The paper's future changed when Ochs bought it.Transitioning into the Twentieth Century
The Times’ reputation for independent and authoritative journalism dates back to Ochs's era. The slogan “All the News That's Fit to Print” has received its share of criticism over the years, but Ochs set a standard that his staff and their successors have endeavored to achieve. He also recognized the need to separate the business and news divisions of the paper to maintain impartiality in news coverage as much as possible.
The growth of professionalization of the news was evident early into Ochs's tenure. A June 22, 1900, article on the Republican Party's nomination of President William McKinley for a second term reported that “the nomination was made with enthusiasm,” but also said, “The demonstrations were not as prolonged, however, as they have been in conventions where nomination has been preceded by conflict.” The article went on to identify vice-presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt as “the idol of the convention,” and further noted, “The tumult over him was manifestly spontaneous, universal, and sincere.”
When Roosevelt became president after McKinley's assassination in September 1901, The Times described him as “one of the most unique and picturesque figures in American public life.” Roosevelt's energetic disposition augured well for active presidential leadership, and The Times diligently covered his efforts to enact domestic legislation and promote American interests abroad. The public responded to Roosevelt's energy as well; as The Times reported in 1908, three hundred to four hundred letters were arriving weekly at the White House urging the president to seek a third term.
Roosevelt did just that in 1912, after a four-year hiatus in which he became increasingly critical of the leadership of President William Howard Taft, who had served in the Roosevelt administration as secretary of war. Even though The Times endorsed Woodrow Wilson for president, it opposed Roosevelt's decision to divide the Republican Party by running on a third-party ticket. An editorial published on the day of the election declared, “Mr. Taft should lead Mr. Roosevelt in the Electoral and the popular vote” because “it is to the interest of the Nation that the Republican Party should be preserved as an organized, coherent opposition.” Wilson won, and Roosevelt came in ahead of Taft, but the Republican Party persevered.
The Times was highly critical of the Republicans’ nomination of Sen. Warren G. Harding for president in 1920. An editorial stated that his nomination “will be received with astonishment and dismay,” and it compared the candidate to nineteenth-century president Franklin Pierce, “if we would seek a President who measures down to his political stature.” The paper criticized “the cowardice and imbecility of the Senatorial cabal” that decided on Harding's nomination. But The Times also published a laudatory article on Harding's “front-porch campaign” by Frank Parker Stockbridge, who also had witnessed McKinley's similar campaign twenty-four years earlier, and the paper included a byline for the piece.The Rise of the Modern Presidency
By the 1930s bylines had become more common in The Times, and several reporters covered the White House regularly. Washington bureau chief and four-time Pulitzer Prize winner Arthur Krock covered Franklin D. Roosevelt's acceptance speech at the 1932 Democratic [Page 4]National Convention, in which the candidate declared that his decision to break with tradition and address the convention in person signified “the task of [the Democratic] party to break foolish traditions.”
Reporter James C. Hagerty, who became President Dwight D. Eisenhower's press secretary, wrote that FDR's famous first inaugural address was presented “with earnestness and directness and with no attempt at oratorical embellishments.” Given the gravity of the national economic situation at the time, Hagerty's focus on the new president's political agenda was logical for a news article, but the speech is remembered in history as much for its rhetorical flourishes—the most famous of which surely is “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”—as for its policy prescriptions.
Naturally, The Times reported on FDR's controversies as well as his accomplishments. Turner Catledge, who covered the Supreme Court and the White House, and later became managing editor and a company vice chairman, wrote about the president's push to increase the size of the Supreme Court in 1937. Describing FDR's appeal to the American people for support, Catledge wrote that the president “sought to assure millions of Americans gathered around their radios that in this new project he was seeking only to protect them from the usurpations of a Supreme Court which had left its place at the scales of justice to set itself up as a ‘super-legislature.’” But the “court-packing plan” was highly unpopular and marked a major political failure for FDR.
In 1940 The Times decided not to endorse FDR for a third term. As it explained in a lengthy editorial, its support for Republican Wendell Willkie was based on the Wall Street entrepreneur's qualifications as well as respect for the two-term precedent set by George Washington and followed by every other president until FDR's third victory. The paper did, however, endorse FDR in 1944 for a fourth term.
During the cold war, The Times faced a perennial challenge for the media in covering the presidency: balancing the public's right to know what the White House is doing with the government's need to protect national security interests. This dilemma became evident during the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, in which John F. Kennedy's administration provided assistance to Cuban rebels seeking to overthrow Fidel Castro's Communist regime. After the invasion failed, some people in The Times’ newsroom questioned whether the paper should have investigated the administration's plans more aggressively before the attack.
Even President Kennedy later said he wished the media had reported more beforehand, as that might have revealed flaws in the plan, which had been conceived in the Eisenhower administration. But writing after the event, Times columnist James Reston, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, pointed out that “how [Kennedy] reacts to [the defeat] may very well be more important than how he got into it. For this will be a critical test of the character and perspective of the new President.” Kennedy appeared to pass that “test” the following year through his skillful leadership during the Cuban missile crisis.
Despite disagreements over coverage at times, Kennedy got along well with the media, as did many of his other communications-savvy predecessors, such as FDR. But journalists became more wary of presidents and their advisers in the aftermath of serious conflicts in the early 1970s. In June 1971 The Times and the Washington Post began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a classified study prepared by the Department of Defense on the origins of the Vietnam War. President Richard M. Nixon tried to prevent publication of the documents, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the newspapers.
One year later, a burglary of Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., sparked investigations that led to the first resignation of a president who otherwise likely would have faced impeachment. After Nixon's resignation, even his supporters, such as Times columnist William Safire, who had been one of the president's [Page 5]speech writers, accepted the need for this outcome. The Vietnam War and Watergate undercut public and journalists’ trust in government and contributed to what is subsequently viewed by many as the “adversarial media.”From the Post–Vietnam War/Watergate Era to the Post–9/11 World
News coverage of presidential governance has evolved in significant ways since Vietnam and Watergate. The rise of more personal reporting about the White House raises questions about the appropriate balance between news and analysis. This tension is well illustrated by the writings of Times reporter and columnist Maureen Dowd, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for her columns on the Monica Lewinsky scandal in Bill Clinton's administration. In 1994 Dowd wrote a front-page story on President Clinton's trip to Oxford University, which began, “President Clinton returned today for a sentimental journey to the university where he didn't inhale, didn't get drafted and didn't get a degree.” The statement was factually correct, but was viewed by some critics as more appropriate for an opinion piece than for front-page news.
The Times has published editorials and letters to the editors since its earliest days, but its daily full page devoted to opinion pieces and columns (now two or more pages on Sundays) is a relatively recent innovation. The introduction of an Op-Ed page in fall 1970 marked a major development for the paper. The page was created to provide more space for external perspectives on pressing issues.
The wide array of contributors includes presidential advisers, and a famous example is the essay by James A. Baker III in August 2002. Baker had served as secretary of state in the George H. W. Bush administration, and his article was widely seen as a cautionary note from the former president to his son, President George W. Bush. Baker endorsed the need for military intervention to achieve “regime change” in Iraq, but he favored seeking a UN Security Council resolution to authorize such action, so the United States would have an international coalition to share responsibilities, particularly the costs, and thus maintain public support.
Although the Iraq War is the most controversial of the Bush administration's post–9/11 foreign policy decisions, many other actions taken by the president have sparked heated debate, including assertions of unilateral executive power. The Times became a part of those debates when reporter James Risen wrote about a covert surveillance program that the president had approved for spying on suspected terrorists without seeking proper authorization. Risen also revealed a program to track people who financed terrorism, and he won the Pulitzer Prize for his investigative journalism. Critics claimed The Times was hindering the government's efforts to capture terrorists, while others were troubled by the administration's willingness to act without political, or perhaps even legal, support to achieve its goals.
Despite a sometimes adversarial, even acrimonious, relationship between the paper and the presidency, they are linked closely. Presidential administrations provide a wide-ranging basis for reporting by The Times, and the newspaper is the premier source for people to read to understand national and international events. In the twenty-first century, The New York Times continues to inform the presidency as much as the presidency informs The Times.
Through its depiction of the evolution of the presidency, this book identifies a fundamental development in American politics: The institution of the chief executive has expanded vastly in the past seventy-five years—far more than even the most ardent proponents of presidential power among those who designed the U.S. government likely envisioned. Understanding the sources as well as the consequences of that authority is essential to understanding how policy making operates in the United States. The New York Times provides an indispensable lens for the public to learn about the American presidency and American politics.
Books on The New York Times
Diamond, Edwin. Behind the Times. New York: Villard Books, 1994.
Shepard, Richard F. The Paper's Papers. New York: Times Books, 1996.
Talese, Gay. The Kingdom and the Power. New York: World Publishing, 1969.
Tifft, Susan E. The Trust. Boston: Little, Brown, 1999.
Books and Other Sources on the American Presidency and American Politics
Boller, Paul F., Jr. Presidential Anecdotes, rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Boller, Paul F., Jr. Presidential Campaigns. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Graff, Henry F., ed. The Presidents: A Reference History, 2nd ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996.
Kane, Joseph Nathan. Presidential Fact Book. New York: Random House, 1998.
Nelson, Michael, ed. Guide to the Presidency, 4th ed. 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
Presidential Pet Museum, http://www.presidentialpetmuseum.com.
Chapter 1. Franklin Pierce
Gara, Larry. The Presidency of Franklin Pierce. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Life of Franklin Pierce. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1852.
Nichols, Roy F. Franklin Pierce: Young Hickory of the Granite Hills. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1931.
Chapter 2. James Buchanan
Klein, Philip S. President James Buchanan. University Park, Pa.: Penn State University Press, 1962.
Moore, John B., ed. The Works of James Buchanan, 12 vols. Philadelphia, London: J. B. Lippincott, 1908–1911.
Smith, Elbert B. The Presidency of James Buchanan. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1975.
Chapter 3. Abraham Lincoln
Donald, David Herbert. Lincoln. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006.
Paludan, Philip Shaw. The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1994.
Chapter 4. Andrew Johnson
Castel, Albert. The Presidency of Andrew Johnson. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1979.
Milton, George Fort. The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals. New York: Coward-McCann, 1930.
Trefousse, Hans L. Andrew Johnson: A Biography. New York: Norton, 1989.
Chapter 5. Ulysses S. Grant
Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. New York, C. L. Webster, 1885–1886.
Hesseltine, William B. Ulysses S. Grant: Politician. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1935.
Perret, Geoffrey. Ulysses S. Grant: Soldier and President. New York: Modern Library, 1999.
Chapter 6. Rutherford B. Hayes
Hoogenboom, Ari. The Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988.
Hoogenboom, Ari. Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.
Williams, T. Harry, ed. Hayes: The Diary of a President. New York: D. McKay Co., 1964.
Chapter 7. James A. Garfield
Doenecke, Justus D. The Presidencies of James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1981.
Peskin, Allan. Garfield. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1978.
Chapter 8. Chester A. Arthur
Pletcher, David M. The Awkward Years: American Foreign Policy Under Garfield and Arthur. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1962.
Reeves, Thomas C. Gentleman Boss: The Life of Chester Alan Arthur. New York: Knopf, 1975.
Chapter 9. Grover Cleveland
Merrill, Horace Samuel. Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland and the Democratic Party. Boston: Little, Brown, 1957.
Nevins, Allan. Grover Cleveland: A Study in Courage. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1932.
Welch, Richard E., Jr. The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988.
Chapter 10. Benjamin Harrison
Sievers, Harry J. Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier Warrior (1833–1865); Hoosier Statesman (1865–1888); Hoosier President: The White House and After. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1952–1968.
Socolofsky, Homer E., and Allen B. Spetler. The Presidency of Benjamin Harrison. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987.
Chapter 11. William McKinley
Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of William McKinley. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1980.
Leech, Margaret. In the Days of McKinley. New York: Harper, 1959.
Morgan, H. Wayne. William McKinley and His America. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1963.
Chapter 12. Theodore Roosevelt
Donald, Aida D. Lion in the White House: A Life of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Basic Books, 2007.
Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991.
Morris, Edmund. Theodore Rex. New York: Random House, 2001.
Chapter 13. William Howard Taft
Coletta, Paolo E. The Presidency of William Howard Taft. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1973.
Pringle, Henry F. The Life and Times of William Howard Taft, 2 vols. New York, Toronto: Farrar and Rinehart, 1939.
Taft, William Howard. Our Chief Magistrate and His Powers. New York: Columbia University Press, 1916.
Chapter 14. Woodrow Wilson
Clements, Kendrick A. The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1992.
Heckscher, August. Woodrow Wilson: A Biography. New York: Scribner, 1991.
Thompson, J. A. Woodrow Wilson: Profiles in Power. New York: Longman, 2002.
Chapter 15. Warren G. Harding
Downes, Randolph C. The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865–1920. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1970.
Murray, Robert K., and Katherine Spears. The Harding Era: Warren G. Harding and His Administration. Newtown, Conn.: American Political Biography Press, 2000.
Traina, Eugene P., and David L. Wilson. The Presidency of Warren G. Harding. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1977.
Chapter 16. Calvin Coolidge
Ferrell, Robert H. The Presidency of Calvin Coolidge. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.
Fuess, Claude Moore. Calvin Coolidge, The Man from Vermont. Boston: Little, Brown, 1940.
McCoy, Donald R. Clavin Coolidge: the Quiet President. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988.
Chapter 17. Herbert Hoover
Fausold, Martin L. The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1985.
Nash, George H. The Life of Herbert Hoover. 3 vols. New York: W. W. Norton, 1983–1996.
Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.
Wilson, Joan Hoff. Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive. Boston: Little, Brown, 1975.
Chapter 18. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Burns, James MacGregor. Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox, 1882–1940. New York: Harcourt Brace and World, 1956.
Burns, James MacGregor. Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom, 1940–1945. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970.
Goodwin, Doris Kearns. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.
Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. The Age of Roosevelt, 3 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957–1960.
Chapter 19. Harry S. Truman
Ferrell, Robert H. Harry S. Truman and the Modern American Presidency. Boston: Harper Collins, 1983.
Hamby, Alonzo L. Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
McCullough, David. Truman. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.
Chapter 20. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ambrose, Stephen E. Eisenhower, 2 vols. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982–1983.
Greenstein, Fred I. The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader. New York: Basic Books, 1982. Rev. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
Pach, Chester J., Jr., and Elmo Richardson. The Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Rev. ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991.
Chapter 21. John F. Kennedy
Giglio, James N. The Presidency of John F. Kennedy, 2d rev. ed. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2006.
Reeves, Richard. President Kennedy: Profile of Power. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.
Schlesinger, Arthur M. A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.
Chapter 22. Lyndon B. Johnson
Bernstein, Irving. Guns or Butter: The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Caro, Robert A. The Years of Lyndon Johnson, 3 vols. The Path to Power. New York: Knopf, 1982; Means of Ascent. New York: Knopf, 1990; Master of the Senate. New York: Knopf, 2002.
Dallek, Robert. Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Chapter 23. Richard M. Nixon
Ambrose, Stephen E. Nixon, 3 vols. The Education of a Politician, 1913–1962. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987; The Triumph of a Politician, 1962–1972. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989; Ruin and Recovery, 1973–1990. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.
Hoff, Joan. Nixon Reconsidered. New York: Basic Books, 1995.
Woodward, Bob, and Carl Bernstein. All the President's Men. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974.
Chapter 24. Gerald R. Ford
Cannon, James M. Time and Chance: Gerald Ford's Appointment with History. New York: Harpercollins, 1994.
Ford, Gerald R. A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford. New York: Harper and Row, 1979.
Greene, John Robert. The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.
Chapter 25. Jimmy Carter
Carter, Jimmy. Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2007.
Glad, Betty. Jimmy Carter: In Search of the Great White House. New York: W. W. Norton, 1980.
Kaufman, Burton I. The Presidency of James Earl Carter, Jr. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993.
Chapter 26. Ronald Reagan
Anderson, Annelise, Martin Anderson, and Kiron K. Skinner, eds. Reagan in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America. New York: The Free Press, 2001.
Cannon, Lou. President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.
Cannon, Lou. Reagan. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1982.
Reeves, Richard. President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2005.
Chapter 27. George H. W. Bush
Bush, George, and Brent Scowcroft. A World Transformed. New York: Knopf, 1998.
Greene, John Robert. The Presidency of George Bush. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1999.
Naftali, Timothy. George H. W. Bush. New York: Times Books, 2007.
Chapter 28. William Jefferson Clinton
Clinton, Bill. My Life. New York: Knopf, 2004.
Maraniss, David. First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.
Renshon, Stanley. High Hopes: The Clinton Presidency and the Politics of Ambition. New York: NYU Press, 1996.
Chapter 29. George W. Bush
Campbell, Colin, Bert A. Rockman, and Andrew Rudalevige, eds. The George W. Bush Legacy. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2007.
Draper, Robert. Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. New York: Free Press, 2007.
Singer, Peter. The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush. New York: Penguin Group, 2004.