Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush
Book Forum

However bitter, complex, and urgent today's controversies over executive power may be, former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo, now an AEI visiting scholar and a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that they are nothing new. In Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush (Kaplan Publishing, 2010), Yoo explores a factor often overlooked in the current debates: the past. He traces how the decisions made by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt transformed the role of the American president. The link between the vigorous exercise of executive power and presidential greatness is both significant and misunderstood, Yoo explains, and the Constitution is deliberately vague on the limits of presidential power so as to allow strong presidents leeway to act in defense of the nation in times of crisis.

At this event, Yoo discussed Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush. AEI resident scholar and government expert Norman J. Ornstein, and Jeffrey Rosen, professor of law at George Washington University and legal affairs editor of The New Republic, continued the debate on executive power. Constitutional law expert Terry Eastland of The Weekly Standard moderated.

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About the Author

 

Norman J.
Ornstein
  • Norman Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He is a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic and is an election eve analyst for BBC News. He served as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, with Thomas E. Mann (Oxford University Press, 2006, named by the Washington Post one of the best books of 2006 and called by The Economist "a classic"); and, most recently, the New York Times bestseller, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, also with Tom Mann, published in May 2012 by Basic Books. It was named as one of 2012's best books on pollitics by The New Yorker and one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post.
  • Phone: 202-862-5893
    Email: nornstein@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Jennifer Marsico
    Phone: 202-862-5899
    Email: jennifer.marsico@aei.org

 

John
Yoo

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