Donald J. Trump’s Presidency: International Perspectives

Editors: John Dixon and Max J. Skidmore

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President Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric and actions become more understandable by reference to his personality traits, his worldview, and his view of the world. His campaign rhetoric catered to Americans comfortable with isolationism and certainly with no appetite for foreign military engagements. So, his foreign policy emphasis was on American isolationism and economic nationalism. He is not really interested in delving too deeply into some of the substantive issues of international politics, particularly the prevailing quandaries in the East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. Why bother when simple solutions will suffice, for his purposes. He has placed America’s global superpower status at risk. The gradual decline of its global influence seems inevitable.

Companion volume: John Dixon, Donald J. Trump as U.S. President: “It’s all about me!” (Westphalia Press, Washington, DC, 2018).

John Dixon is Professor of Public Administration at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He is a fellow of the British Academy of the Social Sciences in 2004, and has been an honorary life member of the American Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars since 2006.

Max J. Skidmore is University of Missouri’s Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Thomas Jefferson Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has been Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer to India, and Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong.

Unworkable Conservatism: Small Government, Freemarkets, and Impracticality

by Max J. Skidmore

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Unworkable Conservatism looks at what passes these days for “conservative” principles—small government, low taxes, minimal regulation—and demonstrates that they are not feasible under modern conditions. First, for many reasons, they are difficult, at best, to implement. Second, if they are put into place, they please no one, not even those who advocated them in the first place.

Most people now are too young to remember the presidency of Mr. Conservatism, himself, Ronald Reagan. If they are old enough, they generally have forgotten how dissatisfied those on the right were with the Reagan administration. Frustrated at not being able to bring themselves to criticize the Republican Party’s idol directly, they had to be content to screech at Reagan’s aides: “let Reagan be Reagan!”

Along with direct analysis and criticism, this book takes an innovative approach, and incorporates some of the author’s review essays. Using other important works as an intellectual launching pad, it adds to them and reveals numerous overlooked yet vital facts that should have been obvious even to casual observers. It makes clear that things in America have gone very wrong, how and why this has happened, and what might be done about it.

Max J. Skidmore is University of Missouri Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Thomas Jefferson Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has been Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer to India, where he directed the American Studies Research Centre, and Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Hong Kong, where he headed the American Studies Programme. Among his numerous books are several dealing with the American presidency, with Social Security and Medicare, with American political thought, and with other topics, including American highway travel in the early 20th century. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. His Ph.D. is from the University of Minnesota.

Oration on the Unveiling of the Statue of Samuel Francis DuPont: Rear Admiral, U.S.N., at Washington, DC on December 20, 1884

by Hon. Thomas F. Bayard

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Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont (1803-1865) served in the United States Navy, specifically during the Mexican- American War and the Civil War. His uncle, Eleuthere Irenee du Pont, was the founder of what is commonly known as the DuPont chemical concern, but is officially E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Du Pont’s family was unable to financially support his education, so Samuel enlisted in the Navy. His family’s connections allowed him to receive appointment to midshipman by President James Madison. He had an illustrious until questions about his judgment in an attempt to capture Charleston during the Civil War became an issue when the blockade failed. Du Pont was so anguished by this that he relieved himself of command on July 5, 1863. Later events proved that he was not at fault, and nearly two decades after his death in 1865, a bronze sculpture of Du Pont was dedicated on December 20, 1884. It was replaced in 1921 by a memorial fountain that still stands today, one that was sculpted by Daniel Chester French and designed by Henry Bacon.

The statue was moved by the Du Pont family in 1920 to Wilmington, Delaware. Dupont Circle is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike in DC. The location has slowly changed its name from Du Pont to Dupont, so this work illustrating the deeds for which the area received its namesake is especially important.

This edition is dedicated to Patricia Fitzgerald, the amiable mainstay of the Women’s National Democratic Club, longtime Dupont Circle anchor.

 

A Century of Unitarianism in the National Capital, 1821-1921: The Shadow of Slavery

by Jennie W. Scudder

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Jennie Scudder’s work traces the sometimes controversial history of Unitarianism in the District of Columbia, centering on All Souls Unitarian Church. Scudder publshed the volume initially in 1909, but it wasn’t copyrighted until 1921, when the Church celebrated its hundredth birthday. The account includes the development of liberal religion not only in the District but in surrounding towns in northern Virginia centuryand Southern Maryland. There is a great amount of detail on the striking building on 16th Street in Washington, which echoes St. Martins in the Fields in London, the involvement of President Taft and other Washington Unitarians responsible in so small a way for the present look of the city, including luminaries such as Benjamin French and Ulysses Pierce, along with other important capital figures. Its use of original sources makes this a handy volume for anyone looking for more information on Unitarianism or the development of the East Coast.

This new edition is dedicated to Mark Ryan and Ginger Clarkson, good Unitarians, good friends.

 

Collecting American Presidential Autographs

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Paul C. Richards, Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

The collecting of autographs of American presidents is done with a passion that is not found about similar figures in other countries.  Canadian prime ministers or Finnish presidents are not the focus of hobbyists. The enthusiasm of getting a set of presidential signatures is something of a comment on the energetic American historical emphasis on the countCollecting Presidential Autographs COVER FRONT ONLYry’s chief executives. Even in George Washington’s time there were forgers who allegedly would produce a Washington letter for a drink at a tavern, so the authenticity of Presidents is a subject marked by intrigue and misadventure. Paul C. Richards’ scarce volume is a useful guide to a subject marked by increasingly high prices in the auction rooms. He was a great benefactor of Boston University, where his Robert Frost and Theodore Roosevelt collections are a permanent testimony to his relentless searching of attics and garrets and shrewd purchases.

The Man Who Killed President Garfield: George H. Herbert’s Guiteau the Assassin

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The assassination of President James Garfield has been variously blamed for the decline of the Utopian Oneida community where the murderer once lived, the reform of the American civil service by shocked legislators who noted that the motive seemed to be a legitimate denial of political patronage, and tThe Man Who Killed President Garfield COVER FRONT ONLYhe movement for sterile operating conditions in light of the damage done by surgeons probing with dirty hands for the fatal bullet.  The fascination continues in a killing that is a classic case of stalking and paranoia.

The original printed copy of Guiteau the Assassin included a supplementary insert titled The Expiation, containing two chapters describing the events after the trial, including a detailed account of Guiteau’s execution. As the insert was oddly paginated (137-152; 17-18) it could not be included in this new edition, but it can be viewed in its entirety following the link: The Expiation