The dreary presidential campaign of 1996 and Clinton’s disillusioning presidency matched the convulsive pattern of events which yanked the nation in every direction except forward throughout the final decades of the twentieth century. The swings of the previous decade with the Republican ascension in Congress and the Democratic presence in the White House, were less an aberration than a continuation of the disruptions that haunted the post-depression American political system. The Fate of the Union: America’s Rocky Road to Political Stalemate illustrates how the circumstances of each quadrennial American presidential contest have piled on the next, melding into the past and suggesting the future. The book explores the Clinton presidency as a continuum: first, placing it in the context of recent predecessors-from Truman to Bush-and then relating to the events that lead to his election in 1992, shaped his inaugural term, and enabled him to win four more years in the White House. Author Robert Shogan’s timely examination shows that short of a thorough changing of the Constitution, the best prevention for an ever-worsening political system is to guard against self-delusion.
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