One of the first books to examine the Trump presidency through a neutral historical lens, two years after its conclusion, has been published by author, constitutional/presidential scholar and president of Duquesne University Ken Gormley.
With Donald J. Trump's possible announcement of another presidential run pending, the release of The Presidents and the Constitution, Volume Two: From World War I to the Trump Era (NYU Press 2022) is especially timely.
Gormley's original Presidents and the Constitution volume (published in 2016) features contributions by some of the nation's leading historians and presidential scholars, and includes a chapter on every president from George Washington to Barack Obama. It tells the stories of how American presidents have interfaced with the U.S. Constitution and thus defined the most powerful office in human history.
The newly released 2022 paperback includes a chapter on the colorful yet controversial Trump presidency. Written by Gormley, attorney Joy McNally and political scientist Dr. Joseph DiSarro, the Trump chapter tackles the daunting task of placing the Trump presidency into a broader historical context.
"The new chapter seeks to assess objectively which policies and actions of former President Trump that the American public embraced as successes-and why," Gormley explained. "It also confronts the ultimate missteps that blemished Trump's legacy and, perhaps, his chances of regaining the keys to the White House."
Of the original Presidents and the Constitution book, iconic journalist and award-winning author, Bob Woodward, wrote: "Ken Gormley has connected the Constitutional dots brilliantly, demonstrating the immense concentration of power in the chief executive and the different, often contradictory, ways it has been used or misused. The book is a class in Constitutional Law all by itself."
In The Presidents and the Constitution: Volume Two, Gormley is again tackling challenging moments in American history by examining the nation's most unconventional presidents through an impartial, historically balanced perspective. Rather than seeking to delve into the political merits (or lack thereof) of Trump's presidency, Gormley stacks Trump up alongside the previous 44 presidents and renders a candid yet fair assessment of his actions while in office.
Every student of American history, regardless of political affiliation, and every person curious about what a second term of a Trump presidency might look like, will benefit from reading this book.
Gormley's prior works have earned him national acclaim as a leading, balanced voice in assessing presidential stumbling blocks and scandals. His book Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation (Addison-Wesley 1997) about the famed Watergate Special Prosecutor, won multiple awards. His book The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr (Crown 2010) was a New York Times bestseller and earned second place in the American Bar Association's prestigious Silver Gavel Awards.