By Robert H. Haveman
Paperback, 392 pages, 6 x 0.9 x nine inches, Written by means of Robert H. Haveman for the Institute for study on Poverty Poverty coverage research sequence.
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Additional resources for A Decade of Federal Antipoverty Programs. Achievements, Failures, and Lessons
To a certain extent (foreign affairs may be an exception), the mighty President was like the Wizard of Oz in his Emerald City—a little man hiding behind smoke and hocus-pocus. In order to achieve results, the President had to give away, through quiet bargaining, a lot of the potential power and magnitude of the programs. Perhaps the greatest real power of a President is his covert power, not his overt power. He cannot make Congress dance totally to his tune, though he can quietly bargain and twist arms in a most effective way.
The Roman emperors were gods. Russian peasants tended to adore the czar; they absolved him from the faults of the regime. If little father only knew what the wretched officials did in his name, he would punish them! Even in modern times the emperor of Japan was close to a god. One dared not look on his face. The cult of presidents, of modern leaders in general, is quite different. The President is not a deity. He is not the least bit distant. His face is in the papers every day and on the evening news.
Certainly, the presidency grows even without a charismatic figure. FDR died in office; he was succeeded by Truman, whom the public hardly knew. Yet he, in time, added his own twist to the legend: the little man ennobled by office. The Eisenhower years were years of calm and good feeling. People relaxed in the comfort of an old and pleasant faith; little father would see them through. In general, people seemed to acquiesce in an era of benign neglect; they trusted the President, a man of peace, good will, and soothing personality.
A Decade of Federal Antipoverty Programs. Achievements, Failures, and Lessons by Robert H. Haveman