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42Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton$
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Michael Nelson, Barbara A. Perry, and Russell L. Riley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801454066

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801454066.001.0001

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History and Bill Clinton

History and Bill Clinton

(p.1) Introduction History and Bill Clinton

Russell L. Riley

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter identifies the importance of history in evaluating Bill Clinton’s legacy. Postwar presidents, such as Clinton, typically find themselves deeply entangled in the messy politics of constitutional restoration while the former glories of presidential leadership are still fresh in the public mind. A clear realization of the historical forces at work as the Cold War ended would give a deeper understanding of the institution in which Bill Clinton served and thus a more complete appreciation of what actually happened during his presidency. That kind of understanding may also help illuminate in advance the perils that the nation’s next postwar president will confront. Properly understood, the problems of the Clinton presidency become a cautionary tale about something greater than the personal temptations of power.

Keywords:   Bill Clinton, postwar presidents, constitutional restoration, Clinton presidency

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