Share this

The Heir Apparent Presidency, Donald A. Zinman

Reviewed by Donna R. Hoffman



In this fine new volume, Donald A. Zinman examines the presidencies of those who immediately followed regime-building presidents. Zinman’s project, in the tradition of American political development, is to delve into one of the cyclical aspects of Stephen Skowronek’s notion of political time (The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton) and articulate a difference within a broader category.

Skowronek’s reconstructive presidents establish enduring regimes; articulating presidents are those that follow and uphold that tradition. From within the articulating presidents who maintain the regime, Zinman identifies a difference, that of the heir apparent. Heirs apparent, in Zinman’s classification, are the five presidents who immediately followed regime builders. He includes in this number James Madison, Martin Van Buren, Ulysses S. Grant, Harry S. Truman, and George H.W. Bush. Grant is included in this group even though Andrew Johnson immediately followed Lincoln because Zinman sees Grant as the more natural heir to Lincoln due to several unique aspects of Johnson’s presidency.

With an engaging style, Zinman uses well-known episodes in each presidency to arrive at commonalities that he argues sets heirs apart from other regime-maintaining presidents who are less immediate to the regime&rsq

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

Demetrios James Caraley

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

Editor’s spotlight

North Korea and the West

The Debate over North Korea


Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

New APS Book

Continuing Issues in U.S. National Security Policy   CONTINUING ISSUES IN U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS