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Investigating American Presidents

Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Regular price: £13.79
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Summary

The office of the president of the United States of America is one that can shape not just a nation but the entire world. But what limits are there if any on presidential power? How do we keep such awesome responsibility in check?  

These 12 eyeopening, timely lectures examine the ins and outs of presidential investigations using past events as a lens through which to make sense of current (and future) ones. With his political and legal insights, Professor Rosenzweig walks you through the entire path of investigating potential misuse of presidential power, from the establishment of legislative committees to the impeachment process.  

You’ll witness the construction of the legal framework that informs how Congress and the courts handle charges of abuse of power. You’ll also dive into the investigations of presidents such as Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, and Bill Clinton as a way to lean what powers exist to ensure presidents adhere to the rule of law, and whether or not they can help us wrestle with current events coming out of the White House. These nonpartisan, unbiased lectures aren’t concerned with right and left but rather with the overarching progress and themes of American political and legal history. They’re detailed enough for legal experts and accessible enough to learners with only a basic understanding of how the US government and the justice system work.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

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  • Peirce C.S.
  • 24-11-18

Balanced and Authoritative

A thoughtful and timely discussion of the challenges involved in holding a President accountable for his misconduct. The author, a member of Ken Starr's staff during the Clinton investigation, presents a remarkably balanced and nuanced historical discussion of the legal questions that are implicated when a President is suspected of violating the law. After examining the key historical precedents, the author reaches the surprising conclusion that what ultimately appears to determine the outcome of such investigations is not so much questions of law, but unwritten traditions establishing shared expectations about the kind of behavior each of the three branches of government can expect of each other.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean Dooley
  • 19-12-18

interesting perspective

I found this an insightful set of lectures with an interesting perspective. With that said, I do feel the need to criticize Rosenzweig's characterizations of the Ken Starr investigation. Much of the historic summary seemed to come anecdotally from his involvement on the legal team. And in many instances it seemed like there was some obfuscation of some valid criticisms of the investigation, most notably as it pertains to the handling of Monica Lewinsky. While there was ample mention of how the media mischaracterized and mistreated Lewinsky, the lecturer skirted around some very questionable conduct as it related to perpetuating and worsening personal and social consequences she faced. I will note that I have zero problem with the check on presidential action as it relates to Bill Clinton. Rosenzweig should have relied more on other sources for these parts of the lecture.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • EmilyK
  • 24-02-19

Timely and fascinating look at Presidential power

As I write this, the Mueller investigation is going on, so this lecture series is incredibly timely, and was very helpful to me in explaining (or refreshing my knowledge of) the history and jurisprudence about presidential investigations and the possible ways to limit presidential power. My 20 year old son heard me listening and was quickly drawn in, since he knew less of the historical and legal background that is so relevant today. So this lecture series was compelling to both a middle aged lawyer and a college kid.

My only criticism is that he seemed to lose his objectivity when it came to the Starr investigation. Perhaps it was more noticeable to me since I remembered the period well and disagreed both at the time and now with some of the methods and objectives of that investigation. Other aspects of the history and law seemed to be presented in a balanced and informative manner. I also found his lecture style engaging.

Of course, I don't know what the future will hold, but I suspect the subject will hold up well, since he did not directly focus on current events, and we've had questions about the nature and limits of presidential power since the founding of the republic. He covers that history well.

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  • William R. Toddmancillas
  • 17-12-18

Scrutinizing the Presidents

Narration: clear but slightly strident and therefore discomforting.

Content: interesting, informative detailed accounts of investigations of presidents who have actually or alleged to have violated laws or behaved indecorously.

An important background for appreciating in context and by comparison plethora of Trump's misdeeds.