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Cameron, Charles M. Veto Bargaining: Presidents and the Politics of Negative Power. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. How presidents can and do use the power of the veto.
Hinckley, Barbara. Less than Meets the Eye: Foreign Policy Making and the Myth of the Assertive Congress. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. How Congress rarely blocks presidents’ foreign policy initiatives.
Howell, William G. Power without Persuasion: The Politics of Direct Presidential Action. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003. What presidents can get done with unilateral powers.
Kernell, Samuel. Going Public: New Strategies of Presidential Leadership, 4th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2007. What presidents can—and cannot—get done with speechmaking.
Kessel, John H. Presidents, the Presidency, and the Political Environment. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2001. An overview of the presidency beyond the president.
Kumar, Martha Joynt. Managing the President’s Message: The White House Communications Operation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. The definitive study of White House–media relations.
Lewis, David E. The Politics of Presidential Appointments: Political Control and Bureaucratic Performance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008. An analysis of the evolution and increasing politicization of the appointment process.
Light, Paul C. The President’s Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton, 3rd. ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. A compelling study of what goes into presidents’ decisions on recommendations to Congress.
Neustadt, Richard E. Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents. New York: Macmillan, 1990. The classic 1960 treatise on presidential power and presidential weakness, updated with postscripts and emendations on presidents from JFK to Reagan.
Peterson, Mark A. Legislating Together: The White House and Capitol Hill from Eisenhower to Reagan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990. A painstaking account of conflict and cooperation between president and Congress.
Ragsdale, Lyn. Vital Statistics on the Presidency, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2008. A compendium of everything that can be numerically measured about the presidency, further illuminated by incisive interpretive essays.
Smith, Jeff. The Presidents We Imagine. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009. A detailed survey of two centuries of imaginings of US presidents.