Is the presidency a position one must learn on the job, or can one learn from others’ experience? No common thread runs through the list of forty-five presidents; no playbook provides the answers to all the challenges a president will face. Yet even in the most unprecedented situations, history can be instructive. Drawn from the Miller Center’s First Year project--which seeks to provide a historical framework to guide future presidents and their teams in the crucial first year of a new administration-- Crucible addresses core questions of governance facing a new president, from navigating a broken political system to thriving in a changing media environment. The project’s illustrious participants--including Stephen Skowronek, Alan Taylor, Gary Gallagher, Sidney M. Milkis, H. W. Brands, William A. Galston, and Peter Wehner, among many others--explore both opportunities and challenges in key policy areas, from national security, race, and immigration to opportunity, mobility, and fiscal policy.

Crucible consolidates the most salient lessons that can be drawn from both the best and the worst presidencies in American history, as well as from the many in between, to provide true insight on the most important issues facing any new president in the first year of office.

Contributors: Douglas A. Blackmon * Hal Brands * H. W. Brands * Robert F. Bruner * Mary Kate Cary * Jeffrey L. Chidester * Carolyn Dewar * Tom Dohrmann * Susan J. Douglas * Anita Dunn * Michael Eric Dyson * Jeffrey A. Engel * Andrew Erdmann * Michèle A. Flournoy * Jeffrey Frieden * Gary W. Gallagher * William A. Galston * Daniel J. Galvin * Stefanie Georgakis Abbott * David Greenberg * Ryan Harper * Willis Jenkins * Elaine C. Kamarck * Bruce Katz * Melvyn P. Leffler * Guian McKee * Sidney M. Milkis * Peter Morton * Michael Nelson * Patrick O’Brien * Margaret O’Mara * Orlando Patterson * Barbara A. Perry * Andrew Rudalevige * Marc Selverstone * Jeff Shesol * Stephen Skowronek * Jeremi Suri * Alan Taylor * Daniel Tichenor * Peter Wehner * Mason B. Williams * Philip Zelikow

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