Faculty Books: Examining the Presidency with Dr. Lori Cox Han
August 13, 2020
As the 2020 election approaches, the world is becoming more and more focused on the role and significance of the presidency in American politics. At a time when leadership is more important than ever, the upcoming election will undoubtedly shape the future of this country and go down as one of the most significant elections in modern history.
In two of her most recent books, Dr. Lori Cox Han delves into various facets of the presidency. In “Madam President?: Gender and Politics on the Road to the White House” (March 2020), Han examines the relationship between gender and politics and in “Advising Nixon: The White House Memos of Patrick J. Buchanan” (Oct. 2019) Han takes a deeper look into the power of Patrick J. Buchanan, a key advisor to President Richard M. Nixon during his presidency. While focused on different topics, both books shed light on the most significant position in this country while also providing a useful analysis and explanation of the current political situation in the United States.
Han’s most recent book, “Madam President?: Gender and Politics on the Road to the White House,” looks at the barriers facing women on the path to the Oval Office and provides a deeper analysis of gender in the American political context. Han wants her audience to know that “barriers still exist for women who seek the presidency, but much progress has been made. Perhaps the most important legacy of Hillary Clinton’s campaigns in 2008 and 2016 is the fact that Americans no longer consider a woman running for president to be an anomaly. A total of six Democratic women declared candidacies at the start of the 2020 nomination cycle, and 2024 promises to see many more women run for president for both political parties.” On August 11, 2020 the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, selected California Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate in the race for the White House. If elected, Harris would be the first African-American, South-Asian American, and woman to ever serve as Vice President.
In her book, “Advising Nixon: The White House Memos of Patrick J. Buchanan,” Han uses intensive archival research to highlight Buchanan’s influence advancing his conservative agenda during the Nixon years and onward. Han hopes her audience is aware that, while many decades have passed, “the Nixon years are relevant within the current political environment, and Buchanan is an example of an influential presidential advisor whose viewpoints on numerous political and policy issues continued to resonate beyond his time in the Nixon administration. A better understanding of the Nixon years helps to explain the trajectory of the modern conservative movement and the influence it had on each Republican president since, including Donald Trump.” Although the Nixon presidency may seem a tad irrelevant to today’s policies and political climate, the actions of Patrick J. Buchanan have had a greater effect than some could possibly imagine.
While unique in their topics, analysis, and objectives, both of Han’s books provide eye opening explanations to contemporary American politics. The upcoming election will, without a doubt, alter the political direction of the United States, but no matter what the result, there is no question that Dr. Lori Cox Han will be here to explain it all.