University Press of Kansas, 2012

Previously published in hardcover as:
Leading from the Center: Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents
Basic Books, 2008

Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents

From George Washington to Barack Obama

In Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents, Gil Troy argues that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy—arguably the most effective presidents in American history—succeeded not because of bold political vision, but because of political moderation. In the current climate of extreme rhetoric and virulent partisanship, Why Moderates Make the Best Presidents teaches us that moderation is a key trait of successful leadership within the American presidential tradition.

4th edition, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Gil Troy & Fred L. Israel, editors
Facts on File, 2011

History of American Presidential Elections


History of American Presidential Elections is the definitive reference guide to US presidential elections. This comprehensive, three-volume set includes articles, chronologies, overviews, state-by-state voting returns, electoral maps, and other statistical data compiled on every campaign, convention, and candidate of every presidential election, from 1789 through 2008.

Gil Troy & Vincent J. Cannato, editors
Oxford University Press, 2009

Living in the Eighties

Living in the Eighties is a multi-faceted exploration of American politics and culture in the 1980s. This essay collection includes works by critics and fans of Ronald Reagan (including Ed Meese, one of President Reagan's closest aides), and examines a variety of cultural phenomena, from multiculturalism and Southern conservatism to music, religion, crime and AIDS to present a complex, thoughtful account of this watershed decade.

"…a lively set of essays that deftly explores cultural as well as political, social, and economic developments in America during the 1980s. I recommend it enthusiastically." —James T. Patterson, Author of Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore
"…From Madonna to shopping malls to Reagan's key political victories, this volume provides a compelling and insightful portrait of America in the '80s." —Meg Jacobs, MIT

Oxford University Press, 2009

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The Reagan Revolution

A Very Short Introduction

The Reagan Revolution illuminates the personalities and ideas that shaped the “Reagan Revolution.” Placing the phenomenon within the broad context of post-war politics, it highlights Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments and examines the controversies that surrounded him. The Reagan Revolution shows how, three decades later, the Reagan legacy continues to shape the American economy, politics, diplomacy and culture.

"Very useful for the casual reader as well as highly flexible for classroom use. It's hard to imagine another book serving such a function any better than this... Remarkable."—History News Network
“…Gil Troy captures Ronald Reagan in all his complexity, neatly reconciling the surface contradictions within both his public and private personas. A shrewd and readable analysis of the man and his administration, this is a triumph of interpretive scholarship.”—Alonzo L. Hamby, Author of Man of the People: A Life of Harry S. Truman

Part of the Modern First Ladies Series
University Press of Kansas, 2008

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Polarizing First Lady

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady offers a revealing look at one of the most active first ladies in American history, and one of the most prominent women of our time. This lively biography traces the events that brought Clinton to national prominence, the influence she had within her husband’s administration, the attempts she made to redefine the role of first lady, and the strategies she employed to cope with scandal. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady renews discussions of where Clinton stands in the continuum of modern first ladies and where history ultimately will take her. Includes images from the Clinton Presidential Library.

“…an engrossing look at the behind-the-scenes ‘psychodrama’ of the Clinton White House...”—Vanessa Bush, Booklist

Princeton University Press, 2007

Morning in America

How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s

Morning in America is an insightful appraisal of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, and an impressionistic portrait of the political and cultural phenomena that defined the 1980s. Reagan emerges more as happy warrior than angry ideologue, as a big-picture man better at setting America's mood than implementing a program. Morning in America is a major assessment of one of America's most influential presidents, and the definitive story of the decade over which he presided.

“A lively read, packed with insightful comments about the decade and its legacies…”—Publishers Weekly

Bronfman Jewish Education Center, 2002

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Why I Am a Zionist

Israel, Jewish Identity and the Challenges of Today

Why I am a Zionist is one of the most compelling cases for Zionism today. A crash course in Jewish identity and nationalism, Why I am a Zionist covers crucial topics, including the Israeli-Arab conflict, terrorism, multiculturalism, and the quandary of North American modern Zionism. The result is a thoroughly relevant and honest exploration of contemporary issues facing Israel and the Jewish people that cannot be ignored.

“Troy has a keen understanding about the Jews’ present and the predicament of the Jewish future.” —Martin Peretz, Former Editor, The New Republic
“Troy has written an inspiring Zionist manifesto for our time…[that] simmers and crackles with wisdom, wit and passion. —Rabbi Irving Greenberg, President, Jewish Life Network and Author of The Jewish Way
"Direct, forthright... there is a no more informative, exciting, impassioned and inspiring voice today on Israel's behalf than Troy's...” —Mordechai Ben-Dat, Canadian Jewish News

University Press of Kansas, 2002

Previously published in hardcover as:
Affairs of State: The Rise and Rejection of the Presidential Couple Since World War II
Free Press, 1997

Mr. & Mrs. President

From the Trumans to the Clintons

The emergence of the presidential couple is one of the most important and contentious developments in America's post-war political history. In Mr. & Mrs. President, Gil Troy traces ten presidential marriages, from the homesick tensions between Harry and Bess Truman to the public scandals endured by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Along the way, readers learn of Mamie Eisenhower's perseverance on her husband's campaign trail, Gerald Ford's embarrassment over Betty's outspoken honesty, and the amazing political success of Nancy and Ronald Reagan's partnership in office. Mr. and Mrs. President offers fresh insights into America's paradoxical expectations for its presidential wives and husbands.

"Hillary Clinton should read Troy's book. Anybody who wants to be First Lady should read it. Anyone married to a powerful person, or thinking about marrying a powerful person, should read it; in fact, everyone should. It's full of nuggets and insights about marriage, power, and the presidency. I loved it." —Lesley Stahl, CBS News
"Troy argues that the rise of the First Couple is not simply a function of the women's movement, but reflects a mixture of factors, including the weakening of parties, the rise of personality politics, the increasing power of the Presidency and the Federal Government and perhaps, most important of all, the 'rise of the mass media and the new political culture it spawned.'" —The New York Times Book Review
"An absorbing book full of surprising and fascinating anecdotes." —Kirkus Reviews
"Deeply engrossing." —Publishers Weekly

Revised and expanded edition, Harvard University Press, 1996

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See How They Ran

The Changing Role of the Presidential Candidate

Many Americans feel that presidential elections have become inordinately expensive, shallow, and undignified, and long for the good old days of stately campaigns and worthy candidates. See How They Ran proves such elections never existed. This comprehensive volume examines every presidential campaign from 1840 to 1996, as it explores why candidates campaign as they do, and why Americans complain about them. See How They Ran reveals what our presidential campaigns tell us about American democracy itself.

“A delightful history...[that] shatters more than a few illusions...For history buffs and political junkies, this book is stuffed with illuminating political trivia.” —The Boston Globe
“A splendid narrator, Troy provides anecdotes on every election, and...offers a valuable perspective on the current dissatisfaction so many American voters express about elections.” —Richard M. Pious, Constitution
“Thoroughly authoritative…it relates in colorful and personal detail the conduct of presidential candidates since 1840 in their struggle to meet the sometimes whimsical, often conflicting expectations of the electorate.” —Susan E. Parker, Library Journal
“Richly researched and well-written.” —The Economist
“…an original, fascinating and admirably focused account of American presidential campaigns from George Washington to George Bush…” —Publishers Weekly