Trump's First Year

Trump's First Year

Michael Nelson

2.5.2018

Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College, a Fellow of Southern Methodist University’s Center for Presidential History, and a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. He is the author of numerous books, including “How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation,” with John L. Mason, winner of the 2009 V. O. Key Award for Outstanding Book on Southern Politics from the Southern Political Science Association. His new book, “Resilient America,” explores how urban riots and the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the politics of outrage and race—all pointed to a reordering of party coalitions, of groups and regions, a hardening and widening of an ideological divide—and to the historical importance of the 1968 election as a watershed event.

Donald Trump took office in January 2017 under mostly favorable conditions. He inherited neither a war nor an economic depression, and his party controlled both houses of Congress. He leveraged this successfully by delivering on his campaign promises to roll back regulations on business, and he saw his nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, approved swiftly and with little controversy. Many more actions, however, have been perceived as failures or even threats to a safe, functional democracy, from immigration policies defied by state and local governments and volatile dealings with North Korea to unsuccessful attempts to pass major legislation and the inability to fill government positions or maintain consistent White House staff.

In “Trump’s First Year,” Michael Nelson, the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College and a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, provides a thorough account and scholarly assessment of Donald Trump’s first year as president, starting with his election and transition in 2016. The analysis is grounded in the modern history of the presidency as well as in the larger constitutional and political order.

Published on the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, Nelson’s book offers the most complete and up-to-date assessment of this still-unfolding story.