There is perhaps no political position as unique as the American presidency. This book considers both the strengths and weaknesses of the presidency as a political institution as well as the those of recent presidents and their leadership skills to examine the "real" presidency; that is, notjust the theoretical analysis of the institution or assessments of the men who have served as president, but the actual day-to-day responsibilities and challenges that go with the job. To showcase the "real" aspects of the presidency, as well as the differences between individual and institutionalperspectives on decision making, the authors incorporate archival documents from multiple administrations to reveal the inner workings of the White House. The documents and oral histories at presidential libraries and other archives represent a virtual treasure trove of detailed analysis and stories of what actually happened, not only publicly but behind the scenes, in each presidential administration. These documents allow a president and/or membersof his administration, through their own words, to animate the discussions in each chapter from the perspective of political actors who were actually present to understand and appreciate the depth and breadth of presidential power and leadership in the 21st century.