"The key to American presidential leadership and the secret of presidential success is, in great measure, storytelling. From the earliest days of our republic to the present, those who wished to hold the nation's highest office have had to tell persuasive stories - about the nation, about its problems, and most of all about themselves - to those with the power to elect them. A sitting president's ability to tell the right story and to adapt it as necessary is crucial. And when he has left office, he often spends his remaining years attempting to inscribe the narrative as he sees it into the record. The impact of these stories on the electorate and the nation is almost beyond measure, because it is often these stories that we call American history." "Evan Cornog's new look at the American presidency explores the ways our presidents craft persuasive personal narratives, and how their storytelling can capture the public imagination and build the support necessary to govern. The sheer narrative drive of "the war hero," "the Rhodes Scholar," "the drunkard"--Or "the recovered alcoholic" - "the self-made man," or "the Rough Rider," not to mention "the cherry tree chopper," can define a leader, an administration, and an era. The Power and the Story investigates the story behind those stories - how, with deliberation and occasional manipulation, a president's crafting of his public image can surmount scandal, capitalize on opportunity, obfuscate flaws, and create legend. And how presidential story-making has long been a professional undertaking on the part of the media and spinmeisters as well, from James Callender and Nathaniel Hawthorne to Michael Deaver and Karl Rove."--Jacket.