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This is the first modern study of the veto. In addition to tracing the genesis and historical evolution from Ancient Rome, through the ultimate inclusion in the Constitution, it also explores the vetos consequences for modern presidents. In doing so, Spitzer promotes a key argument about the relation between the veto power and the Presidency namely, that the rise of the veto power, beginning with the first Chief Executive, is symptomatic of the rise of the strong modern Presidency, and has in fact been a major tool of Presidency-building. A special and revealing irony of the veto power is seen in the finding that, despite its monarchical roots and anti-majoritarian nature, the veto has become a key vehicle for presidents to appeal directly to, and on behalf of, the people. Thus, the vetos utility for presidents arises not only as a power to use against Congress, but also as a symbolic, plebiscitary tool.