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Presidential Transitions: Eisenhower Through Reagan

Brauer, Carl M.

5 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0195040511 / ISBN 13: 9780195040517
Published by Oxford University Press, New York, 1986
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

xvii, 310 p. Notes. Index. This book examines how five newly elected non-incumbents since 1952-Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan-created their administrations. It lifts the curtain on a seemingly tranquil period to reveal the tumultuous events taking place behind the scenes. Very good in very good dust jacket. DJ has slight wear, soiling, and sticker residue. Bookseller Inventory # 61338

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Presidential Transitions: Eisenhower Through...

Publisher: Oxford University Press, New York

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First edition. First printing [stated].

About this title


After all the attention focused on the rhetoric and ritual of presidential campaigns, the almost total neglect of the weeks following the election is somewhat surprising. In less than three months, newly elected presidents make decisions that profoundly affect their ability to govern. In an atmosphere simultaneously euphoric and chaotic, they choose top personnel, decide on policy priorities, and establishr elations with the new Congress and with foreign leaders. They set the tone for governing and for national life. This book is about how the five newly elected nonincumbents since 1952--Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan--created their administrations. The book lifts the curtain on a seemingly tranquil, orderly period to reveal the tumultuous events taking place behind the scenes. Here is a candid view of great men and women jockeying for position...of presidents misleading appointees about their future role...of statesmanlike behavior as well as pettiness and petulance. Based on oral histories, manuscripts, and interviews with participants, the book provides a fresh reexamination of major American postwar figures and policy. How did Eisenhower actually end the Korean War? How did Nixon and Kissinger fail to end the Vietnam War? How was Robert McNamara almost prevented from becoming Secretary of Defense because of his religion? How did Hamilton Jordan beat out Jack H. Watson, Jr., a media darling who headed a transition planning organization six times the size of JFK's in 1960? Why did Ronald Reagan have such a poor relationship with his first Secretary of State Alexander Haig? But the book is more than an illuminating account of particular events: it identifies recurring patterns in transitions and points out broad lessons for the future relevant for all sorts of transitions, inside of an outside government.

About the Author:

Carl M. Brauer is Director of the Public/Private Careers Project in the Center for Business and Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also the author of John F. Kennedy and the Second Reconstruction.

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